The Omega Man

1971

The Omega Man

Critics Consensus

It may not live up to its classic source material, but The Omega Man transcends its limitations often enough to offer some mildly entertaining post-apocalyptic thrills.

63%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 32

53%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 17,210
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Movie Info

This second film adaptation of Richard Matheson's science-fiction novel I Am Legend (the first version being The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price) unfolds in a post-apocalyptic 1976. Charlton Heston is Robert Neville, the sole recipient of a serum that enabled him to survive an onslaught of germ warfare between Russia and China - which seemingly rendered him the last (normal) human alive. Neville lives in a garish, antique-strewn L.A. penthouse. During the day, he roams through the vacant city. At night, he fends off a bloodthirsty horde of mutant scavengers garbed in Spanish inquisition robes and sunglasses, led by Matthias (Anthony Zerbe), a former television newscaster in his good ol' pre-mutant days. Matthias and his half-human vampires want to kill Neville. Neville's last man on earth status is shattered when he comes across a group of young people, presided over by the sexy and cynical Lisa (Rosalind Cash). Neville begins to form an interest in her, as the two try to keep Matthias and his minions at bay. The Omega Man was filmed in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday afternoons, an area that consists almost exclusively of office buildings, and therefore was suitably vacant at the the time of production. In 2007, Matheson's novel received yet another incarnation - this one with Will Smith in the Heston role. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Cast

Anthony Zerbe
as Matthias
Jill Giraldi
as Little Girl
Anna Aries
as Woman in Cemetery Crypt
DeVeren Bookwalter
as Family Member
John Dierkes
as Family Member
Monika Henreid
as Family Member
Linda Moon Redfearn
as Family Member
Forrest G. Wood
as Family Member
Linda Redfearn
as Family Member
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News & Interviews for The Omega Man

Critic Reviews for The Omega Man

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (12)

Audience Reviews for The Omega Man

  • Jun 15, 2014
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon13.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 17, 2012
    It's obvious that "The Omega Man isn't a great film. Charlton Heston overacts most of the time; Boris Sagal's direction is dated as all hell; the one-liners are cheesy in an annoying sort of way; and the villains look and act like complete idiots. On top of that, it shares little with the novel it was based upon other than a lead character with the same name and a similar premise. But as average as it is, there's a slight charm to it. It's that kind of mindless action flick that you know is gonna be bad even before watching it, but when the end credits start to roll, you can't help but admit that your expectations were slightly exceeded. It has a watchable and adventurous quality to it that most other films don't have, and it's also noticeable how much of an influence it's had on other films in the science-fiction genre. Sure, "The Omega Man" isn't what I'd call excellent cinema, but it's an easy watch.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Oct 21, 2012
    Charlton Heston is...The Omega Man. In this adaptation of a Richard Matheson novel the world population has been wiped out by chemical warfare, leaving behind a new race of mutants that seek to eradicate the last remnant of humanity; former military scientist Robert Neville. The script is written quite well, and puts a new and interesting spin on the material. And, Heston gives a strong performance that elevates the film. The '70s aesthetic can be a bit distracting at times, but it also gives the film a camp and a retro feel that's kind of fun. The Omega Man is a classic science-fiction film that's full of action but also explores the social issues of its time.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 12, 2012
    Something about 70's films, where it just doesn't seem like they take anything seriously.... including the writing. This starts out as a great film, and actually is not only a great "zombiepocalypse" movie, but also the ghouls are scary because of their cult mentality. This fight between the remnants of humanity and the maniacal medieval ghouls keeps up through the end of the movie, and then it just rapidly decays, not unlike the movies quick acting plague. When Lisa suddenly turns ghoul and loses her tough girl attitude only to become a useless pawn in the game between Mathias and Neville, the movie gets stupid. When Neville lasts for hours after getting a spear thrust into his chest so that he can hand the serum off to the future, the movie gets stupid. When they're playing upbeat music as Neville dies in a bloody fountain, the movie gets stupid. The real question is, how can the director not see this? Because he was making a cheesy 70's movie. Too bad.
    Mace R Super Reviewer

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