Posted by: kfugrip | November 19, 2007

One hundred thirteen: The Omega Man

My Uncle Donnie had a huge effect on my early reading. Though he worked construction, and was a part time Mayor of the tiny town I first grew up in, he was a writer. He collected comic books most of his life, as well as science fiction paperback (imagine anything with a Frank Frazetta cover) and sitting in his “book room” during the summers and looking at the book covers was the spark that created my creative fires. Donnie and I would talk about many things but he told me about two books and those books stuck with me. One I won’t mention because I want to make it into a movie some day, but the other was a book called I Am Legend. Donnie spoiled the ending for me, and though I have yet to read the book I think about it often as an idea.

Kelly and I had seen the preview to the forthcoming I Am Legend movie, starring Will Smith, and we decided that we would have to see it. This conversation eventually led to her borrowing my copy of the book and reading it in a couple of hours. We talked about it in spurts that day and I told her about the two movies based on the book. One of the movies is The Last Man on Earth, which stars Vincent Price. I haven’t seen that one but I have seen the other movie based on Richard Matheson’s book…

The Omega Man, directed by Boris Sagal, is the story of the last man in a world after a germ warfare between Russia and China. The resulting plague leaves everyone who survives the sickness, except Robert Neville (Charlton Heston), as an albino mutant with severe light sensitivity. Neville barricades himself in his penthouse apartment at night, talking to himself and getting drunk, trying to block out the constant barrage from the mutants outside. During the day Neville looks for the nest so that he can kill them all. While out on one of his day missions Neville finds other survivors who haven’t turned completely and tries to help them, and cure them with his blood as the mutants make one final push to rid themselves of Neville.

What I liked: The ideas present in the story are interesting. I enjoy a good post-apocalyptic story.

What I didn’t like: Nearly everything in this film is a let down. Charlton Heston as the lead, and the inevitable romance that he has, was laughable. He’s too old in this film to be a romantic lead. The makeup on the mutants is silly and laughable. The production values on everything from costumes to how the stunt players are incorporated was clumsy and distracting.

They tried to make this into a straight action movie, instead of using the creepy horror elements of the source material. The film is also a victim of too many one-liners. The reasons to dislike this film are legion.

2 stars

(I had seen this film once before and my initial rating was 3 stars… what was I thinking?)




  1. […] out good reviews of both The Omega Man and Scanners by Adam on his […]

  2. horrible, horrible, horrible. i wish i could un-see this.

  3. […] it is about the germ creating vampires instead of light-sensitive-mutants like the villains in The Omega Man. The Last Man on Earth is also a B movie in every sense of the word. I’ll touch on this a bit […]

  4. Youre a moron, The Omega Man was over-the-top campy, thats what makes it a great film. Youre a special effects whore; no film that had a horrible story, was ever made better by fantastic special effects. If you happen to think differently, then youre a cheap film enthusiast.

  5. Victor,
    Thank you for reading. I don’t know how you got that I am a “special effects whore” from this review. I mentioned only that the makeup was laughable. I would say that your observation that “no film that had a horrible story, was ever made better by fantastic special effects” is accurate and completely in line with what I believe about special (and visual) effects. Read more of this blog and you’ll find this to be true.

    As to whether this film is campy or not, you’re wrong. A campy movie is made such by intent. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is campy and made that way by the filmmakers. If you, or anyone, can find where the screenwriter, producer, or director of The Omega Man said they were making a campy movie I will change this post.

    When a straight, non-campy film is labeled campy years after it was released it is because the film sucked. If you happen to think differently, then you’re an uneducated film idiot.

    Furthermore, when I blast someone in the comments of their blog, I read more than one post so as not to look like a jackass. You should try it.

  6. Did I see the same OMEGA MAN as you did? Charlton Heston was too old to have that sex scene with the sexy chick? Man, you’re daft. Charlton Heston wasn’t too old for that part at all. He was at the prime of his science-fiction career, just to see him play in science-fiction was a riot, especially his stints in PLANET OF THE APES series.
    Calling Heston to be too old to be with that sexy chick is ludicrous.
    Because the OMEGA MAN, in my estimation was one of THE best B-science fiction films from the time period it came out in, and because of such foul-ups with other great SF remakes (cruise in War of Worlds, for example)—I had no desire to see that new OMEGA MAN and will not see it, even if it were for free.
    Now you have your opinion and that’s fine, I have mine, along with a lot of others who might agree with me, or might with you…in the long run it’s all opinion anyway.
    OBTW: if you’re going to insist that Heston was “too old” for that part where his character had a short romance with the sexy chick—then surely that gawdaweful James Bond portrayal by Roger Moore, the older he got, the fuglier her got, if he could do it with dozens of beautiful, much younger women—then so could Heston’s character who wasn’t as old as Moore, in the Bond films that he ruined.
    Besides; if I remember right, Connery, upon his return in his own Bond film, at his age, he was having fun with several sexy younger women too. And besides, neither Heston in his part in OMEGA MAN and Connery’s part in his own Bond film, make them look “too old” or unable to make a younger, sexy woman happy with having fun. Just proves that some “old guys” still have what it takes, unlike fugley Roger Moore who looked like a member of the living dead in his last few Bond films.

    “Atlas Shrugged”

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