THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
DAMNED WALK AT MIDNIGHT
1964, MGM/Park Circus, 86 min, USA, Dir: Sidney Salkow

The first terrifying adaptation of Richard Matheson’s landmark sci-fi horror novel I Am Legend, with Vincent Price as the lone survivor of a vampire plague that has left the world population a shambling, nocturnal undead race thirsty for immune Price’s blood. Full of starkly surreal, nightmare images, this is an underrated gem.


THE OMEGA MAN
1971, Warner Bros., 98 min, USA, Dir: Boris Sagal

Whiskey-drinking, WOODSTOCK-watching scientist Charlton Heston faces the possible extinction of mankind, while bug-eyed Anthony Zerbe and his legions of soul-brother vampires prowl the night, in this whacked-out adaptation of Richard Matheson’s classic novel I Am Legend. Here, Heston remade himself as an über-cool 1970s action star, who cruises the plague-ridden streets of L.A. in a convertible Mustang.


INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS
1956, Paramount, 80 min, USA, Dir: Don Siegel

Director Don Siegel (DIRTY HARRY) and screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring adapted Jack Finney’s novel into a brilliant, utterly compelling sci-fi story of a Southern California small town overtaken by alien seedpods, which mutate into emotionless doppelgangers of the human inhabitants. Still one of the most frightening movies ever made and a paranoiac’s delight, the picture has been credited as a metaphor for the Red Scare. Kevin McCarthy is excellent as the returning-from-a-trip doctor who gradually realizes the insidious changes going on right under his nose. The exceptional supporting cast includes Dana Wynter, Carolyn Jones (Morticia of TV’s "The Addams Family"), King Donovan, Larry Gates and a cameo by a young Sam Peckinpah (!).


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