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The Last Man on Earth (1964): Soundtrack

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The Last Man on Earth (1964): Soundtrack

The Last Man on Earth, despite starring Vincent Price, is an Italian movie directed by Ubaldo Ragona (‘L’ultimo uomo della Terra‘) and is an adaptation of the Richard Matheson book ‘I Am Legend’.

For our money, this is probably the best version of the book that has been filmed to date, way better than the later Charlton Heston, and Will Smith versions.

The soundtrack for ‘The Last Man on Earth‘ was created by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter – two musicians that often worked together and produced movie scores for other horror pictures from the era like ‘The Fly‘ and ‘It! The Terror from Beyond Space‘. They also went on to work with Russ Meyer and created the soundtracks for some of his cult classics including ‘Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!‘ and ‘Motorpsycho‘.

Both men continued to work together up to 1970 when they created the musical score for the film ‘Emiliano Zapata‘. This would be the last soundtrack that they would create together as Paul Sawtell died the following year in 1971. Bert Shefter went on to score more films on his own following Sawtell’s death.

The Soundtrack

The soundtrack that Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter created for The Last Man on Earth features a kinetic jazz score, full of nervous energy and pulsating rhythms. This is used for the main theme and in a few sections during the film.

The rest of the score is pretty slow paced and captures the bleak nature of the story. There are lush violin pieces used to stir the emotions, especially when Vincent Price is in reflective moods during the film and pondering his predicament. Wind instrumentation is also used at times, which effectively creates a desolate sounding score that helps to highlight the empty and abandoned city that you see by day during the movie.

Tracklisting
1. Prologue [1:29]
2. Main Title [1:36]
3. Dead Vampires [1:00]
4. Survival [2:18]
5. The Stakes [0:41]
6. Dead Vampires (Taken Away) [1:48]
7. Pit Smoke [1:16]
8. Goes for Supplies [2:46]
9. Killing Vampires [2:03]
10. Vampire Bop [1:21]
11. To the Chapel [0:52]
12. Beside Casket [1:27]
13. Fights off Vampires [0:41]
14. Finds Vampires at House [1:48]
15. Watching Home Movie [1:42]
16. Retrospect [0:16]
17. Baby’s Room [0:36]
18. Smoke [0:09]
19. Taking the Dead Away [0:47]
20. Still Troubled [0:12]
21. The Deserted Lab [0:27]
22. Death of Baby [0:57]
23. Raging Inferno [1:47]
24. Wife Gone [0:30]
25. To the Cemetery [1:24]
26. Face from the Grave [0:43]
27. Sunrise [0:11]
28. New Discovery [2:08]
29. Vampires Iron Stakes [0:50]
30. Dog Is Hurt [1:00]
31. Buries the Dog [1:41]
32. Girl’s Existence [1:24]
33. Injection Needle [0:58]
34. Girl Infected [0:47]
35. Transfusion [1:45]
36. Transfusion a Success [1:15]
37. Iron Lancers Attack [1:31]
38. After the Last Man [1:09]
39. Last Man Shot (93X) [0:11]
40. Last Man Shot [1:58]
41. End Title [1:12]
42. Beside Casket [1:29]
43. Fights Off Vampires [0:44]
44. Finds Vampires at House [1:48]
45. Face from the Grave [0:43]
46. End Title [1:11]

Listen to ‘Main Title’ by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter:

Sadly this soundtrack is pretty hard to track down now. It was re-released in 2012 by MMM Recordings in a limited run. You might be able to find some copies left here: http://www.mmmrecordings.com/Last_Man_on_Earth/last_man_on_earth.html

You can watch the full movie of The Last Man on Earth here

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