The Omega Man (1971) Poster

(1971)

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Is your blood that colour?
waugh2415 June 2004
People knock this film. Yes it has many flaws but some slack should be cut. It was 1971, Hollywood was in a desperate time of recession and change. 'Easy Rider' had blown a hole in the side of the school of thought that the studios had subscribed to. Suddenly, story material that would never have been tackled by the major studios prior to this time was emerging.

'The Omega Man' was of course an adaptation of Matheson's novel and is a second film version of it. But the technical challenges were vast. Find a time of day when L.A.'s deserted? Do me a favor! It's a miracle they got anything decent on film. Yes there are distant cars in the back of that zoom out at the top of the film but these guys didn't have computers did they?

Anyway, Heston looks amusingly dated in the role of Neville wearing his safari jacket and skintight tracksuit while he prowls the 'deserted' streets. The thing about Chuck is he just LOOKS like a film star. Just driving a car he grabs your attention. The supporting cast here are less engaging. An afro and 'Hey man' too many perhaps. The writers seemed desperate to tap into 70s pop culture. A sure-fire way to date your film.

The camera crew on this film must have gone straight onto 'Quincy' after they'd finished this. It's bizarre. There are dolly moves for no reason whatsoever (when Heston first enters his apartment and later before he discovers the sardine tin), zooms that hit the end stop so hard they almost bounce back and roving pans where you actually feel for the operator while he tries to find where the hell Chuck's car's gone. But this is one of the things that makes 70s cinema so great. The raw elements of film-making are on display.

Ron Grainer's score is genius in places and god awful in others. It goes from the brilliant main title theme to the woeful chase music when Heston pursues the leading lady. There's also the typically almost pink-tinted blood. Why couldn't they get blood right back then?

'The Omega Man' is an engaging, thought-provoking but very dated piece of cinema. The last image of Heston is immortal even if the film's hair-dos are not. Watch it, enjoy it and cut it some slack.
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8/10
Flawed Wonderland
Bryan L Cook1 January 2005
A film that can't help but aim too high, "The Omega Man" suffers from the very thing that makes it great. Set in a post-apocalyptic future (for the audience of 1971) the film attempts to show a world populated by a single solitary man. Well, a man and a cult of malcontented zombie/mutant/vampire beings. Robert Neville (Heston) is the lone survivor of a germ war that turned the population of the world into freaks. Based on the amazingly brilliant book "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson, the film shares most of the qualities of the book, yet excludes the portions that make "Legend" fantastic.

The idea of being the last man is intriguing. I used to fantasize about being Neville as a child (probably not the healthiest thing for a kid). Neville has paradise, but with the highest price possible. He can have anything he wants, but no one to share it with. And come night time, he must hide in his fortress away from the angry mob of mutants.

The apocalyptic world that makes the first half so captivating is destroyed by the second half's plot device. I won't go into details for those who haven't seen it. However, I will say the film starts to slide downhill from the mid-way point. But the lesser parts can be enjoyed as early 70's camp.

Even with its faults, "The Omega Man" is a great Sci-fi movie. It also gives Heston a chance to play his quintessential role of a man at the end of civilization. The film's weaknesses don't ruin the experience entirely. It is a film that myself and my friends talk about to this day despite the fact that most of my friends only saw it once or twice (when forced by me).

Related note: I Am Legend was also made into the film "The Last Man on Earth" starring Vincent Price. "Omega Man" is discussed in the first scene of indie-film classic "Slacker."
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9/10
Sci Fi Action At Its Explosive Best!
Dan1863Sickles24 May 2005
This action packed and thought-provoking sci-fi drama has been one of my personal favorites for over 30 years. Charlton Heston found his definitive role here, as the last man on earth, a scientist fighting a single handed battle against hundreds of mutant creatures of the night.

On the basic level, this movie has some of the most explosive action I have ever seen. Heston is at his best as a bloodless technocrat, a stone killer, "exterminating" mutants with machine guns, pistols, grenades, and his bare hands, all the time giving off an icy air of detachment. Put Chuck up against Clint Eastwood or Charles Bronson and he definitely holds his own purely as a Seventies action hero.

On the other hand, this is also Chuck's best performance as an actor. The fact that he literally has the screen to himself for the first half hour allows him to do things he never did in his "epic star" mode. Watch him buy that used car, making small talk with a rotted corpse. Chuck puts across so much loneliness and yet entirely avoids self- pity, as in "thanks a lot, you cheating bastard." It's a scream to watch the bigger than life Moses dealing with life's everyday hassles, not in reality but in wistful fantasy.

Then watch the WOODSTOCK scene in the movie theater. Here's right wing idealist Charlton Heston watching left-wing hippies dance and frolic. Here's the last man on earth watching huge mobs of people crowd up the world that is now empty. The ironies are razor sharp, and Heston just lies back and lets the dialog work for him. "Just to see, just to really realize, that if you have to be afraid to smile at someone, if you have to be afraid to walk down the street, what kind of world is that? Right?" Note well the master's restraint. He doesn't sneer, he puts much more sadness into the lip-reading bit, with a little self-loathing on the side. The dialog and situation are tailor-made for Heston's cold decisive vocal style. It's not hammy stuff, it's Heston giving you the same kind of chill Deniro achieved in TAXI DRIVER. It's the paranoid loner as tragic hero. This cold withdrawn stuff is right down his power alley, and Chuck sends this scene into the upper decks.

Once the movie gets started, Heston gets superb assistance from Anthony Zerbe as the religious fanatic Brother Matthias. Zerbe is superb and the commentary on religious fanaticism is even more relevant today than it was thirty years ago. Then there's the sizzling racial subplot, the kill-whitey fanaticism of Brother Zachary striking far too close to home in 1973 but remaining as provocative as ever today. It's disturbing indeed to note the subliminal message of the inter-racial love affair -- the nice white man is happy to take care of the black woman and her children, but only after the assertive black man is dead. A movie that provokes, entertains, and combines scorching social issues with rip-roaring adventure, THE OMEGA MAN is Heston's best.

"Nope -- they sure don't make pictures like that any more."
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Now playing: "The Night Creatures"
lemon99331 May 2004
One of these days soon we will see another remake of Richard Matheson's seminal Horror novella. If we do, I hope the marquee will read: "I Am Legend." This should be done for no other reason than to make it easier for Sci-Fi nerds to argue and champion their personal favorite. But I have this feeling the producers will take the easy way out.

Boris Sagal, the veteran television director, who died under the most grisly of circumstances--he walked into a helicopter blade--helms a brilliant adaptation of the book. Sure, they changed the vampires into psychotic albinos. And they also injected a heavy dose of the Seventies counter-culture. But the essential themes resist the tampering by the new screenwriters and remain solid story chestnuts. No one handles a weapon with such verve as Mr. Heston. He fires at random and generally hits something. Always a good approach in this type of movie. I enjoy his conversations with Caesar's bust in his "Honky paradise". The sculptures and paintings on the walls are actual reproductions of the immortals they represent. Also, check out the art work on the back of "Dutch's" jacket. It packs a wallop. Ron Grainer's score is legendary and has a elegiac feel punctuated by strange sounds from obscure instruments. The action scenes rival the best. Catch Heston's despair and loneliness when he jogs by a large office building along side a reflecting pool. Every scene is chock full of memorable lines and quirky bits of business. The bodies of the dead pop up randomly with a wild note on the soundtrack. There is a brief nude scene that for once fits into the plot. A standing ovation is in order for anyone left alive.
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6/10
Thought-provoking, violent sci-fi story.
Jonathon Dabell1 May 2005
Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet, so the "Omega" Man is a round-a-bout way of saying The "Last" Man. Indeed, this violent science fiction actioner is a remake of a 1964 movie called The Last Man On Earth; in this version Charlton Heston assumes the role played by Vincent Price in the earlier film. It is a depressing - and in many ways thought-provoking - story set in a future where the human population has been wiped out.

Robert Neville (Heston) is the only remaining survivor of a worldwide plague, other than a race of vampiric mutants who come out at night. When the plague was first reaching epidemic proportions, numerous scientists were given serums to try - Neville was the one who got the correct serum, but he never managed to get back to HQ in time to report the good news. Most of the world's people went on to be killed by the plague, but those who survived have evolved into light-sensitive mutants. Every day, Neville drives around the empty streets of LA scavenging for food, fuel and useful objects; every night he returns to his ultra high-security house from which he fends off the creepy minions who come out to taunt him and, perhaps, one day kill him. The mutants are led by Matthias (Anthony Zerbe), formerly a TV newsreader, now an anti-technology crusader who encourages his followers to destroy the scientific and technological items they find, as he blames meddling scientists for ultimately decimating the world's population.

What's so chilling about The Omega Man is that Neville is gradually shown to be the real "mutant". He is the only man left from the world as it WAS; Zerbe and his mutant hordes are the evolutionary creatures of the world as it IS. Distressing as it is, The Omega Man is saying that in the event of a worldwide catastrophe human life would find a way to prevail, but the remnants of previous human life might need eradicating first. From the sensational opening - in which Heston screeches his car to a halt on an empty street and starts shooting at an unseen being in a skyscraper - to the climax (which is simultaneously happy AND sad), The Omega Man constantly raises questions and manipulates our fears. It has weaknesses - sometimes the metaphors and morals are too heavy-handed; parts of the film are slow-going, with an excess of talk which merely goes over plot details already mentioned; there are dated elements (music, decor, costumes, vehicles, slang speech) which deny the film its topicality over 30 years on. But, in spite of all that, The Omega Man remains a worthwhile sci-fi actioner and another cult flick in the Charlton Heston "shock sci-fi" canon (see also Planet of the Apes '68 and Soylent Green '73).
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10/10
Inspirational, hopeful, tragic, brilliant...a masterpiece
annualman3 August 2001
Warning: Spoilers
The greatest movie of all time?? Well, probably not, but certainly the most influential on my life back in the mid 70s when I first caught it on British television. Charlton Heston is awesome in his role of Robert Neville, and the musical score is outstanding. The story itself may seem a little dated these days, but its religious analogies stand up well even in today's more effects laden times.

SPOILERS: The final sequence, as Neville is brutally killed by the leader of the vampire community Matthias (Anthony Zerbe) came as a genuine shock to me, but its underlying hopefulness for the future at least compensates some way for this. I cried and cried when Neville died. Even now when I watch the film, the bleak feeling which runs as an undercurrent throughout, never ceases to move me with the tragedy of the ending.

This was Heston's best, in my opinion even surpassing Planet of the Apes, and many times more entertaining than the dreadful Soylent Green (sorry but I really didn't like that one). I really believe that the films you see when you are between 12 and 16 remain with you forever, because its the most impressionable time of your life. At least it was for me. I love this film, always did, always will. Quite honestly 10 out of 10. Though I may well be the only person who thinks this....lol
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Now this is a Cool Movie
Nozze-Musica29 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Charlton Heston just has that presence, that arrogant demeanor where he screams at the world that doesn't understand what is going on. Some might think it becomes annoying but it actually works very well in this movie. The Omega Man is actually a unique little look at the world, which here is populated by one man, Charlton Heston. For a Science Fiction movie this movie is pretty deep. He is combating a group of zombies that seek to kill all humans.

The zombies think that the human beings and their machines have caused the world to go into disarray and that because of it the humans must be destroyed. While the zombie types are evil they make some sense, after all the reason they were zombies are on account of germ warfare. The movie is surprisingly effective for a movie with a 70s wack-a-dum soundtrack, and manages a lot of thrills the old-fashioned way: through no special effects.

Charlton Heston also manages to be an interesting character. He seems to be a man in a bit of a conflict, a military man who has no choice but to defend himself, but also a scientist, an imminently intelligent man who seems weary of all of the fighting. He goes through the streets of Los Angeles with all of the products in all of the stores available to him for free. After all who's left to charge him? He seems a little crazy, and he probably is, after all he has gone years without sex, that would drive a lot of men crazy. The action sequences in this movie are cool. There isn't any karate, no Matrix slow motion, just beating people up, and a cool motorcycle ride through Dodger Stadium, where Heston escapes execution, as does Reggie Jackson, haha. I digress.

Germ warfare was something far ahead of it's time. The black and white context of this Science Fiction movie also adds a great dimension to this film. The symbolism of the ending where Heston is essentially crucified saving mankind is appropriate, though some will find it silly. This isn't an Oscar winner but this is a fun little Science Fiction movie that will make you think.
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9/10
The Last Hope of the Earth in an Apocalyptic Story
Claudio Carvalho3 October 2004
In 1977, the American scientist and colonel Dr. Robert Neville (Charlton Heston) is the last man on Earth. All the human race died or became mutants due to the use of biological weapons in a war. During the war, Dr. Neville was researching an experimental vaccine, and in a flight to a hospital to use his latest experiment, the pilot of his helicopter died and the helicopter crashed. Dr. Neville used the vaccine on himself and it worked, making him the last survivor of human race. The race of mutants self-calls 'The Family' and is leaded by the fanatic Matthias (Anthony Zerbe) in the middle-ages standards, without the use of any facility of the Twentieth Century. Dr. Neville finds some other survivors and intends to use the anti-corpus of his blood to prepare vaccines for them. The apocalyptic story has a tragic open end.

Yesterday I saw this movie maybe for the tenth time. In my opinion, it is one of the best Apocalyptic Sci-Fi movies of the 70's (together with 'Soylent Green'), when the world had the cold war to threaten and the population had a great fear of a biological weapons. In Brazil, 'The Omega Man' has not been released on VHS or DVD, and I have a VHS, recorded from the open Brazilian TV in the 80's, dubbed in Portuguese, with a terrible image, but what else can I do to see this movie if the distributors and the cable TV do not show interest to release it in my country? For persons of other native languages like me, I would like to explain the original title of the movie. In accordance with 'The Heritage Illustrated Dictionary', omega is not only the 24th and final letter in the Greek alphabet, but also means the ending, the last of anything. I hope that Tom Cruise does not spoil this magnificent story, since I heard he had the intention of preparing (or spoiling) a remake. Remake of good movies should be forbidden! My vote is nine.

Today (06 September 2006) I have watched "The Omega Man" again, now in the original language.

Title (Brazil): 'A Última Esperança da Terra' ('The Last Hope of the Earth')
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8/10
The Last Man On Earth Is Hunting
ewarn-11 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Chuck Heston is too cool to be the ALPHA MALE, so he becomes the OMEGA MAN!!! Reasons why this film is a masterpiece of apocalyptic sci fi and a damn good promotional for the NRA: SEE: Chuck Heston prowl the streets of Los Angeles in his smooth rides (Lincoln, Mustang, Dodge Weapons Carrier)looking for murderous mutants and decked out in his mod safari jacket, shades and submachine gun! SEE: Chuck bridge the generation gap as he digs Country Joe and the Fish at a private screening of 'Woodstock'!

SEE: Chuck in his penthouse suite, wearing a green velvet smoking jacket and ruffled shirt, as he swills whiskey and endures the taunts of the legions of the undead! HEAR: Chuck crack wise as a prisoner of the Luddite zombies, just before he's burnt at the stake! Other priceless scenes worth watching: the zombie who envies Chuck's penthouse as a 'honky paradise' Chuck smirking as a news anchor pontificates about the end of the world, Chuck socializing with bronze statues and putting the moves on mannequins, plenty of gunplay and CHUCK'S RAGE!!! You don't like this flick....maybe Chuck (The Omega Man) will come and beat you up.
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10/10
Chuck's glory days
themook2474 January 2004
Warning: Spoilers
**MINOR spoilers** Along with Soylent Green and the Planet Of The Apes movies, The Omega Man represents Chuck Heston in fine form. This movie continues to influence others even today. The basic story involves Chuck as possibly the last man on earth trying to survive against albino mutants who despise the technology that ravaged the world(and Heston).

Let's get one thing nice and sparkling clear: Chuck Heston is a ham. Deal with it. It works unbelievably well in this sci-fi classic for an aging, stubborn badass survivor. Chuck is losing his mind from loneliness and killing mutants day in/day out. He is also a man of science and the only(?) uninfected human left. Anthony Zerbe is great as the preacher/leader of the rotting horde. Rosalind Cash has surprising acting ability, tons of attitude, and thankfully, a complete willingness to be nude or near-nude several times. Although another reviewer said if you squint, she could pass for Pam Grier, they're obviously insane as Pam Grier is stacked, so to speak, whereas Cash could use a sandwich or two.

The real appeal besides the interesting, very relevant premise, "spooky" deserted Los Angeles, and pretty daring racial content and dialogue, is...Chuck. Forget the car way in the distance, the makeup/effects are capable. If you want a thought-provoking, sometimes hilarious, action-packed sci-fi movie with great camera work...SEE Chuck run, SEE Chuck shoot lots of people, SEE Chuck grimace, sneer, and bare his huge choppers; SEE Chuck crash multiple vehicles on land AND air, SEE Chuck toss one-liners left and right like grenades, SEE chuck in frilly clothes(briefly), SEE Chuck the Mack, SEE Chuck in a Jesus Christ pose...SEE The Omega Man.
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9/10
Intelligent re-imagining of Matheson's novel.
nkierniesky19 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Yes, this film is dated. However, I respectfully submit that Mr & Mrs Corrington (with input from Seltzer, Sagal & Heston) knew that most visions of the far future are going to appear deficient with the passage of time. See "Soylent Green." Accordingly, they set the film in roughly the same time period that Matheson used in "I Am Legend." In the novel, the story covered the period of 1975 to 1979.

In this way, the 1971 film is best viewed as a kind of alternative reality for the way American culture was evolving in the turbulent late '60s/early '70s. When so viewed, the film is not only clever, but is really inspired. *** SPOILER ALERT****

Matheson's concept was to try to use science fiction to give some credibility to the vampire legend. That had been tried, to a point, in "House of Dracula," when the scientist isolated a microorganism that had "infected" Dracula. Matheson went further and in so doing over-extended the premise. The novel is very poignant in parts. However, its primary problem is that tried to create a kind of moral equivalency between Neville and the vampires. That weakened the strength of the narrative. In the novel Neville drank canned tomato juice, like the vampires drank blood? Parts were just silly: vampire women disrobed to lure Neville outside after dark; the head vampire resembled Oliver Hardy. By the end, Matheson was apparently trying to persuade the reader that the vampires were just an "alternate" form of life, infected with "vampirus," that was just trying to survive and deserved pity. For, in different circumstances, "normal" is relative and Neville became the fearsome legend for the "new breed" of humanity, i.e., he became the new "Dracula."

Not so for the 1971 concept; no "relativism" here. The world war to which Matheson only alluded was made explicit. Neville became a high-level military scientist (who better to have access to a potential vaccine?), not Matheson's layman who was trying to teach himself about microbiology.

The victims of the virus became vicious, homicidal, collectivistic, anti-technologists, beyond reason and compromise. Colonel Robert Neville, US Army Medical Corps, became the object of their fury. His antagonist: Jonathan Matthias, TV newsman/pundit, adept at influencing an audience. Media Monster. He is the fallen one, who creates the Mansonesque "Family," rejecting all traditional American values. It is the counter-culture.

Colonel Neville, by contrast, is the establishment. Hard-drinking, exceedingly well-armed (thank you, NRA!) and not averse to zapping the zombies. However, he is compassionate and enlightened. He falls for an Afro-American woman (the late Rosalind Cash) and tries to help her (Heston also marched for civil rights in the early '60s with Rev. King).

By the end, we realize that He is the savior. If we partake of His blood, we will be saved. Christians call that the Eucharist. Ultimately, he sacrifices Himself for the good of humanity, so that the normal world, America, will be re-born. The little girl survivor senses it, He is God, or at least a man chosen to be God's agent on Earth. He is, of course, also a soldier, one who is willing to lay down his life so that others might live. No relativism here.

Very nice fusion of ideas, Mr & Mrs Corrington. You took Matheson's basic story and made it much better. Neville became the legend he deserved to become. The Ultimate Hero.
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10/10
Watch this movie once. Give it some time, and then you'll want to watch it again.
thejuj11 March 2003
This is personally my favorite film. However, I can understand why this one-time sci-fi/horror flick views more like a comedy today. The film has dated more than other films from '71/72, and with the special effects bar haven risen astronomically since that time there is little hope for the film to grow even older gracefully. And a shirtless, oily, middle-aged, often over-acting Charlton Heston doesn't exactly shout hero or Academy Award. But THE OMEGA MAN has its moments, in particular its unexpected, and unexpectedly touching, finale. Add to that worthwhile ending a legendary Ron Grainer (Dr. Who, The Prisoner) soundtrack and some very quotable dialogue ("Thanks alot, you cheating bastard") and THE OMEGA MAN rounds itself out into a very memorable movie.

Unfortunately, Warner Bros. has continually delayed the release of OMEGA MAN on DVD - 4 years now counting. Maybe during the wait someone there will realize the potential this movie has a video game. Our heroic player must track The Family down by day and fend them off by night in a bunkered-up penthouse. Like the DVD, it's wishful thinking.
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Great flick
jedlow14 September 2004
This movie rocks, right from the opening scene where our hero leaps from his car and sprays mutants with a machine gun, to the final frame where... but enough of that. A great flick, one in a line of Charlton Heston post-apocalyptic movies. If you like this you'll love Soylent Green and, of course, the first two Apes films. Heston's like John Wayne in space. Nobody does it better. In this one disease-ravaged mutants stand in for the hippies- that fixes up society's problem with the riff raff, and Charlton has an inter-racial relationship. So there are mixed messages. Charlton Heston chews the scenery in every frame. Oh well, damn you all to hell.
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9/10
The Omega Man
cracraft4 August 2005
Despite the ridiculous plot, this shows what a very strong pair of actors (Heston and Zerbe) and a very visually arresting director (Boris Sagal), and a strong musical talent (Ron Grainer) can do, to say the least of Richard Matheson who is an acknowledged wizard in the field of paranoid science fiction (a particular genre).

The film is gut-wrenching on many levels and is one of my top 20 films. Heston does the loner better than any other actor.

Grainer, who scored the remarkable score for McGoohan's Prisoner series, is in fine form, with an excellent score.

Sagal's visuals are absolutely gripping.

Zerbe is the perfect antagonist and shows that his TV persona works perfectly on the silver screen.

If you get the movie, turn the lights down and watch it at night. You're in for a treat.

Many good lines in this movie.
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9/10
Of it's time, but now relevant again...
zillabob12 December 2006
The Omega Man was a product of it's time. It played to Cold War fears of a biological war. In the original story, the plague was never really specified as to where it came from and how-it just kind of happened, however in the 1964 Vincent Price film of the same book, it was hinted at that it was something that escaped from a Eastern bloc country's biological weapons lab but it was only in passing. In The Omega Man, a flashback Heston has, shows us that Russia and China had some kind of escalating border war, and the US is somehow pulled into it. All this is done with a montage of stock footage of bomb tests,missile launches,voice overs warning of "Bacillus carrying warheads!" and bit later, we learn that "Jonathan Matthias" was once a news commentator as things went to Hell, as the plague takes full effect with scenes of overcrowded hospitals, people dropping on the street, and him on TV talking to dead viewers about "Judgement day". The virus, or whatever it was, hits very fast and seemingly kills most people within minutes. Some, however,we learn, it takes longer and they wind up as light sensitive,albino zombies, with the now insane- "Matthias" the guru of at least the Los Angeles area ones, battling Robert Neville, the last plague-free man on the planet. Alive,thanks to an experimental drug that seemed to be the cure,he found in the waning days of civilized society, but because of a helicopter crash, too late for anyone but him. We see him, apparently in 1977, two years after the plague had hit-in Spring, 1975(an old wall calendar and Easter greetings reveal this. The "Easter" reference would not be the film's only "Christ" allegory.)

The film has a tremendous Ron Grainer opening score, and positively drips everything 70's-fashions, expressions,cars and including nods to blaxploitation films of the time and managing to portray Heston's Neville as "The Man...on his own"

It became a seemingly terribly dated film after the Cold War ended in 1989, (kind of like The Day After became of it's time) and many people chortled at the idea of a biological war. After the Soviet Union collapsed, it was found that those fears were not unfounded-that in fact as a "doomsday" weapon the Soviets had secretly stockpiled massive amounts of Smallpox to create just such a last-ditch situation had they been on the losing side of a WW3 that never fortunately occurred.

However, now, with both fears of Avian Flu, and the threat of terrorists gaining some kind of viral agent and unleashing it, the film has a new relevance. A good piece of 70's nostalgia but with a current ring to it.
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10/10
Charlton Heston as the last man living !
karlking_9827 December 2004
This is one of my favourite sci-fi movies with Charlton Heston making credible the whole story for me. Anthony Zerbe is tremendous as the family leader as is the now deceased Lincoln Kilpatrick as Zerbes sidekick. Heston as seemingly the last man on earth brings feeling to the film in some cleverly scripted conversations with himself! In fact the script is punctuated by some great one liners! Quick-paced & tense with good supporting performances from Paul Koslo as "Dutch" & Rosalind Cash as "Lisa" Dated now it is, but still stands the test of time as a truly great 70's sci-fi & if you haven't seen it, then you are in for a treat. Great music too from Ron Grainer! Do not miss this one! A full 10 out of 10!
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Still Holds Up
G-Man-2528 August 2001
This movie scared the utter CRAP out of me when I first saw it at age 12. The mutants haunted my dreams for months afterward. Extremely creepy stuff! After all these years, "The Omega Man" still holds up as a thoughtful and chilling cautionary tale. Admittedly, it's now more campy and dated and has some unintentionally funny scenes, but that tends to simply add another dimension to the entertainment value. Great period detail and Charlton Heston in fine form.

There have been rumors of a remake/revision of the film (actually of the source novel, "I Am Legend," by Richard Matheson). May I suggest John Carpenter as a possible director?
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9/10
True Gonzo Classic,
Raegan Butcher15 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Anyone who saw this growing up has a soft spot in their hearts for it. I've encountered enough people over the course of my 41 yrs who perk up at the mention of it to be aware of its place in a lot of our memories. This has been satirized on the Simpsons, which proves it has embedded itself in the national pop culture consciousness. Anyone who has read the book its based on, the incredible "I am Legend" by Richard Matheson, knows that this film has very little in common with it beyond its initial premise--and even that is not followed too closely. All of the criticisms of THE OMEGA MAN are valid: it is very dated and not at all scary or intense and some of the stunts and special effects are laughably, ludicrously cheesy. The villains--who should have been more terrifying than even Romero's zombies--are just crazed albino hippie Luddites and the last half of the film, once Chuck hooks up with Rosalind Cash and the kiddies, is really a let down. But the scenes that open the film of Heston hefting a cool-looking submachine gun while decked out in Austin Powers-style finery staring in angst at an old calendar or losing his mind for a moment hallucinating the sound of telephones ringing in the deserted city still pack a punch. This was the second movie, after 1959's THE WORLD,THE FLESH, AND THE DEVIL, to successfully pull off the eerie effect of being the last living human being in a huge empty city. Both films established the visual motif of streets filled with blowing waves of newspapers and swirling trash.After years of seeing this on TV -- a guaranteed late September or early October event every year for a few years on the local TV station during my Pacific Northwest childhood in the old Dark Age before cable TV and the videocassette revolution, its nice to see this movie on DVD with a beautiful widescreen transfer. It looks and sounds great. As a child I always liked the music, particularly the "surprise party" theme that plays when the villains make their first appearance. It rocks here in all its xylophone and funky electric organ and horns glory!
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10/10
Excellent film, fine performance by Heston!
Giovanni Caci5 November 2005
One of my all time favourite movies, starring my favourite actor Charlton Heston, what can I say about this film other than magnificent, it is even more entertaining than Richard Matheson's excellent 'I am Legend' upon which it is based. Some reviewers feel this film to be campy and dated, but I heartily disagree, these reviewers are obviously shallow minded snobs, reared on awful modern cgi nightmares.

In the movie Heston delivers a great performance as Robert Neville the last man on earth, talking to himself, hearing phones ringing on the edge of sanity. The action scenes where we see his gun toting avenging angel persona are extremely entertaining, enhanced by Ron Grainer's amazing score, one of the greatest film scores ever recorded in my opinion. Mention must also be made of Anthony Zerbe as the megalomaniac leader of the family Mathias, he delivers great fanatical lines, a totally believable cult leader.

If you haven't seen this movie already do yourself a favour and see it instantly!
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8/10
A great 70's scifi-horror-suspense
info-49414 June 2003
I love those 70's flicks. They really experimented with no-nonesense plotlines, and didn't have the resources to exceedingly engross themselves in needless over-production. This last issue is a big problem with many of today's movies, where your eyes often pop out, but your brain usually falls asleep. Someone here complained about the score. I felt the music was great, it sets the whole tone of the movie. For example, in the fight scenes, it gives you an eerie sense of repetition and fatality that, come to think of it, really is the whole point of the movie. Bottom line, just for the premise alone, it's worth watching. Expect some basic production and a couple of cheesy lines. But this is overly compensated by excellent tension and engrossing plotline.
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10/10
My all-time favourite film
Andy Smith17 May 2001
I love this movie, for many reasons. I've always been a fan of Chuck's tremendously hammy "style", ever since seeing "Planet Of The Apes" as a young lad. I didn't see Omega until I was 24, but it was worth the wait.

There is so much in this film which makes it memorable for me. Chuck's usual dialogue (no-one says "My God" like Heston), Chuck's teeth, 47-year-old Chuck running a mile in 3 minutes 50 seconds (evil mutants I can accept, but this really is unbelievable!), Chuck nonchalantly playing chess with a bust of Napoleon while Matthias catapults fireballs at his balcony, NRA president Chuck picking off evil zombie mutants with a BIG gun, ex-Moses Chuck dying for our sins in crucifixion pose whilst saving the world etc. etc. Pure hokum, but massively entertaining, and unintentionally hilarious. Anthony Zerbe is brilliant as Matthias.

10 stars.
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10/10
Vintage Heston
jonathonburns9 August 2005
Film is vintage Heston, in the same vein as Planet of the Apes, and Soylent Green. Heston is bad ass (as usual). Still, if you're just the type to like movies such as "How to Make an American Quilt," or, "The Princess Diaries," you probably won't like, or "get" this film. Film is only for macho studs who are ready to take on the "family." Heston, to paraphrase Rowdy Roddy Piper (of "They Live" fame), came to chew bubble gum and kick ass. Damn...he's all out of gum.

The film is crafted well, with a great score for a B film. I'd get it on CD if I could. Too bad IMDb doesn't list the soundtrack. HINT HINT, IMDb...get the soundtrack listings!!!

There are two types of people in this world: those who like Heston/Omega Man, and those that don't. The former group consists of men and heroes - the latter, mere Ethan Hawke apologists and Spice Girl fans. Don't be that guy. Be a real man, enjoy vintage Heston
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Heston Tries Not To Keep It In The Family.
General Urko24 April 2002
A vampiric cult called The Family the result of biological warfare, lay siege to the refuge of the last man left alive in a dead post-apocalyptic city.

This is the second cinematic outing for the Richard Matheson novel I Am Legend with Charlton Heston as Robert Neville immune to the plague & fighting for survival. This is an entertaining film if not on a par with some of Hestons other sci-fi movies such as Planet Of The Apes & Soylent Green. Again he gives us an isolated, cynical man who never sets out to be a hero but becomes one.

How would you cope as the only man alive? The superior opening act of this movie answers that with the protagonist wandering through a dead city. Constantly reminded of the past with every step along every street & talking to himself, trying to retain his sanity. Indeed one of the best scenes of the whole movie is here when he watches Woodstock in an empty cinema, reciting the dialogue. Just how many times has he done this? Then the film goes down familiar action movie routes with The Family a bizarre religious anti-technology cult & Nevilles attempts to combat their attacks.

The Omega Man doesn't have as much depth amongst the action as Planet Of The Apes but has a great & tangible sense of isolation. The Family may not be the most threatening bad guys ever (one of the films flaws) but look good in their cowls & capes, a religious theme which is played out in the wonderful final image at the films climax which offers hope for the future.

Overall this film is enjoyable with its slightly comic book sensibilities, good score & strong religious overtones. A good slice of 70s sci-fi fun!
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9/10
Very good post-holocaust SF movie
chas772 December 1998
I'm not sure if Matheson's novel is filmable -- it was done once before as a Vincent Price movie in the early '60s. This film holds its own as a very good post-holocaust movie. Heston, as a paranoid scientist, immune to a plague which either killed people outright or turned them insane, does a pretty good job. The film has some good suspense and action, but overall, the low-budget and lack of attention to detail (see the other reviewer's comments) turn what could have been a great film into just a good one.
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