JWM SPOOKATHON 2017: The Last Man on Earth (1964)

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When a disease turns all of humanity into the living dead, the last man on earth becomes a reluctant vampire hunter. (IMDb)
Price’s great turn (see his masterful laugh-turned-sob, badass record-play during the barrage, perfect opening line-“Another day to live through. Better get started”-though the narration is at times redundant) within a tastefully chilling setting (the vampires aren’t overplayed) and a nicely crafted flashback make for a strong first two acts. The final one is weaker, unfortunately, despite a good twist (“you’re a legend”), with its annoying distressed damsel and sloppy action-climax.
7/10 (Good)
CREEPY QUOTE: “How many more of these will I have to make before they’re all destroyed? They want my blood. Their lives are mine. I still get squeamish.” – Robert Morgan
SPOOKY STILL: img_1899

 

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

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There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt the remain safe from these flesh eating monsters. (IMDb)
Painful dialogue and performances and unlikable characters (see the hysterical Barbra and brash Ben who punches her out) amidst dumb drama (see the repetitive cellar debate) and lazy exposition (see the lengthy news reports) are redeemed to a remarkable extent by the delightfully deadly climax (featuring a grotesque zombie feast over a grating soundtrack) and despairing denouement marked by a poignantly unassuming note of dramatic irony dragged out in the unique still-shots ending credits.
6.5/10 (Alright)

The Shining (1980)

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A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. (IMDb)
Wooden scenes of banal dialogue and trivialities start up an innocent plot that gets increasingly spotted with surrealist imagery both macabre and bizarre as more concrete cabin fever character tension slowly builds. The impending horror infuses the most vapid of scenes (riding a tricycle, throwing a ball, preparing dinner) with a thrilling uneasiness, amplified by the screeching soundtrack. It’s a masterfully crafted film perfected by superb acting and stunning cinematography.
9/10 (Amazing)