The Last Woman on Earth


Year 1960

Betsy Jones-Moreland   as Evelyn
Anthony Carbone as   Harold
Edward Wain as Martin
 
Director - Roger Corman
Screenwriter - Robert Towne  

When a global catastrophe temporarily drains the world of oxygen, The Last Woman on Earth has to choose between her Alpha-Male husband and a sensitive admirer. This is a Roger Coreman cheapie.

How cheap? Three people are in the movie and one of them is also the screenwriter. (Wain is a pseudonym for Towne.) The set is an isolated beach house and it's in Puerto Rico. If this thing cost more than $25,000 to make than an accountant padded the books.

So, it's a parable about relationships. It's the only way to accept the "science" of the movie. (Something took away all of the oxygen in the world?) Evelyn (Jones-Moreland who was Coreman's "love interest" at the time) married Harold (Carbone) before the catastrophe. But since there are no longer any rules, she feels free to have a re-do.

What does this say about Evelyn? She's a newlywed who's already sick of her husband. Why did she marry him? He was rich. A polite description for her is "gold digger". Amount of sympathy? Zilch.

Then there's her husband Harold. He's a conceited, self-made man. He's a doer and not a talker. His own description of himself is, "Money didn't make me, I made money." But he's also sadistic and brutish. Amount of sympathy? Some because he at least accepts what's happened and is planning ahead.

Then there's Martin (Wain), a sensitive lawyer. He has no goals, no plans, and is an opportunist. Amount of sympathy? Between Evelyn and Harold.

So in a movie with three people, you can warm to none to them.

Evelyn cheats on Harold with Martin. I guess this is somehow empowering for women. Harold gets angry. Martin pays the price. Harold tells Evelyn that they'll do things together and they walk off hand-in-hand.

So, it's all about the sex, even though there's none shown. The world ends, and it's all about physical pleasure. How trite. To add insult to injury, a church is the setting for the final display of amorality.

Acting? Was there some? Carbone wasn't bad. But Jones-Moreland and Wain? <shudder> Carbone was also the only actor either not the writer or not Coreman's current squeeze.

The color on the print that I watched was washed out and that didn't help. It was filmed in "Vistascope" which is a special type of anamorphic lens. But the print was 4:3 so I didn't get a chance to appreciate the vista.

The running time of the movie is 71 minutes of which ten are a useless chase scene. There are about ten or fifteen minutes of movie that are worth watching. That tells you how insightful and engrossing this is. (It's not.)

A year before, in 1959, a movie titled The World, the Flesh, and the Devil was released. It had a similar set-up - two men and one woman are the only ones left after a near apocalypse. The Last Woman on Earth is a cheap knock-off and although neither movie is great, The Last Woman on Earth is a so lightweight it floats on air.

No nudity or profanity. An instance or two of blasphemy. Unless you're a big Roger Coreman fan, avoid this.


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