When a wind-blown virus devastates life on Earth, millions of the population die and the remainder become vampires living in the dark and sleeping during the day.
Dr Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) is the sole healthy survivor on the planet and follows a strict and tedious routine to guarantee his own survival: He kills the night creatures during the day – driving stakes into the vampires and dumping their bodies into a flaming pit – before dashing home before dusk to barricade himself in his fortified house for the night while the vampires taunt him from outside and occasionally try to smash their way in.
Morgan has been doing this for three years and is fighting against his loneliness and clinging to his sanity. When he finds the contaminated Ruth Collins (Franca Bettoia) walking around in broad daylight, he uses his own immune blood to heal her.
Unfortunately, his actions will backfire on him with tragic consequences.
This was the first – and arguably the best – film adaptation of the Richard Matheson novel I Am Legend, which was also brought to the screen as The Omega Man (1971) and I Am Legend (2007). Matheson originally wrote the script in 1957 for Hammer Films, who decided not to make the picture and passed it to their US associate, Robert L Lippert, who then produced The Last Man on Earth in Italy.
This film also clearly influenced George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968).
Despite being a disappointment at the box office, the movie later attained a cult following.
Dr Robert Morgan
Giacomo Rossi Stuart