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Friday, October 06, 2006


Directed by Ubaldo Ragona, Sidney Salkow

Yes, here we have my favorite Vincent Price movie and it's based on one of my favorite novels of all time, 1954's "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson. This slender and genius book tells the tale of a man bunkered down in his house while the outside world crawls with vampires. Of course the bloodsuckers have to sleep during the day and this is when our lead character (played by Vincent Price in the movie) sets out to stake and burn as many as he can before the sun falls and he must return to his lair. His prolific killing has made him a legend (hence the book title) to be feared among the infected creatures outside and the tension increases as they close in on him. These aren't conventional vampires. They've reached their undead state due to a nasty plague that kills them then animates their corpses. For those not in the know, Matheson was a great and prolific writer who penned numerous genre standards, including some memorable episodes for "The Twilight Zone" television show. "I Am Legend" was filmed in Italy on a tight budget and the result is a somber bit of cinema that comes very close to capturing the feel of the novel. Vincent Price seems a bit depressed by the stark atmosphere and his performance is appropriately subdued. As an added accolade, George Romero cites it as an influence on a little low budget affair he'd film a few years later called "Night of the Living Dead" (1968).


Blogger Mob said...

This was a film I received as a stocking stuffer last year for Christmas, and for a cheapie $3 copy, I was really impressed with the quality of this film.

I still need to grab more of Price's work, I was pretty sad that MGM's Midnite Marquee series disappeared.

1:23 AM  

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