I love Vincent Price (obviously) and this movie is the bees knees. It has all the cool retro feel of a film from the 60s (read: ham acting) while also having a surprisingly sophisticated structure and a pleasing use of black and white.
Vincent Price sells this film as Doctor Robert Morgan. We follow his day-to-day life in a post-apocalyptic wasteland as he deals with the grisly outcome of a world-wide epidemic that has left everyone either dead or… undead (dun dun DUN!). In addition to the current situation, the film weaves a narrative of his medical work trying to stem the tide of undead horrors gradually overtaking the world (spoiler: it really didn’t work out so great for him).
This is a film well worth seeing. The clever way that the narrative is broken into a series of vignettes keeps the film fresh. Despite the deliciously hammy performances (and I do mean delicious), there is genuine tenderness in several scenes, even to the point of making me tear up just a little bit. I felt the loneliness and futility of Dr. Morgan’s life and it was hard to deal with, especially as we see his whole life torn down over the course of the film. The ending is a genuine surprise – and an enjoyable one… not like some films I could mention (M. Night Shyamalan)
As for the Will Smith remake. NO. Just… no.
Don’t be a baby, Will. We both know that I am Legend is lame.