The Last Woman On Earth (1960) (DVD review).

March 22, 2016 | By | Reply More

What would be the perfect film for Roger Corman to direct? One with minimal cast that can be done that quite neatly at the end of the world. Three divers come to the surface to find the oxygen in the air gone briefly but it was quick enough to kill all human life. There is the married couple Harold (actor Antony Carbone) and Evelyn (actress Betsy Jones-Moreland) Gern and their lawyer, Martin Joyce (actor Edward Wain). They use their scuba gear to get ashore to the island and the air returned to normal. Rather oddly, the first thing that Harold does is light a cigarette. Surely a good sign that air is turned back to normal but still an odd choice to make with oxygen suddenly depleted.


Harold is also the one pretty much in charge and they move from their hotel to a house at the end of the bay to avoid the rotten bodies, more so as the insects return. They plan to go north, hoping to find other survivors. However, they are essentially two Adams with one Eve and she has a problem of deciding who she should love. They aren’t too happy neither and fisticuffs happen from time to time and Martin has received a telling damage to his temple.

Evelyn decides to run off with Martin and take the yacht but is followed by Harold and the rest you’ll have to see for yourself.

The one aspect that wasn’t explored was Evelyn’s realisation that Martin did not want children as this was the main reason why she chose him over her husband. Martin, if anything, was a fatalist, seeing themselves as the last people on Earth and not as the start of repopulating the world. It’s a shame that the same comparison as to what Harold wanted other than fighting to keep his wife.

In many respects, this Robert Townes screenplay is more drama than Science Fiction and with what would seem tame by today’s standards. What works in its favour is having ordinary people which tends towards a somewhat believable performance. It does make me wonder what would happen with more professional actors. I haven’t seen many Corman directed films and chose this one because I was curious to see what he did. He certainly made the best use of his location and the lack of people worked well with giving the isolation. An interesting curio to watch.

GF Willmetts

March 2016

(region free DVD: pub: Elstree Hill Entertainment/Pickwick Group. 1 DVD 70 minute black and white film. Price: about £ 1.20 (UK) if you know where to look. ASSIN: 762289)

cast: Betsy Jones-Moreland, Antony Carbone and Edward Wain

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Category: Films, Scifi

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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