The Last Woman on Earth (Retromedia) Blu-ray Review + 1080p Screenshots + Packaging Shots

The Roger Corman melodrama, The Last Woman on Earth, gets a shiny new blu-ray release from Retromedia.

Studio: Retromedia
Release Date: August 5th, 1960 (theatrical) / June 10th, 2024 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 4 minutes 26 seconds
Region Code: FREE
Disc Count: 1 (BD-R 25)
Picture: 1080p (1.66:1 aspect ratio)
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Subtitles: No
Slipcover: No
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Betsy Jones-Moreland, Antony Carbone, Robert Towne
Written by Robert Towne
Directed by Roger Corman
Rating: Not Rated (a tiny bit of violence, brief nudity, and cigarette smoking)




What's It About?

Ev, along with her husband, Harold, and their lawyer friend Martin, are scuba diving while on vacation in Puerto Rico. When they resurface, they gradually conclude that an unexplained, temporary interruption of oxygen has killed everyone on the island... maybe even the world!


Now this is more like it. While I had my problems with the picture quality on the two films from the other Retromedia MOD blu-ray that was released the same day as this one (THE WASP WOMAN / BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE). This looks like a fresher transfer than the above release which gives us much better picture quality. Blacks are still crushed but I wonder if that is how the filmmakers wanted the film to look. Colors are good but skin tones are a bit washed out at times. Detail can be rather impressive at times. The transfer here hasn't been restored so the hairs, lines, and cigarette burns show up. There is at least one digital defect that shows up around nineteen minutes 30 seconds where the picture becomes jumbled for a split second. I tried to capture it while doing screenshots but the program I use for these shots doesn't have a frame-by-frame feature. I tried but couldn't capture it. This is the only one I witnessed but there could be more that I missed. For the most part, I liked the picture we got here. 


Roger Corman Intro (7m, HD, 1.33:1) This undated introduction features Corman telling the story behind the making of the film. Most of the background is oddly out of focus whenever they cut to a close-up of Corman. It's always nice to hear Corman speak about his films. 
Audio Commentary - Featuring stars Betsy Jones Moreland and Anthony Carbone along with filmmakers Steve Latshaw (JACK-O) and Fred Olen Ray (WITCH ACADEMY)
TV Scenes (7m 52s, SD, 1.33:1) We get this note before the scenes play:

These sequences were filmed 3 years later by director Monte Hellman in order to film Allied Artits's running time requirement for TV distrbution.

These TV scenes are presented at a higher bit rate than the main feature. The scenes add a few character scenes but that's it.
Trailer (2m 10s, HD, 1.33:1)

The packaging here is the typical Retromedia package. The front cover features the film's original poster art but in the bottom right hand corner there is a picture of Roger Corman that takes up the bottom third of the cover. The words "Hosted by Roger Corman" have been placed to the left of Corman. The back cover doesn't have any plot description. Instead, there is a box for the special features, two smaller screenshots from the film and, to the right of these, is a screenshot from Roger Corman's introduction. I know Retromedia wanted to promote Corman's involvement with this release, but damn, did it have to be so much? An advertisement for exclusives and the disc are in the case. Like with every other Retromedia release, the artwork features a portion of the film's poster art done in the same cheap and tacky way that only Retromedia know how to do. (I know this reads differently but I don't have a problem with how the disc art is for this or any Retromedia release. Since the 80's Fred Olen Ray has been about making films fast and on the cheap. It's part of the charm of any film of his. I love the cheapness of the films he makes along with his Retromedia physical releases. I am just describing what the disc art looks like)


I hate to say it but this was a tough watch. The idea is sound but the pacing and the acting suuuuuuck. The delivery is so wooden and the film moves at a snail's pace. Nothing really happens until the end of the film. This is a melodrama that I can't see as being a hit with the Saturday Matinee crowd. Its an interesting film that doesn't work.

Retromedia has done a great job with this release. The picture quality has more than a few problems but it looks great when you look past the other problems. The audio sounds wonderful without any problems. I loved the commentary track and the TV scenes were interesting. I can recommend this release despite me not liking the film. Sometimes film history (which the commentary track has covered is worth more than the film they are commenting on)






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