Monday, January 15, 2007

One More Last Man

From KVOA News 4:

Explosions? Zombies? Gunfights?

It may sound like a scene right of a movie script.

That's because it is.

Sunday, a gun carrying maniac fired shots at people in the middle of Downtown Tucson.

"City hall we're blowing up. Superior Court, we're blowing up. Federal Court, we're blowing up. We're just going crazy blowing up everything."

James Arnett is not on the terror watch list, though he hopes he's on Hollywood's watch list.

"We're actually the first company to make this into a feature length film," he says.

He's directing a movie called 'The Last Man.' It's a thriller about a pandemic sweeping across earth.

And there's only one man left in a world of zombies.


You mean, like 1964's "The Last Man on Earth"--the story of the only man left in a world of vampires, being remade, last I heard?

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Dr. Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) is the only survivor of a devastating world-wide plague due to a mysterious immunity he acquired to the bacterium while working in Central America years ago. He is all alone now...or so it seems. As night falls, plague victims begin to leave their graves, part of a hellish undead army that''s thirsting for blood...his!
Or, how about this "The Last Man" circa 2002?

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A comedy that follows the last man on earth--Alan, a portly, graduate student who wanders a post-apocalyptic wasteland, documenting his thoughts for some race that may discover his remains posthumously. The Apocalypse takes on a whole new light when he meets Sarah, a beautiful young woman who doesn't like to be alone. They forge a survivor's bond. Then a friendship. Then a romance. Their slitary journey takes a dramatic U-turn with the appearance of a third wheel--the charming and handsome (though not too bright), Raphael. Alan begins to face the horrible reality that even with virtually no competition, there is always someone better. Then, he turns from Utopian ideals to low-down murder.
...maybe even Mary Shelley's 1826 novel "The Last Man":
The central character, Lionel Verney, son of a nobleman who gambled himself into poverty, prides himself on his ruggedness and manliness, but eventually is restored to the gentry and educates himself. Much of the novel deals with his relationships with family and friends of his class, and the terrible wars that go on around them, including one in which a woman friend of Verney's masquerades as a man in order to fight. A plague gradually kills off all people. Verney finds himself immune after being attacked by an infected "negro," and copes with a civilization that is gradually dying out around him.
...which was made into a film called "The Last Man on Earth" in 1924:

In the futuristic year of 1960, a plague, known as male-itis has killed every fertile man on Earth over the age of 12. Boys under the age of 12 have been vaccinated, but they are all rendered sterile. Womankind takes over the world and a woman becomes President of the United States. Meanwhile, a female aviator, Gertie (played by Grace Cunard), flying over the Ozarks finds smoke rising from the chimney of a cabin. She discovers a reclusive hillbilly, named Elmer Smith (played by Earle Foxe) living there with his sweetheart Hattie (Derelys Perdue). He is captured and examined at a medical hospital. All the women in the world soon begin to fight over Smith.

This film emphasized two events still very memorable at the time. The 1918 influenza epidemic, and women winning the right to vote (1920).

How about the comic, "Y: The Last Man":

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Y: The Last Man is Vaughan's attempt to subvert the classic male fantasy of being the last man on earth. In the series, something (speculated to be a plague) simultaneously kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome - including embryos, fertilized eggs, and even sperm - with the exception of Yorick Brown, a young amateur escape artist, and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand.

Society is plunged into chaos as infrastructures collapse and the surviving women everywhere try to cope with the loss of the men, their survivors' guilt, and the knowledge that humanity is doomed to extinction. Vaughan meticulously crafts the new society that emerges out of this chaos, from the conversion of the phallic Washington Monument to a monument to the dead men, to the genesis of the fanatical ultra-feminist Daughters of the Amazon, who believe that Mother Earth cleansed itself of the "aberration" of the Y chromosome, to male impersonators becoming valued romantically and professionally.

Over the course of their journey, Yorick and his friends discover how society has coped in the aftermath of the plague. However, many of the women they encounter have ulterior motives in regard to Yorick. Though the subject matter of the series is entirely serious, Y: The Last Man is also noted for its humor. Yorick in particular is a source of one-liners, although the other characters have their moments as well.

Zombies, vampires,'s all the same. What an original concept.


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