Last Woman on Earth (1960)

last woman on earth poster 1960 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

Story has potential

Potential squandered on weak love triangle story

Movie Info

Movie Name: Last Woman on Earth

Studio: Filmgroup

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure/B-Movie

Release Date(s): August 5, 1960

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

last woman on earth scuba diving

First you stab me with a harpoon…now everyone’s dead and oxygen’s gone…scuba diving sucks!

Harold Gern (Antony Carbone), his new wife Evelyn (Betsy Jones-Moreland) and his lawyer Martin Joyce (Robert Towne) are vacation in Puerto Rico as Harold faces more charges in New York City.  While scuba diving, Harold, Evelyn, and Martin surface to find everyone dead…due to a sudden loss of oxygen.  Now, they are trapped on Puerto Rico and unaware if anyone else has survived the experience…but the relationship between Evelyn and Martin threatens to create a riff in their post-apocalyptic world.

Directed by Roger Corman, Last Woman on Earth (sometimes credited as The Last Woman on Earth) is a sci-fi thriller.  The film fell into public domain and is frequently featured in movie packs.  It was originally released as a double feature with The Little Shop of Horrors.

Roger Corman movies have a certain place.  Like Ed Wood, Corman believed that films could be made under budget…and for Corman that meant maximizing returns by shooting multiple movies at similar locations and putting out a glut of work.  Last Woman on Earth is a perfect example.

“I spy with my little eye something that starts with ‘d'”
“Dead kid?”
“Yep”

The basic plot of the movie isn’t a problem.  The script was actually penned by the star Robert Towne (who is credited as Edward Wain) and has some interesting potential.  It is a classic man-vs-nature ironically along the veins of something like The Happening.  The blip in oxygen is never explained nor does it need to be, but the movie does dive into the idea of food supply, the problem with rotting corpses, and being stranded on an island…but it gets bogged down in the soapy relationships between the characters that is used as the real fuel for the story instead of the death of most of the planet.

If the movie was cast with fantastic actors, they still would struggle, but the average actors of Antony Carbone, Robert Towne, and Betsy Jones-Moreland really can’t pull off the drama with any sort of realism.  Robert Towne might have penned one of the greatest movies in Chinatown, but an actor he is not…it also is typical and frustrating that most of the conflict comes from two guys fighting over a girl even though the world has ended.

last woman on earth robert towne vs antony carbone

Can’t we form some sort of polyamory type thing?

The movie was shot in Puerto Rico with a purpose.  Corman maximized the location by shooting Last Woman on Earth, Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961), and Battle of Blood Island (1960) back-to-back.  The film was shot in color, but many versions of the film found on the internet are in black-and-white.

Last Woman on Earth could be retooled and remade and actually be a good movie with some work.  All the elements of a decent post-apocalyptic picture are there and even the cheesy love triangle could work if worked on.  It is by no means a great film but coming in at just over an hour, it also won’t take too much time from your day.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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