The Last Man on Earth Ubaldo Ragona, 1964, 86 min.; presented in 35mm, with print supplied by Wade Williams
In a post-epidemic nightmare world, scientist Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) is the only man immune to a plague that has transformed the entire population of the Earth into vampire-like creatures. This black-and-white classic was the first of the three adaptations of Richard Matheson's novel "I Am Legend," and it remains the scariest. The nightly invasion of slow-moving zombies who lay siege to Morgan's house with the creatures shrieking "Morgan, come out!" as they try to break down doors and pry open windows is an eerie precursor to (and obvious inspiration) for George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead." Price delivers a relatively subdued performance and adroitly handles a script that makes abundant use of voice-over. Italian locations stand in for the San Francisco area in this shocker.
Preceded by Vincent (Tim Burton, 1982, 6 min.), a delightfully macabre stop-motion animation in which young Vincent Malloy imagines himself as a tormented conflation of Vincent Price and Edgar Allan Poe. Narrated by Price, Tim Burton's first directorial effort was described by the actor as ""the most gratifying thing that ever happened. It was immortality better than a star on Hollywood Boulevard."
With an introduction and post-film discussion by Richard Squires, creator of the Web site the Vincent Price Exhibit.
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