I adore the idea that Pakistan recently made its first gore flick. Hell's Ground may be "an unwaveringly derivative and preposterously gory little genre concoction," as our own Scott Weinberg observed when it played at Fantastic Fest, but, as he added, "it's just a lot of fun to see how such an oft-told tale gets filtered through another culture." Exactly! So my curiosity was piqued when David Hudson at the indispensable GreenCine Daily pulled out this quote: "Ghassan Salhab's The Last Man (2006) ... delivers something probably less expected: the first Lebanese vampire movie."

OK, I confess: I misread the line and thought it was referring to the first lesbian vampire movie. But more careful reading stirred genuine interest: The Last Man is being shown as part of the 11th annual Arab Film Festival in San Francisco, and the writer, Robert Avila of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, went on to say: "As it turns out, a Lebanese vampire movie not only makes perfect sense but is also the best thing to happen to the genre in a long time." Avila makes the case that the film "opens the field to new resonance with a deft artistry that recapitulates the vampire film's enduring tropes while making nearly every shot a fresh, unexpected surprise."

The entire article is well worth reading, yet it becomes clear that genre fans looking for a quick jolt of blood, guts and gore will not find it in The Last Man. For example, the sole IMDb commenter felt it was "grindingly slow, disconnected, and boring. ... if you must see this movie, be sure to drink plenty of coffee so that you won't rudely fall asleep." On the other hand, when it played at the Tribeca film fest this past spring, Andrew O'Heir of Salon called it his favorite of the whole festival, though he acknowledged that it "undoubtedly would strike some viewers as unbearably pretentious." The Last Man will screen on Saturday evening, October 20, as part of the Arab Film Festival. it does not yet have US distribution More information can be found at the web site of production company Agat Films.
categories Cinematical