The Last Man on Earth (1964) Film Review

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This is the second of the four film interpretations of Richard Matheson’s book I am Legend that I have seen, having watched the 2007 Will Smith film I am Legend recently. This is far closer to the book, though I don’t think this is necessarily the way to judge a film made from a book. If each holds up as a good text, that is important, and I did enjoy both of these films.

Let’s recap: Dr Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) is the last person on Earth. He is surrounded by vampires – that was all that was left when people succumbed to a terrible plague that covered the Earth. Dr Morgan has a routine he follows, and this is described to the audience through a voiceover as he fulfils his daily tasks and hopes one day, through some experimentation, to find a cure and return the vampires to human state.

The voiceover worked well to get the facts across, although it was quite unrelenting for much of the film. The flashback to life with his wife and daughter and the demise of the two was, despite the flat acting, quite emotional, and the struggles that he faces was well presented. Most definitely worth the watch, especially if you enjoy Vincent Price.

 

Edward Scissorhands (1990) Film Review

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Avon Lady Peg (Dianne Wiest), in an attempt to move some units, discovers Edward (Johnny Depp), a young man with scissors for hands. She is so kind, and brings him home to her family, husband Bill (Alan Arkin), son Kevin (Robert Oliveri) and daughter Kim (Winona Ryder) (who is away with boyfriend Jim (Anthony Michael Hall) and friends initially). He is accepted by the small community though things quickly turn ugly as he is unable to truly fit in.

Apart from the story device of the old woman telling her granddaughter the story (although without it, what would have happened to Edward?) it was so wonderful to watch it again. I forgot just how much heart the film had – and how much Burton is able to really capture the ugliness of suburbia.

Edward Scissorhands was nominated for an Oscar for Best Makeup.