Final Days

Remakes can’t hold a candle to The Last Man on Earth.

When it comes to adaptations of Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend, Will Smith can suck it. The 1964 Last Man on Earth (aka The Damned Walk at Midnight) may not be well known among today’s horror fans, but it’s a seminal classic that stands head and shoulders above the recent blockbuster. “Despite The Omega Man and I Am Legend, many people still feel that this version of The Last Man on Earth remains the most faithful to Matheson's original story,” says Pablo Kjolseth, director of the University of Colorado’s International Film Series.

While the film suffers some shortcomings — most notably uneven pacing, a lackluster script and some minor sound issues — it overcomes these limitations with its bleak, unrelenting point of view, gorgeous cinematography and clever use of sound effects and soundtrack as storytelling devices.

Vincent Price stars as scientist Robert Morgan, turning in an uncharacteristically low-key performance as the titular last man, slowly succumbing to madness in the face of complete isolation and the disappearance of everything he ever held dear. As he wages a futile battle against the undead legions that remain as the last vestiges of humanity, he discovers what he believes to be another survivor, a woman who is not quite what she seems. When her comrades come for him, the last man on Earth faces his last day on Earth.

Catch the film at 7 or 9 p.m. tonight at Muenzinger Auditorium on the CU-Boulder campus. Tickets are $6, or $5 for students with ID. For more information, visit www.internationalfilmseries.com or call 303-492-1531.
Wed., Feb. 4, 7 & 9 p.m., 2009

 
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