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The Omega Man Reviews

Another misfired adaptation of Richard Matheson's fine science fiction novel I Am Legend (the first, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, starring Vincent Price, fared a bit better) starring Heston as one of the few survivors of a post-apocalypse Los Angeles who hasn't been turned into one of an army of pale-skinned mutants called "vampires" that only go out at night. The vampires are led by Zerbe, who has become obsessed with destroying what is left of the scientific culture that made nuclear war possible. The film boils down to a violent battle of wits between a machine-gun-toting Heston and Zerbe's minions, who eventually win and literally crucify Heston for trying to save mankind. Badly dated and clumsily allegorical, THE OMEGA MAN has some fairly interesting moments, the most memorable being the view of a devastated, empty downtown Los Angeles. Heston was instrumental in bringing Matheson's novel to the screen for this unsatisfactory second try. He had been introduced to the book by Orson Welles, no slouch himself at doomsday tales.