Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Last Man on Earth (1964)

What a fantastic movie! Vincent Price acts for the first twenty-two minutes with voice over only. No dialogue. A remarkable feat! The "vampires" who attack his home are a bit lame. However, his compelling presence makes this movie a joy to watch.

The Last Man on Earth is based on Richard Matheson's 1954 novel "I Am Legend." The basic plot is that a plague has wiped out most, if not all, of humanity except for Robert Morgan [Vincent Price]. The dead humans have come back as "vampires" and Morgan spends his days killing vamps and trying to find a cure for the plague, all the while wondering why he is immune to the disease. [Go, Buffy!]

If the plot sounds familiar, it should. The book was also adapted to film as "The Omega Man" in 1971 starring Charlton Heston and as "I Am Legend" in 2007 starring Will Smith. Personally, I prefer "The Last Man on Earth" over both of these later versions. "The Omega Man" is too hip for its own good and is mired in bad 70's clothing and too much talk of "the family" as if the infected were followers of Charles Manson. The "zombies" who inhabit "I Am Legend" are CGI disasters, looking more like cartoon characters. They move in ways that would be impossible for a creature that was once a human being.

If you've never seen the 1964 film, I cannot recommend it enough. Thankfully, it is now available as a free download and is in the public domain. I hope this will enable more people to see this wonderful film.

RATING: Excellent.

Download a copy of the film from Archive.org

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)

This one falls into the "so bad it's good" category. Edward D. Wood Jr. has always had a reputation for being the worst director ever. However, I would nominate Michael Bay for that honor. Bay just has a bigger budget to work with!  Who else but Ed Wood could come up with a movie that incorporates space ships, vampires and zombies into one film? Sure, the dialogue is stiff and the sets are poorly constructed but, somehow, this only makes the film more endearing to me. [Why is there a tesla coil on a space ship? I'm just asking the question.]
The plot involves space aliens who try to take over the earth by resurrecting the dead who begin attacking the living. [Follow me so far?] It's up to our hero, Jeff Trent, a fearless airline pilot, to save the world as well as his wife from their evil "Plan 9." [The suspense is killing me!]
The cast includes Bela Lugosi [in his last, are arguably worst, performance on screen. It's a shame that drug addiction ruined his career], Vampira [with her impossibly slender waist] and Tor Johnson [a wrestler turned actor with considerably LESS acting skills than The Rock] as the undead. It's not a scary film but it will make you laugh and keep you thoroughly entertained. My favorite line from the film comes from actress Mona McKinnon who plays Paula Trent: "Now, don't you worry. The saucers are up there. The graveyard is out there. But I'll be locked up safely in there." Priceless!

A remake of the film was released in 2015 and is said to be an homage to the original. However, I've seen the trailer and it looks like they simply upped the gore and left out the campy spirit of the original film. Just what we need, another mindless gorefest for the masses. BORING! I'll stick with the original.

RATING: Very Good [Due to Wood's exuberance for filmmaking.]
Download a copy of the film from Archive.org
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.