The Omega Man

Released in 1971 and starring Charlton Heston, it’s a second interpretation of the novel I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. I have seen all three of the film versions. The Last Man on Earth (1964), I Am Legend (2007) and now The Omega Man. Although, I have not read the book, or graphic novel. Allison has and we had an interesting conversation about the different interpretations. She has an issue with The Omega Man and I Am Legend because she thinks the message changes too much from the novel. I don’t want to give too much away and as I said before I haven’t read the novel so I can’t confirm anything but I trust her. She said the novel is kind of hopeless, where as both the film versions she has seen, The Omega Man and I Am Legend are hopeful at the end. In both films people run off into the sunset, so to speak, to a brighter future. I can see where this might bother Allison.
I liked all three versions, though they each have their set of issues. The Last Man on Earth moves slowly and I Am Legend has a few unexplained story elements. The Omega Man has similar issues that yesterday’s film had. It has a lot of elements that are so apparently 70s elements. The music, special effects, costumes and even the background story of the war between China and Russia are things that trap this movie within the 70s. Now, I Am Legend has some things that will restrict it to the time period in which it was made. All the technology used in it from weapons to the television and even the movie the kid watches are indicative of the society during the time in which the film was made. Again, these aren’t necessarily bad things but I do think it’s things like these that prevent films from this genre from being able to cross over from year to year. Everything in the Sci-Fi genre has to predict some future and that is always going to reflect what the current society expects the future to look like. In the 70s, it seems apocalyptic was the main theme.
I liked The Omega Man. Even with its imperfections, it was still entertaining and creepy. I liked that Heston talks to himself and that the vampire/zombie creatures actually think and plan. In I Am Legend the vampire/zombie things don’t really think like humans but rather like animals and having them plan and think critically in The Omega Man adds another level to the issue. The creatures aren’t just animals, they are human-like and killing them off isn’t like killing off another zombie. Heston’s character is murdering but he’s murdering because they are trying to kill him as well. So, in a post-apocalyptic world, there are two races, each trying to survive. One attempts to “purify” to world by getting rid of everything from the past. The other is trying to survive and killing anything that gets in his way. There’s a plague and an end-of-the-world feel. What’s not to like? Plus Charlton Heston is in it. Everything else is just cosmetic.

The Sexiest Movie Ever!

It’s Amanda again. Today’s movie is another Michael York film, Logan’s Run. It was released in 1976 and also stars Jenny Agutter and Richard Jordan. I hadn’t seen this in a while and didn’t remember all of it so it was fun to watch again and see things as if they were new.
Now, I see a common theme start to appear in the films for this week. No, not that all of them will star Michael York. The theme I see is a comparison to Star Wars and advances in special effects. This film came out just one year before Star Wars and the effects are very pale in comparison. The miniatures are incredibly obvious and the sets look cheap. I’m sorry to be so critical but one of the things I look for in a movie is its ability to stand up over time. Though the story is great and Michael York and Jenny Agutter very sexy, the sets, costumes, special effects and concept are indicative of the time in which the film was made. I even made Angelique watch a scene in order to show her the outrageous costumes they had, specifically the one Agutter wears in her first scene that is basically a long poncho held together with a belt, and she commented that it “looked like a 70s’ film.” Not to say that that’s necessarily a bad thing but that it will always be hindered by that aspect. As with yesterday’s film, the story is simple but strong and the production value a little low, especially when considering the film that was to follow the next year.

Logan’s Run is a classic Sci-Fi film with its post-apocalyptic Utopian world, where people are young and beautiful and sexually robust, the only drawback is that you die at 30. I think it must have been one of the last to use this sort of formula before filmmakers moved to the bright and colorful world of computer graphics and intense special effects. A good story can make a movie great but production and film style can trap it within a particular time period or genre. Logan’s Run is a good story but the film is trapped within its time period because of its production and style. It is, as I said earlier, a classic Sci-Fi film and even a classic film of the 70s but it “looks like a 70s’ film” so it will always be seen a “70s”” film. The story may be adaptable (and it looks like it might be done in 2012) but the film will remain of its era.