The Omega Man [HD DVD]  [US Import]
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Science fiction took a grim turn in the 1970s--the heyday of Agent Orange, nuclear peril and Watergate. Suddenly, most of our possible futures took on a "last man on Earth" flavour, with The Omega Man topping the doom-struck heap.
Charlton Heston plays the government researcher behind the ultimate biological weapon, a deadly plague that has ravaged humanity. There are two groups of survivors: a dwindling band of immune humans and an infected, psychopathic mob of light-hating quasi-vampires. The infected are led by Mathias, a clever, charismatic man set on destroying the last remnants of the civilisation that produced the plague. Heston has a vaccine--but he and the few remaining normals are outnumbered and outgunned. By day, he builds a makeshift version of the nuclear family (with Rosalind Cash as his afro-wearing, gun-toting little lady). They plan for the future while roaming freely through an empty urban landscape, taking what few pleasures life has left. By night, they defend themselves against the growing horde of plague victims. Both a bittersweet romance and a gothic cautionary tale, The Omega Man paints a convincing portrait of hope and despair. It ain't pretty, but it's a great movie. --Grant Balfour --This text refers to the DVD edition.
The Omega Man is the last man alive in a biologically decimated future world. Charlton Heston plays humankind's last hope, the last survivor ofa hellish, germ-warfare doomsday, fighting off fiendish subhuman mutants that stalk by night. --This text refers to the DVD edition.
Top customer reviews
It's based on the last man on earth, and tells the story of a survivor of a biological catastrophe which has killed the majority of the planets population, and mutated a few more, our hero is of course Immune.
Charlton Heston plays the role in a similar way to his role in Planet of the Apes, and much better in my opinion than Will Smith in I am legend.
Watching the Omega Man, I fell a real sense of foreboding and danger to the stories main character and its very pessimistic plot line was reminiscent of many movies of its type in the 1970's when happy endings in movies were not popular.
Well the picture quality is looking a little dated, and were used to over the top special effects, but the Omega man shines in my opinion as its character centered, and story driven and so engaging.
Matheson's novel "I am legend" is one of the best and the most courageous science-fiction books that were ever written, I was extremely impressed when I read it and the ending certainly shocked me like few other books ever did. That being said, I found it also terribly depressing and for that reason I am rather grateful to the director and scenarist of "Omega Man" for adding a tiny little glimmer of hope to otherwise a very dark, violent and tragic tale.
I am a great fan of Charlton Heston and as this movie is for quite a lot of time his one-man show, I was well served. His travels and wanderings amongst the deserted ruins of world are a great moment of cinema. His conversations with imaginary "friends" and sarcastic comments on his surroundings are a pleasure to watch. His solitude is well described, in scenes in which he starts to hallucinate - and also when he angrily rips off the wall a poster with a pin-up girl...
His ennemies, the Family, are not exactly the best thing I saw in the movies and they are mostly the reason why I take off one star from my rating. Frankly, I believe that in the more recent remake, "I am legend" with Will Smith (which I otherwise didn't like much) the ghastly "vampires" were the only one thing better than in "Omega Man".
The relation between Neville (Charlton Heston) and Lisa (Rosalind Cash) is a very hot and in the same time very touching one. It must be said that in 1971 an interracial love story on the screen was a rather daring thing to show, especially considering that Neville and Lisa went without the slightest doubt the whole nine yards - and compared to their very carnal relation the famous kiss between Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura seems a chaste and innocent thing...
Also, Rosalind Cash didn't hesitate to show herself very much to her public - and may she be thanked for that! It is such a pity that this gorgeous, brave, intelligent and talented woman didn't make a bigger career and that she passed at the age of only 56, in 1995 after a long fight against cancer...
The one technical thing concerning this release is the absence of the deleted scene, in which Lisa sees a woman from Family going to a cemetery crypt carring her dead newborn child. This scene was considered too harsh to be shown on the screen in 1971. I also have never seen this scene, but its existence is a rather certain thing. I really hope there will be one day a more comprehensive release, with some bonuses and this one deleted scene included.
Bottom line, I liked this movie very much and I am very happy that I bought it and watched it. The major reason I do not give it five stars, is that Charlton Heston did two other science-fiction movies, "Planet of Apes" and "Soylent Green", which are better and superior to this one - and considering that I can not rate them six stars, "Omega Man" must get only four...
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