Will The Last Man On Earth Please Turn Out The Lights?
If it weren’t for those infected vampire zombies mucking things up, then the not infected Dr. Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) would certainly be the last man on Earth. Just when you think you can finally get some peace and quiet…
Dr. Rob is a scientist in The Last Man on Earth (1964) who tried to stop that viral plague from wiping out nearly the entire planet’s population by making everyone sneeze and cough themselves to death – including his wife and young daughter.
Now a widower who doesn’t have to worry about child support, the Earth-first doc spends his days loading rotting bodies into his station wagon and hauling ’em to a proper burial site, i.e., a burning car tire dump. Then there’s the irony of him hunting the vampire zombies and hammering stakes into their day-sleeping bodies – they need to go to the dump as well. Beats sitting around and reading.
He has to get the job done by nightfall as the staggering zombies awake and swarm his house while half-assedly whacking it with boards and calling his name to come out. You see, they want his uninfected blood. Probably tastes better than the city park raccoons they’ve been sucking on.
For the most part Dr. Rob keeps the zombies at bay with garlic and mirrors on the front door. (Zombies/vampires don’t like/can’t see their own reflections and therefore smash the mirrors, which forces Rob to keep shoplifting for new ones.) When he sleeps, Rob plays popular music really loud to distract from the incessant zombie clattering. Then he has dreams of the plague taking out the world and family. In one kinda grisly flashback, he sees the military collecting the dead bodies and throwing them into the aforementioned burning landfill – including his daughter. Harsh biscuits.
One day Rob comes across an uninfected chick. Well, hey – time to slap on some aftershave and get this party started! Turns out she’s a member of a posse still living by undergoing injections that make the blood bacteria dormant, but only for a while. Sucks to be them. After much yapping, he injects her with some of his inner goop to see if it will be a cure, never minding the mixing of opposing blood types that could kill her. (That’s why he’s a doctor and I’m not.)
The “cure” works, but her gang – along with the vampire zombies – chase and corner Dr. Rob in a church, where they… I already gave away 99% of the movie; do you seriously want me to wreck the ending? (Spoiler – watch the remake The Omega Man (1971) with Charleton Heston – it ends the same way.)
So how come Dr. Rob was immune to the plague in the first place? He was bitten by an infected vampire bat when he was stationed in Panama, which introduced a diluted form of the plague into his blood. Duh.
P.S. Try your best not to confuse this movie with The Last Man on Earth (1924) and The Last Man on Earth (2011). In case you’re writing this down: I Am Legend, also the same story, was released in 2007. Duh.