Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Omega Man (1971)

In 1954 Richard Matheson wrote the science fiction classic "I Am Legend."  The book was made into a movie in 1964 entitled The Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price.  Last Man is a wonderful film and a must-see for horror fans.  [See its review elsewhere on the site.]
Nearly 20 years later Hollywood decided it was time for a remake.  So they upped the polyester, threw in a few big afros, turned the vampires into hippy albinos and cast Charlton Heston in the lead role.  The results?  Just O.K.   Price brought a sense of vulnerability and deep emotion to the main character.  In 2007, Will Smith would bring the muscle and charisma of a kick ass action hero.  Heston seems a bit lost in this film.  He may have been sexy in 1971 but that physique doesn't cut it in 2010.  They way he moves on the screen seems a bit awkward as he lurches from place to place.  It's hard to believe he could kill anything, let alone "The Family" of monk hooded mutants that keep attacking him. [I'm not sure what they're supposed to be!]

Anthony Zerbe, however, is quite good as Jonathan Matthias, the Charles Manson of the albino gang.  He scared the crap out of me as a little kid and does a nice job of bringing a sense of crazy to the film.  The rest of the mutants don't add to the scare factor at all.  In fact, they look like adults at a Halloween party who've had a few too many drinks and then decide to trash the neighborhood.
My advice is to stick with the original.  It's the best of the three.  I'm still waiting for a remake that is worthy of the original source material.  Maybe we'll see one in another 20 years?  This film is not available to view legally online.  However, it can be rented or watched instantly on Netflix.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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