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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 87 minutes, featurette
VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English Mono
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

STUDIO: MGM/ American International/ 20th Century Fox Home Video
RELEASE DATE: 12-4-2007

I AM LEGEND is a classic novel from writer Richard Matheson. It has been adapted into film three times. The third film adaptation, I AM LEGEND starring Will Smith, hits theaters on December 14th. Richard Matheson has felt no one has done his book justice for film. Charlton Heston fought albino vampires in the 1970s OMEGA MAN (the second film adaptation). Arnold Schwarzenegger almost starred in a film version called AMERICAN LEGEND to be directed by Ridley Scott (BLADE RUNNER, BLACK RAIN, ALIEN, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN) before Warner Brothers nixed the film before it was to begin production.

I have read I AM LEGEND. It is a fantastic novel. I imagined it would have been perfect for actor Rutger Hauer. The first film adaptation (THE LAST MAN ON EARTH) was the result of a script by Richarad Matheson. It was rewritten (as in stndard Hollywood practice) and Richard disowned the film. he had his csreen credit changed to Logan Swanson becaause he had four kids to support (and couldn't have his name completely taken out of the credits which would result in losing future royalities). THE LAST MAN ON EARTH comes off too much as a typical Roger Cormanesque vampire film which retains some of the elements of the book only to be executed badly. Vicent Price as Dr. Robert Morgan can't even save the film from it's shortcomings. When he meets another survivor, the relationship between him and Ruth is shortchanged to get viewers to the climax. One of my favorite parts of the novel is the last man's relationship with the woman he finds.

The print used for the transfer does have some slight damage, but image detail isn't that bad.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The only extras is a short interview featurette called RICHARD MATHESON STORYTELLER; THE LAST MAN ON EARTH which has Richard talk about writing the novel and the screenplay for this film.

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE LAST MAN ON EARTH is good at times, but it doesn't do the novel justice. I am eagerly awaiting the upcoming I AM LEGEND.

this DVD review is (c)12-7-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  


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