Monday, April 22, 2013

The Last Man on Earth (1964)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie The Last Man on Earth (1964). DISCLAIMER!!!! I am not scientist and not authority on evolution. If real biologist, who knows evolution, say I am wrong, believe him/her. What I write is how I understand it. And I might be wrong.

Vincent price is Morgan, last man on earth. Plague has turned other humans to zombie like vampires. They have vampire weaknesses. They can't stand sun, garlic or mirror and wooden stakes kill them. They move and act like zombies. I don't know what they eat because they are not after blood or brains. Movie was released four years before Night of the Living Dead. I am pretty sure George A. Romero got some inspiration for his film from this movie. Vampires of this movie are so much like zombies that this movie had to have some inspiration of their creation.

Morgan has had the whole earth by himself for three years. He wakes up at mornings and goes to hunt vampires. When night falls he fortifies to his home and hope vampires can't get in. He gets his eats canned food which he found from supermarkets and fuel from abandon cars. It is unclear how long until food become uneatable and he start questioning why he does what he does. He can't kill all vampires and he can't find other survivors.

It was not always like this. He was scientist that tried to find cure to plague that kills people. Nothing cured or gave immunity to plague. Officials started to burn dead plague victims. Getting infected is dead sentence and officials collect all infected they know. Morgan's daughter gets ill. He wants to keep her out of doctors had because he know they would take her away. His wife can stand situation and calls doctor. When he gets back home he finds out that her daughter is dead and taken to be burned at pit.

When her wife got ill he decide to not let them burn her. He buries her dead body but finds out soon why officials burn dead bodies. His wife rises from grave and comes back. Society has stopped working because everyone is too scared to leave their homes. Finally he ends up being only one not infected. Unlike normal vampires, these vampires are turned into vampires by plague like disease. No biting or eating is required. There are also no zombie rules since those were introduced four years later.

One day Morgan finds Ruth another survivor. He takes her his home where him finds she is infected too. He learns that Ruth have medicine that keep her from turning into zombie-like and lets her walk during daytime. When they discuss he realizes that there might be cure in his blood. He gives her his blood while she sleeps. This cures her. There is cure for disease. Ruth tells Morgan why he is there. There is society of not zombie-like vampires. When Morgan has killed vampires, he has also killed them. Tonight is the night when they hit back.

Ruth know Morgan is the cure but she can't stop other killing Morgan. Morgan doesn't help this. He sees them as freaks as he is the last human. When Morgan is killed, Ruth is last real human left. She hides this fact.

In flashbacks Morgan's boss says he thinks plague is some sort of evolutionary process. Here is what I think that meant. Based on what we saw on movie plague had three effects on humans. Some were immune. It turned some to zombies this is group that I called earlier zombie-like vampires.. Third group it turned vampires without making them lose mental abilities. I assume medicine Ruth took make her resistant to sunlight, garlic and mirrors. There must be very little of that medicine because others didn't walk on daylight. Because vampires hunted zombies I assume there was more difference than only medicine.

There is common misconception that evolution is survival of the fittest. This movie shows how the fittest doesn't always win and survive. Immune people like Morgan were strongest in this movie. They didn't have any weaknesses. Their problem was that there were too little of them. Strongest could now reproduce, so weaker took its place. Vampires had vampire weaknesses but because there was so many of them they could collaborate and win fittest ones. Zombies were the weakest ones. They had vampire weaknesses and lost their mental capacity. Vampires won them easily. Plague turned human race into weaker using evolutionary mechanisms. Evolution is not always to survival of the fittest. Sometimes conditions change so much that fittest is not the one that survives. In real life that is what happened to dinosaurs.

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