The Last Man on Earth (1964)

The Last Man on Earth (1964)

“Alive among the lifeless...
alone among the crawling
creatures of evil that make
the night hideous with their
inhuman craving!”

Vincent Price—the last man on earth
Sitting around his—dumpy LA bungalow
Listening to the—same old zombies

“Morgan!!! Come out!!! Come out!!!
Morgan!!! We're going to kill you!
Morgan!!! We’re gonna eat you alive!!!”

It’s so boring—awfully depressing
Being looked at—as somebody’s dinner
Vincent felt so lachrymose he could die

But he was on a—mission for god
With stakes in the back of his dumpy
Station-wagon—he nailed the fuckers

During the day—when they slept
Vincent did the Van Helsing on them
Getting rid of the suckers one by one

The black & white cinematography
Is grim and stark like Vincent’s life
After losing his wife & daughter

“Ho-hum. Another day in dead LA.
Better get up—and have some coffee
Then get to work—nailing the Undead.”

Not as classy—as Charlton Heston
Aloof in his New York City condo
Manhattan full of the usual zombies

That first scene in the Heston version
Him watching a movie & falling asleep
Barely getting home—ahead of the mob

But the Price version—more low key
Filmed in Rome—it looks like grim LA
The last man on Earth—grim film noir

Cheap LA death—and lots of zombies
So much more comforting—than high-rise
Haughty Heston—playing big shot as usual

Poor Vincent—as if wreathes of garlic
Could protect him—from the Black Plague
All those zombies—the Bubonic Mob

Vincent Price—takes long rides into town
Prowling all the art galleries—for Picasso’s
Ends ups with Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”

He hangs it in his living room—just for kicks
Playing old Bela Bartok records at night
To drown out all the bad dead neighbors

Vincent doesn’t have—all the fancy gizmos
Like Heston with his machines, klieg lights
And expensive luxurious furniture

It seems like every Heston flick’s gotta be
Some kind of size-queen Extravaganza
Like Ben-Hur, Omega Man, Khartoum!!!

Even schmaltzy dystopian melodramas—
Like Soylent Green (1973) gets overblown
With the likes of Edgar G. Robinson

And then there’s the ultimate crummy
Nightmare story The Planet of the Apes
With the waterlogged Statue of Liberty!!!

Vincent Price is much more low-key—
Not even hysterical like House of Usher
Or Poe’s lurid like Pit and the Pendulum

Instead he’s stuck—with a hammer & nails
Boarding up his tacky place just enough to
Keep his bad news admirers out of the way

One troubling thing—about being alive
And all too human—the last man on earth
Is naturally the need for love & sexuality

Vincent must confront this problem and
Deal with zombies who pass for human
But are really living dead in disguise

Even Vincent Price—with his somewhat
Nelly and effete effeminate ways can’t be
A Van Helsing martyr all the time…

Surely there’s more to life than just the
Daily grind of driving stakes through the
Hearts of sleeping zombies during the day?

Vincent Price’s interior monologue—
So very down and depressing like his
Black and white film noir boring existence

The LA smarmy walking dead—want him
They want him bad—whatever life he’s got left
That’s what zombies need—they need it bad

They need that love-jet—they wanna feel good
Vincent’s no—svelte Arnold Schwarzenegger
But beggars can’t be choosers—zombies say

This is how it ends—TPTB do their thing with
Population control—thru lovely germ-cocktails,
Ponzi scams, evil plagues—corporate denouement

Full movie:

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