Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Put Your Vest On, Man!

The Omega Man

Starring: Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash
Director: Boris Sagal

I thought I'd seen this film before, settling down and watching this DVD revealed that I’d only ever watched a small part of it (including a bit with rotten corpses in it that I’d accidentally seen as a young child when I should have been in bed) even though it’s on telly about three times a year and I’m in my forties, meaning I could have seen it about 70-odd times for free during my adult life.
Instead I paid to rent it out on DVD. Which is good because it allowed me to rewind and pause the good bits. The bits with the dead people in it.
I read “I Am Legend” about three years ago, before the Will Smith remake last year, and while “Omega Man” takes liberties with the original plot, you can see why those changes were made, and they work. And it’s a good film.
Charlton Heston is probably a mis-casting – but not remotely on the same scale as Will Smith’s mis-casting in the remake. Heston manages to get a little pro-gun propaganda into the film (or am I being too sensitive?) And the vampires are gone, instead you’ve got light sensitive homicidal religious maniacs. That’s slightly disappointing, and takes the film out of the realm of out and out horror fantasy and into post-apocalyptic thriller.
Events from the book occur in a slightly different order, and the ending is softened to prevent depressed audiences leaving the cinema. But it's very enjoyable, quite tense in places, different from the book so if you’ve read that, there’s no spoilers in there for you.
There’s a couple of interesting extras on the DVD too.

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