Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fun "Facts" About Vincent Price & The Last Man On Earth

Disclaimer: The proceeding is not meant to defame or belittle anyone. The people mentioned are among the many artists who made my life a little more interesting/bearable & I have nothing but affection towards them. This is satire & all in fun. Please take this in the spirit in which it is given.
Vincent Price deals with the neighbors in
The Last Man On Earth. Credit: MGM, AIP
                      Fun "Facts" About Vincent Price & The Last Man On Earth

                                                                  Jay Agan

      Many of you have run across examples of MGMs' Midnite Movies DVDs. Single or double feature, they have a lot of those wonderful schlock vehicles we enjoyed in our younger days. One I have is a double bill with AIPs' Panic In Year Zero & The Last Man On Earth.

      On the back of the case are "fun facts" relating to the discs' contents. Only one is listed in regard to The Last Man On Earth & it is totally wrong. Here are a few other "fun facts" starting with a correction.

      1. In spite of what it says on the back cover, LMOE actually was filmed in Los Angeles (The exact setting from Richard Mathesons' I Am Legend on which the film is based.) It was edited to look as if it was filmed in Rome, Italy as part of a goverment psyop by an unspecified agency.

      2. The Principle interior/exterior scenes of the title characters' house were filmed at the Prices' Benedict Canyon home. The Prices were that messy. They actually did have their windows boarded up as disgruntled neighbors (Fed up with the eyesore, not to mention the noise!) would often throw rocks at the house.

      3. The actors, playing the vampire hoard outside, were the Prices' neighbors. When told they would not be shot at (This time!) while trashing the place, they offered to do it for free. That's not acting. They really WERE out to get him!

      4. The scenes of the creatures trashing the '56 Chevy wagon (Vince drove older cars due to lower insurance costs.) were shot when the family was out of town. A furious Price was reimbursed with the '58 Ford wagon seen later in the film.

      5. Richard Matheson (Who also wrote the screenplay.) insisted he be credited under a ficticious name. In the "special features" section of the disc, he said he "wasn't happy" with the finished picture. Actually he "wasn't happy" that Price was in the film. He felt Wally Cox to be a better choice.

                                "Fun Facts" About Vincent Price Himself

      1. His real name was Hobart Daubenmier.

      2. He wore lifts. He actually stood 5'3", not 6'4".

      3. All his books were ghost written by an obscure hack named Logan Swanson.

      4. William Castle often remarked that whenever he felt "down in the dumps" he would think about Vincent Price. "Then I wouldn't feel so bad about myself!"

      5. Soon after taking Price on as their fine art spokesman & purchasing agent, Sears Roebuck & Co. regretted the decision. It was years before they finally unloaded the last of all those Elvis on velvet paintings & pictures of poker playing dogs.

      6. Neighbor Roddy McDowell preferred the Prices visit his home & not he theirs which he dreaded. He said the bathroom looked "unhealthy". The diminutive actor had an obsessive fear of falling in.

      Geez. I hope none of this ends up on the Internet Movie Database!

      Another Disclaimer: Again, this is all in fun & just for laffs. Please don't hurt me!

                                     Article copyright © 3-6-2011 Jay Agan

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