Movies and Film

She Was the Very… – Last Woman on Earth (1960)

Last Woman on Earth 1
Betsy Jones-Moreland stars as Evelyn Gern, the sole-surviving member of the fairer sex in Last Woman on Earth, also referred to as The Last Woman on Earth, a post-apocalyptic thriller directed by Roger Corman.  There are no heroes in this picture if one were to look nor are there any villains, there are, simply put, only desperate men who have no idea of how to survive in a world that finds them all alone.  To make matters worse, Harold and Martin do not get along and do not particularly like each other either.  Circumstances brought them together and now fate has marooned the three people together for what might be the rest of their days.  It is almost intolerable to think about it and soon, while everything seems fine, tensions start to rise and a slow madness starts to set in due to the enormity and the helplessness of the situation.

Last Woman on Earth 6As with any Roger Corman film, you go into this one expecting the worst and yet surprisingly, it turned out to be pretty good.  There were no special effects needed, only requiring the three actors and a good script and yet again, the film surprises as the Robert Towne-penned screenplay is actually quite effective.  There are moments where the dialogue is a little hokey, but for the most part, the film is captivating and it is easy enough to forgive those few times where the actors seem a little ridiculous due to the words they speak.  You have to think that this would be a dream film for Corman with it probably costing very little, the man notoriously known for shooting things on the smallest of budgets.  Despite only running for seventy-one minutes, it still could have been cut down by at least ten to fifteen of them as the beginning of the movie dragged a little.  Last Woman on Earth 16While it was a good film, there was simply not enough meat on the bones to warrant it running as long as it did.

The premise of the picture is an interesting one, having been mined for science-fiction films for decades and while it is familiar, it is still a lot of fun to see where other people take the subject matter.  One of the things that this film does best is make you think about just what you would do in a given situation, if you would be the person that everyone looks to or just a follower, looking for a little guidance because you have none to give.  Would you kill to be with the last woman on the planet, perhaps form a plan for repopulating the planet or just give up as it all seems so hopeless?  There are endless questions and scenarios that could be explored and for the most part, Corman and his actors did a great job in doing so.

Overall the film was pretty solid though it could very well have been great.  The ending was not as strong as it could have been, the characters resorting to their baser instincts which was slightly predictable, but given the situation, who could say that they would act any differently?  Last Woman on Earth is a film that is definitely worth at least one view for those that love their post-apocalyptic science-fiction.

3 out of 5
Last Woman on Earth 3

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