21 November 2007

Charleton Heston, the alpha and Omega Man!


First things first. I deeply apologize for anyone who was surprised by those 2 scenes. It has been 10 years since I saw the film and I plum forgot. So if I caused anyone discomfort, I promise it won't happen again.

OK onto the good stuff. Omega Man is one of my favorite Charleton Heston films. It's all about Barrel Chested glory and killing things instead of trying to fix them. More on that later. Quick plot summary for Omega Man: Omega Man is a 1971 science fiction thriller starring Charlton Heston. The movie is based on Richard Matheson's 1954 novel, I Am Legend. The screenplay was written by John William and Joyce Corrington, and the movie was directed by Boris Sagal. The story was first filmed in 1964, under the title The Last Man on Earth, with Vincent Price in the lead role. A third adaptation of the story, I Am Legend, starring Will Smith, is scheduled for release on December 14, 2007." I love anything Vincent Price and I am deeply disturbed about the upcoming remake. So Charleton plays Robert Neville, a survivor of germ warfare that wiped out all humanity. He is the only person who was immune. There are others who are alive but suffering from severe symptoms including ash-grey skin and hair, weird looking eyes, lots of cysts, light sensitivity and they can only wear black cloaks. They call themselves The Family and they hate anything to do with technology which they blame for what has happened. So they spend all their time burning stuff and trying to kill Robert. Robert soon discovers other surviving humans who have not yet succumbed to the plague. He decides to use his blood as an antidote and take everyone to the hills. The family has other plans.

So the film starts with our hero, Robert Neville, just taking a pleasant drive through downtown LA which is oddly vacant. Then he stops and starts shooting at a shadow in a window. You know immediately that we are in for a good time. In short time we get through the flashbacks that fill us in on what happened to the world (crummy germ warfare!), and find ourselves viewing a shirtless Charleton Heston shopping for clothes. Not just shirtless but glistening. Then we are let in early on Robert's deteriorating mental state. He imagines that every phone in the city is ringing and has to scream that it's not true for it to stop. He then goes home and plays himself in Chess and watches himself on TV. Chuck, in commenting on the film said that Robert is trying to survive his own survival and is failing. For example, why hasn't he headed for the hills? Why does he stay where his life is at risk? It's because it is better to be surrounded by enemies than to be completely alone. So as soon as he discovers other humans he decides that it IS time to head for the hills. One of these survivors is a boy named Ritchie. He is in an advanced stage of the plague, but Charleton manages to save him with his immune blood. We learn that it can take weeks to turn or an instant. so Ritchie had time but others won't be so lucky. Segway into Lisa, Robert's love interest. She is also Ritchie's sister. She has some awesome outfits including a red snake skin pant suit. So anyway, after Ritchie is cured he asks why Robert doesn't try to cure the family? Robert says they are vermin. Well stupid Ritchie goes to the family and tells them that they have a cure. What do they do? The kill him. NEVER EVER TRY TO HELP OTHERS! Anyway, long story short, Lisa turns and as Robert tries to save her he is killed, but not until he manages to get a bottle of his blood to the survivors. So he is the savior of the new world, in case you missed the crucifixion pose that he dies in.

My favorite line is "You better hitch up your drawers." I also love it when Mathias is expounding upon the evils of mankind and Robert says "You're full of crap." Anyway, great Sci-Fi film. Charleton made it after Planet of the Apes and right before Soylent Green which I consider the Holy Trinity of 70's Sci-Fi. Another sweet thing about Omega Man is it is parodied in one of the best Simpsons Halloween Specials ever with HOMEGA MAN. If you haven't seen it, here is a link thanks to Jon Madsen.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ekLDyPGX9a0

I hope you all enjoyed it. Let me know.

On to the movie for December. Obviously the theme is Christmas. I vote for Edward Scissorhands. I'll take your recommendations and make a poll on Dec 1st.

5 comments:

joN. said...

my favorite part of omega man was when in 'strange brew' when they're showing their post-apocalyptic film, rick moranis says that he's a
'one-man fighting force kind of like charlton heston in that movie omega man -- did you see that, it's sweet!'

another favorite part of mine is when he's haggling with the clothing store owner in his mind. he ends the conversation with "thanks a lot, ya cheap bastard!"

my favorite part of 'homega man' was when homer says to the freaks 'where didja get those cloaks?' you need to post the link i sent you of omega man!

my vote for a christmas movie would either be 'gremlins' or 'it's christmastime again charlie brown' (we've seen the original a million times, how about giving the sequel a bit of love).

Rhett said...

those 2 scenes you referred too where my favorite part! I learned a new word from jon... blacksploytation. Never knew about (but hey.. I'm from Eden.)

I vote for Scrooged. I think its one of the underrated Christmas movies.

Chapman Family said...

Elf is definitely our family favorite and what we vote for. "We" = the CCC (Collective Chapman Clan) and PLEASE no Christmas Story!!!

Maria said...

Jon- the "cheap bastard" comment was not in the clothing store- it was in the car dealership. But yes, you are correct, that was an awesome part of the movie.

Proposal: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

J.R. said...

I'm afraid Maria is right. I'm so proud of her!