Monday, January 2, 2012
bad/awesome flixxx review: The Omega Man (1971)
"Definition of a scientist - a man who understands nothing until there was nothing left to understand." - Matthias
"Don't screw up. I know how to roll, but it's hard on the elbows. And if you just have to play James Bond, I'll bust your ass. " - Lisa
"You know the old song? If you were the only girl in the world, and I was the only boy, well, okay, but until then, don't bother me? Well, I guess I'm the only boy..." - Neville
A classic Charlton Heston sci fi. Along with PLANET OF THE APES and SOYLENT GREEN, these were the movies that framed my sci fi childhood. If you took these end of the world sagas, maybe throw in LOGAN'S RUN, and the KAMANDI (LAST BOY ON EARTH) comics, something about that end of the world stuff always interested me. Heston landed roles in all of these powerful "ender" sci fi gems. This one in particular being a remake of 1964's THE LAST MAN ON EARTH starring Vincent Price, and was remade again in 2007 with Will Smith (ugh) as I AM LEGEND. Here we go with Chuck Heston in THE OMEGA MAN!!!!
This flick starts out with Colonel Neville (Heston) as a scientist who worked for the military on an antidote that would have helped save the rest of the world's population from the fallout of a chemical weapon used in a war between China and Russia.
It's 1977 and everyone else on Earth has perished... or so he believes. Neville lives in a bigass fortified mansion in downtown San Francisco, and drives whatever car he can find until he wrecks it or the gas runs out or whatever. He speeds around town and watches movies during the day. As he goes in to watch it again, he says he's watched "Woodstock" several times over the last few years.
So Neville is kind of going crazy being all alone. He hears phone's ringing, and talks to his only companion, a bust of Caesar. But, Neville himself knows he's not alone. Even though after three years he hasn't found any human survivors, he's had trouble with plenty of "victims" of the chemical warfare. These ex-humans call themselves "the family". They have weeping sores, and can't see, and can't handle themselves in the sunlight. So in essence they have become pseudo-vampires. The family believes that Neville is the one who caused them to be the way they are, but an enemy and a relic to them. Part of the "old way" that led to the wars and killing in the first place. Neville just wants them to leave him the fuck alone.
One night Neville believes he sees a black chick running around in a department store, so instead of spitting back to his apartment, he camps out for the night. The family catches him down in a wine cellar and takes him back to their lair to put him on trial for his sins. We find out in flashbacks that the head family dude used to be the main news anchor back before the shit went down. His name is Matthius. Matthius sentences Neville to death for his crimes (which are living in the old ways that humans used to before the fallout). They plan to burn him at the stake in Dodger stadium, but Neville is rescued by the black chick and some kids.
They drive out to the boondocks, and Neville sees that there's a group of survivors including a dude who was working on getting his doctorate in biological medicine which is what Neville studied. Neville starts banging the chick. Oh yeah, Neville is ammune because he was in a helicopter crash trying to deliver the antidote. When the pilot got sick and bit the big one, Neville survived the crash and jabbed the antidote (untested) into his leg. Lucky for him it saved him. Ok, so he sees that the kids are unmutated, and that some of them have blood that may resist the virus. So he decides to make a serum from his blood. He tests it on the chicks brother who is sick and cures him. The brother wants to save everyone after that. Neville plans to get them all the fuck outta there, but the kid brother gets grabbed by the family. Neville goes to save him and the chick gets infected. He tries to rescue them both, but gets a spear through the chest in a fountain. The kids come to pick everyone up to leave, and Neville is alive long enough to hand over the antidote serum. Then he croaks, and the kids split to start a new tomorrow. Should you watch this? Fuck yes, especially if you've never seen it, but have seen I AM LEGEND. word up.