Movie: "The Omega Man"
Year: 1971
Rated: PG
Genre: Action / Adventure
Directed by: Boris Sagal
Writing credits: John William Corrington, Joyce H. Corrington

Reviewer: Max Burbank
Posted: 1/2/2008

Plot: Dr. Robert Neville (Heston) seems to be the last survivor of a World War waged with Biological weapons. Unless you count the nocturnal, albino, psychotic Ludite "Family" that come out every night and try to kill him. If the world had ended in 1971, this is what it might have looked like.

Review: One part seventies time capsule, one part dystopic action flick, “The Omega Man” is one bad ass movie you need to rent and watch in the dark. For my money, Chuck Heston could kick the shit out of Arnold, Sylvester, The Rock or any other action hero who’s come along since. He’d sweat and bruise and bleed and die before he was done, but he’d win because he was a man, a human man just like you and me but much, much, much tougher.

Early in the movie before you even know what the hell is going on, Heston tools around deserted downtown LA and eventually treats himself to a screening of Michael Wadley’s “Woodstock” documentary that had only come out a year beforehand. Chuck sits alone in the theater laughing as he lip syncs the dialog of a hippie dippie interviewee spouting all sorts of flower power drivel. He’s memorized a paragraph about peace and love saving the world because he’s watched it over and over and in the one, economical movie moment you know the two things you need to, the world is totally over and Chuck has gone nearly as crazy as a shit house rat. And then he spends too much time getting maudlin, gets back to his house after sundown and the monsters have come out!

Luckily they won’t touch anything higher tech than a bow and arrow since they blame science for the end of the world and Chuck is pretty ok with his machine gun, grenades and car as weapons, so he gets inside, fires up the generator and turns on the spotlights, which the mutant albinos don’t like any better than sunlight.

I was nine years old when I saw this flick, and had just moved out of my brother’s bedroom. I came home after seeing it, moved back into his room and was twelve before I moved out again.

This is the second movie adaptation of the book “I am Legend” by the great Richard Matheson. The first, “The Last Man on Earth” (1964) starred Vincent Price. It was very true to the book, but had a budget of about $7.00 and it’s teeth grindingly slow. I haven’t seen the Wil Smith mega budget treatment that just came out so I won’t comment except to say that though I like the Fresh Prince, he ain’t no Moses.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

From the Home of MST3K
Jan 3rd, 2008, 07:47 AM
I got this for free at 4-Star Video and never looked back.
Jan 3rd, 2008, 08:59 AM
I Am Legend would have done much better if it had been titled The Last Fresh Prince On Earth.
frappez le cochon rouge
Jan 3rd, 2008, 10:13 AM
I own the Last Man on Earth and I didn't realize it was an adaptation.
The Moxie Nerve Food Tonic
Jan 3rd, 2008, 11:27 AM
Yeah, Vincent price's "Last Man on Earth" is in the public friggin' domain now, believe it or not. RoG scored me my copy of it after years of looking for it. It's a fairly straight on adaptation of the novel (which I highly recomend) Matheson even worked on the screenplay, but was so horrified by the results he insisted they use a psueodnym.

Matheson, if you don't know his stuff, wrote almost as many Twilight Zone episodes as Rod serling.
Bane of Zombies
Jan 3rd, 2008, 11:36 AM
Why do monsters hate the sun? I'll tell ya why! It ruins my attempts at gathering intelligence. You know how much info you can get from a vampire who went out in it? NONE cause he's just dirt!And it burns our flesh, the undead don't thier jobs when their flesh is burnt off. Wusses.

However, I saw this movie a bunch of times and that movie theatre scene is my favorite part of the film. I give it five zombie heads out of five!
Jan 3rd, 2008, 12:49 PM
ok i'm sorry undead overlord but no characters please
Slim Goodbody
Jan 3rd, 2008, 01:49 PM
I loved omega man until I figured out that the book I read in 8th grade was a non-ruined version of the story. The will smith movie took an even greater departure from the book than omega man did however, and the huge boner I had for the movie actually having vampires deflated around the time I fell asleep at the 40 min mark.
I likes PIE!
Jan 3rd, 2008, 01:55 PM
The Moxie Nerve Food Tonic
Jan 3rd, 2008, 03:40 PM
My favorite aspect of the movie is that Chuck (SPOILER ALERT) dies exactly the same way he did in "Kahrtoum".

How many actors get to do two slow deaths by being impaled with a spear?
Stone Pants Rabbit
Jan 3rd, 2008, 03:59 PM
I almost didn't see "I Am Legend" because I thought Will SMith was too goofy to play a serious character , but I was was really impressed with the job he did.
Forum Virgin
Jan 3rd, 2008, 07:16 PM
I’ve been thinking about renting this since I saw the Will Smith I Am Legend. The ‘toothless retard’ vampires and ending of that version were such a disappointment I started wondering if the other film adaptations were any better.
The Moxie Nerve Food Tonic
Jan 4th, 2008, 09:35 AM
The lead 'Vampire', Brother Mathias, played by Anthony Zerbe is a real treat for fans of overacting. He's absolutely awesome, even better than he was as the big bad in "Kiss Meets The Phantom of the Park".
Can't even THINK straight
Jan 4th, 2008, 10:12 AM
They just wanna kiss.
Slim Goodbody
Jan 5th, 2008, 03:00 AM
Yeah, I Am Legend didn't really have a antagonist, other than some queer man-vs-nature bullshit. Wanting to hear the line "COME OUT NEVILLE" was my entire driving force.
Dr.Acula MD
Jan 5th, 2008, 11:10 AM
I really enjoyed Omega Man and remember it as one of my favorite movies as a teenager. Granted, the movie was old even then in the 90s, but hey, it stands up well even today. I'm really glad that they released this on BluRay, if nothing else but to have it on a newer format. The transfer does look amazing, though...
Member OfThe Pigmask Army
Sep 30th, 2009, 12:06 AM
I don't know if you could call it "Horror", or not, but if it is, this is my first horror flick.
One of the best movies I've ever seen.
after enough bourbon ...
Sep 30th, 2009, 10:24 AM