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The Omega Man (Widescreen/Full Screen)

3.9 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 40.32
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Product Details

  • Actors: Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash, Paul Koslo, Eric Laneuville
  • Directors: Boris Sagal
  • Writers: John William Corrington, Joyce Hooper Corrington, Richard Matheson, William Peter Blatty
  • Producers: Walter Seltzer
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, HiFi Sound, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Warner
  • Release Date: Aug. 5 2003
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 0790742802
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,035 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Charlton Heston plays humankind's last hope, the last survivor of a hellish, germ-warfare doomsday, fighting off fiendish subhuman mutants that stalk by night. Bonus featurette - The Last Man Alive. Starring: Charlton Heston, Rosalind Cash, Anthony Zerbe Year: 1971 Sound: ENG, FR; Subtitles: ENG, FR Screen Format: Side A: Standard; Side B: Wiedescreen

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
The Omega Man is not a very good film, but there are scenes of great power, as well scenes of great cheesiness. Chuck Heston, in slightly toned-down "Planet of the Apes" form, is humankind's savior yet, as usual with Chuck's film alter-egos, the viewer's reaction to him is, at best, ambivalent. Nevill has been part and parcel of the destruction of the human race, is arrogant and reactionary, yet he is also a redeemer and a man of accelerating conscience. The movie revolves around his bleak, yet self-imposed state of existence. Nevill's mercenary clashes with his decrepit enemies, much of the dialogue, Nevill's relationship with Lisa (a neat pairing), and the classic Christ-like final scene are interesting and speak to larger moral and social issues eloquently (if a bit hammily, at times), but the film fails to capture the viewer. There are a number of dramatic lapses in the movie, the editing is poor, and the "zombie" enemy is a hackneyed, and, in the end, silly antagonist. The movie also has the same dingy, low-energy atmosphere that characterized "Soylent Green". This atmosphere helps the film at times, yet also stamps the movie irreversibly as a product of the early 1970s' ambitious yet generally unsuccessful "pessimistic future" genre of films. Finally, the score is truly horrendous. It is funny for a while, but then begins to really get on the viewer's nerves, and it does nothing to help in already dull, poorly directed scenes. In short, the movie is dated and directed with minimal energy and skill, but it is worth a look if you want to see a period piece of a jaded time in the "sci-fi" genre, a fun Chuck Heston performance, and flawed ambition.
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Format: DVD
Based on Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend", which was recommended to Charlton Heston by Orson Welles, and one that Heston was inspired to make into a film, is a truly creepy sci-fi/horror classic. Heston is marvelous as Colonel Robert Neville, a scientist who is immune to the plague that resulted from biological warfare, due to an experimental vaccine he injected himself with.
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.
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Format: DVD
This film would have had more dramatic impact if the kitsch of the early 70's had not been so intrusive--and the only redeeming thing about that was the cool muscle cars! Really, this is a good movie if you can get over the bad music, bad clothes, and occasionally painful "black slang" dialogue that is used by the main female character, and her brother Richie. Emmy-winner Zerbe seems to have a romping good time as the reporter-turned-prophet who leads the plague-deranged Family against Heston's gutsy Col. Neville. It takes some suspension of disbelief to buy the story that Neville has managed to hold off the Family all by himself for two years. Even with their strong social more against technology, and in spite of Neville's personal arsenal, the Family outnumbers Neville hundreds to one! And the two times the Family does get to Neville, Neville seems so utterly bumbling that it's hard to believe a man so easily captured has managed to avoid his fate for such a long time. But I am nit-picking. This is another one of those venerable Heston science fiction products, akin to Planet of the Apes and Soylent Green. It might be argued that Heston enjoys a sub-genre of film science fiction all to himself, between these three films, each of which exploits some of the great fears of the era in which they were made. You shouldn't see one without seeing the others. Especially Soylent Green, as it is almost the mirror image of Omega Man, in that Soylent Green studdies the impact of massive overpopulation whereas Omega tackles the mental experiment of a sudden, catastrophic population decline.
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Format: DVD
If you haven't read it before, the short novel "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson is one of the classics of horror/science fiction. Grab a copy today (right here on Amazon, simple as can be!) and read it before watching this movie adaptation of the novel. (This is actually the second movie version of "I Am Legend." The first is the elusively unavailable Italian film staring Vincent Price, "The Last Man on Earth.")
"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.
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