The Omega Man [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
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OMEGA MAN, THE (BIL) BD Omega Man, The
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" flavor, 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 civilization 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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The survivors infected with the plague are hooded mutants that cannot see in the daylight, and are bent in destroying all the attributes of civilization that remain on earth, crying "burn, burn, burn !" as they pile books in a fiery heap. Their leader is a former news anchor played to the hilt by Anthony Zerbe, who warns the zombie "Family" of the evil created by the "users of the wheel".
It is all quite thought-provoking, and has several connotations to terrorism today, and also has symbolism relating to Christianity; at one point Heston is tied up in a crucifixion pose, and his blood, turned into a serum, can save the remnant of humanity. There are a few reminders from the Book of Revelation, where of course, Jesus said "I am the Alpha and Omega".
Rosalind Cash is lovely as Lisa, one of the remnant hiding in the hills, and her relationship with Heston is a rare instance of an interracial love affair from that era. Films from the 1970s fascinate me, with the hair and fashion styles, and 8-track tapes in the cars.
This film has fabulous cinematography by Russell Metty of a deserted, devastated Los Angeles, a good score by Ron Granier, and fast-paced, disquieting direction by Boris Segal that will occasionally make your heart skip a beat with fright.
Total running time is 98 minutes.
"Omega Man" is a movie that, sadly, abandons most of what made its source novel great: the aching loneliness of the only human (or so he believes) left on a planet of bestial vampires. The movie version jettisons the vampires, replacing them with a wacky albino cult that wears sunglasses and glitter-rock robes and have launched themselves on an anti-technology crusade. In a short documentary featurette on the DVD, one of the two screenwriters (the same team responsible for the last and least entry in the "Planet of the Apes" series) explains that they thought vampires were overused, and so opted instead for these albinos. It was a huge mistake; eliminating the vampires literally bleeds (excuse the pun) the story of the fear that it needs to work. The screenwriters also altered Matheson's story in other ways, like having the hero discover a cadre of human survivors with whom he joins forces, and by the halfway point, all traces of the fantastic original story have been lost, including its strange twist of an ending.
To alter a novel for film, of course, is no crime in itself, but the end product in this case is poor, lacking tension, and pretty flat. The film has dated terribly in ways that go beyond the funky albino outfits: it has the kitschy look of a lot of 70s television shows, and director Boris Sagal (a TV veteran) is probably responsible for most of this.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Charlton Heston portrays the violence of man and the ever continuing hope that society will survive in spite of itself. Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2013 by P B
no problem. I had been looking for movie a while then decided to go this way. fine. Would order again from reseller.Published on April 22 2013 by andre kornhauser
I hadn't seen this movie in about thirty years but I had vague, fond memories. As long as you make allowances for movie making standards of the day, this is a fun stroll down... Read morePublished on March 13 2011 by Rene R. Lavigne
this is the second filmed version of Richard Matheson's novel,I am
Legend,the first being The Last Man on Earth,starring Vincent price,and
the third bearing the same... Read more
This movie is one of the best in this genre. I imagine that the newest addition to the group, "I Am Legend," will outdo it in terms of special effects, but this is the original... Read morePublished on Dec 30 2007 by Escape Artist
When another commercial for Will Smith's upcoming "I Am Legend" aired tonight during "Heroes," I got a call from my brother-in-law who was watching the same channel and wanted to... Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2007 by Lawrance Bernabo
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 37 yrs who perk up at the mention of it to be aware of... Read morePublished on Aug. 10 2006 by Raegan Butcher