My Advanced reading class finished I Am Legend as homework for Friday and we finished watching The Last Man on Earth (1964) starring Vincent Price on Friday. We watched the first part on Thursday. They were upset that the character’s name was Morgan instead of Neville. As we went through the book, they all became very attached to him. They laughed at the scene where the vampires attack him after he’s spent too much time at the crypt. When we read that part of the book, it was a real cliff-hanger and engaged them. They only got into the movie at the point when it explained the virus. Even though some hadn’t understood it from the book, the movie followed the plot closely enough that it helped fill in the gaps. While there are some cheesy parts that followed, it’s a good movie to go with the book. I explained to them that Richard Matheson had written the screenplay, but wasn’t happy with the changes made during filming, and so he only has credit under a pseudonym.
Since I couldn’t get I Am Legend back from Netflix by Monday, I went out looking for it. R encouraged me to buy the deluxe version. I went to Target first, and they had the single DVD for $10. I almost bought it. I decided to make my way to Circuit City off-freeway and came across a BlockBuster that I didn’t know existed. It had the same single DVD for $15. I looked around the previously viewed DVDs with no luck. I looked through the action, thriller and sci-fi sections — where I found something called “I am Omega” put out recently and starring some guy who was in a Jet Lee film. I also found a copy of The Last Man on Earth there, which was quite surprising. A clerk came up to me and asked if I needed help. I explained how I had looked at the place where they had DVDs for sale and hadn’t seen the deluxe edition. We walked over to it and as he was looking at the single disc version, I saw the deluxe version! I thanked him and bought it on the spot.
This version has an alternative ending. It’s not what you might think it is. I was a little squeamish about watching it, but I’m glad I did. In an odd twist, the alternative ending is more “American” in that it follows what I have come to understand “American” endings to be. (Think Brazil.)
So, everything is set for tomorrow. As for their final, I am thinking it will be about the tone and theme of the book and movies. Only three of my students have seen the Will Smith movie. Tomorrow will be interesting. And since I have this DVD, we can work our way through it.