The Omega Man

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS: Germ warfare gets out of control, kills everyone.

SYMPTOMS: Charlton Heston is the Last Man on Earth.  Except, of course, for everybody else.

WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?  Heston is content to live out his remaining days driving fast cars, shooting creeps with a high-powered weapons, playing chess by himself and watching the movie Woodstock every day.  Others would prefer he die.  Still others see in him some measure of hope for the future.  It’s tough gig, being Last Man on Earth, everybody wants something from you.

WHO ARE THE BAD GUYS?  The pale-faced, black-robed, light-sensitive, technology-hating, medieval-thinking goons who want to kill Heston and end all human life on Earth are led by, of course, a broadcast journalist.  Then as now, they only wish to destroy.

NOTES: The movie is directed by Boris Sagal, veteran TV director and father to Katey.  The only other film of his that I’ve seen is the similarly apocalyptic Elvis Presley vehicle Girl Happy.

Big problem: the bad guys here aren’t very scary.  Or very interesting.  Metaphorically they make “sense” (creatures who can’t tolerate light dress like the Spanish Inquisition, talk in fake medieval-speak and want to destroy all of humanity’s accomplishments), but they’re weak, disorganized and laughably inadequate to the task of being frightening or threatening.

The irony of Heston defending civilization’s greatest accomplishments against backward-thinking zealots (at the barrel of a high-powered assault weapon) while watching Woodstock every day and making whoopee with a hip, sassy black chick is not lost on me.
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17 Responses to “The Omega Man”
  1. toku666 says:

    similarly apocalyptic Elvis Presley vehicle Girl Happy

    Hey man, if you ever leave your wife…

    Just sayin’.

  2. black13 says:

    Is the original with Vincent Price better? I’ve read the novel by Richard Matheson, and I’ve seen this one on TV a couple of times, but for some reason I’ve never been able to get my hands on the Vincent Price.

    • Todd says:

      It seems to be available on DVD. I was unaware of its existence until your post. I’d only heard for decades from sci-fi geeks who were up in arms because Ridley Scott and Schwarzeneggar were going to do it. Now they’re up in arms because Will Smith is doing it.

      • black13 says:

        You made me look. 🙂 It’s not available in German (where I am), but thanks to you I just discovered that I can get it from the UK.
        I’d heard of the Scott/Schwarzenegger project, and kind of shrugged it off (as I usually do such rumors) because, even if it gets made, nobody’s going to point a gun at my head and make me watch it.
        Which is also my attitude about the Will Smith rumor.

      • automatoid says:

        I’ve got a copy of the Vincent Price version that was on a crappy/really great $15 Horror movie compilation DVD. The monsters are no more frightening in The Last Man On Earth than in Omega Man – in fact, they’re significantly less frightening; they’re vampires (can’t stand garlic or to see themselves in the mirror), and they just spend all night standing outside Vincent Price’s house moaning his name, occasionally hitting the walls with sticks. The movie had a very refreshing ending though.

      • kornleaf says:

        woah, woah woahwoah

        who is doing it?
        Not to be too pissed at hollywood
        but does anyone do anything remotly origional anymore?

  3. kornleaf says:

    holy fing crap
    I LOVE that you are talking about this movie.
    my gawd

    “100 proof anglosaxon baby”
    in the book he kills himself because he is now the “freak”
    and the whities are actually vampires

    • Todd says:

      in the book he kills himself because he is now the “freak”

      Well now, that’s a really cool ending. Because the thing that jars me about the movie is that the creatures aren’t creatures at all, they’re just fellow doomed humans who are all going to die. And what is Heston defending, really? What does civilization’s greatest achievements count for if there’s no one left to appreciate them? And if no one cares about them, what does it matter?

  4. urbaniak says:

    Hey, Happy Birthday, Alcott!

  5. edo_fanatic says:

    well happy birthday movie man Alcott. haha.