Story: Evelyn (Betsy Jones-Moreland) and her husband Harold (Antony Carbone) are on a tropical vacation, while Harold’s lawyer Martin (Robert Towne) is also around and the three spend some time together at the resort. The trio decides to partake in a scuba diving expedition and take in the beautiful underwater experiences. The dives go well enough, but when they return to the shore, they discover a much different world than they left. As the trio was under the waves, a mysterious, temporary drop in oxygen levels meant instant death for those on land. The oxygen tanks during the dive protected them, but the rest of the world wasn’t so lucky and now, it is just the three of them left. But will the trio work to find answers and perhaps build toward a new world, or will tensions and the darker side of human nature push them to extremes?
Entertainment Value: As he shot The Creature from the Haunted Sea, Roger Corman did what he would often do and produced a second feature at the same time, which is how The Last Woman on Earth became a movie. This is a bare bones, no frills affair even by Corman’s standards and doesn’t have any monsters or wacky set pieces involved. The story is simple enough, a love triangle of sorts during the collapse of the human race, sticking mostly with the drama and tension that develops between our three stars. So expect a lot of dialogue and some melodrama, as there isn’t much else here, since the focus is on the romantic problems of the trio. I wouldn’t have minded more about the low oxygen event or the issues around that, rather than a worn out love triangle approach, as this narrative is watchable, but never really hooks in. In the end, I’m left with mediocre feelings about The Last Woman on Earth, as it wasn’t awful, but it also failed to spark much entertainment.
The cast here is just our apocalyptic threesome, which means they have to carry every scene and of course, that’s no easy task. The script was written as the movie was being shot and it shows, as the story is rather dull and disjointed, likely because there wasn’t much (if any) time to refine or rewrite, as Corman probably just wanted a picture in the can. The cast is passable and does what they can, but this material was just never going to light up the screen. Robert Towne plays the sleazy lawyer and he also wrote the script, though he doesn’t often do himself any favors. You’d expect that he would write some choice lines to show off his acting chops, but his character’s dialogue is as stilted as everyone else’s, so at least he was consistent in that regard. The only real chances the cast has to go for broke are in the conflict scenes and those offer a little tension, but not much. None of the three are that bad, they’re just kind of there and don’t leave much of an impression. In addition to Towne’s dual roles as star and writer, the cast also includes Betsy Jones-Moreland and Antony Carbone.