The Last Man on Earth is a fascinatingly intricate movie for it’s time. The film is based off the novel I am Legend, which not surprisingly also inspired the movie I am Legend, however that film’s focus seems to be more on a zombie like creature rather than truly being vampiric. In the movie The Last Man on Earth it intricately explores themes of what it means to be human and what is the final key difference between humanity and the animals. In the movie the world is infected by a massive plague that turns everyone into vampires after they succumb to the disease, these vampire like creatures then roam the cities at night attacking everyone who is left alive. The main protagonist Dr. Robert Morgan lost his family to the disease three years ago, but he himself is immune due to being exposed to a very weak version of the plague while he was in Panama. He spends the days roaming the streets and killing as many vampires as he can and then burning their bodies.
In the middle of the film Morgan meets another woman who he is very skeptical of due to her initially being nervous when they first encountered each other. He later finds out that she is a vampire, but their people have found a temporary cure for the disease and are attempting to rebuild society. She tells Morgan that the vampires he is killing are actually real people and that he has dos top what he is doing, Morgan rejects this before his base is swarmed by vampires that were led their by Ruth. Although Ruth begs the vampires not to, they kill Morgan by impaling him with a spear. Morgan’s last words are calling all of the vampires freaks and proudly declaring that he is the last real man on Earth.
This brings up a very important idea which is what defines us as humans and what the morals are around that. Vampires in this scenario are seen as freaks and are scapegoated from “normal” society, which basically is just Morgan, even though there is seen to be a way to cure them and bring back their humanity. The idea that Morgan refuses to see them as humans even though there is undeniable proof in front of his eyes show how stubborn he is and how some will refuse to see those who are different as equals no matter what the proof. While some may see it as simply another classic horror movie, the argument can easily be made that it is much more than that.