Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Omega Man

The Omega Man came out in 1971. It's another one I didn't see until it showed up much later on TV. What can I say? I didn't get out much. It is based on Matheson's novel I Am Legend and stars Charlton Heston and Anthony Zerbe (Star Trek: Insurrection). This is the 2nd of 3 (so far) film adaptations of the novel. The 1st is the Vincent Price Last Man on Earth, and the 3rd is the Will Smith movie that keeps the book title.

Ah, the 8-track tape! I sometimes see them for sale in junk shops. There is such a sense of loneliness and isolation as he talks to himself, tears down the pin-up calendar, sits alone in a movie theater watching Woodstock and reciting the lines with the kid onscreen... says,
The Omega Man, based on Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend, can legitimately be considered an SF Easter film. Its predominant themes of sin, deliverance, sacrifice and resurrection are high-minded and ambitious, as well as nicely balanced and executed. One of the film's neater ironies is Neville's twin aspects--destroyer and savior.

The New York Times has a review. So does Roger Ebert. Moria calls it "ham-fisted". 1000 Misspent Hours says it's "the only post-(man-made)-apocalyptic Christian allegory ever committed to film."

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