The Omega Man

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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, All Movie Guide


  • Charlton Heston
  • Anthony Zerbe
  • Rosalind Cash
  • Paul Koslo
  • Eric Laneuville
  • Lincoln Kilpatrick
  • Jill Giraldi
  • Anna Aries
  • Brian Tochi
  • DeVeren Bookwalter

Did You Know?


  • British studio Hammer Films had previously contemplated a film adaptation of Richard Matheson's book under the title of "The Night Creatures", written by Matheson himself. The project was ultimately deemed too graphic, foundered and eventually died.
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  • The camera crew is reflected in the black stone pillars when he is jogging along the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
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    • [the last man on earth, talking to a bust of Caesar positioned in front of a chessboard]
    • [to the "Family"]
    • Neville: *Shut up*! Why the hell can't you leave me alone?
    • [later, to the bust of Caesar]
    • Neville: What day is it, anyway? Monday? Huh? The hell it is. It's Sunday. Sunday I always dress for dinner.
    • Neville: Hi. Another day, another dollar.
    • [later]
    • Neville: For you, I think it's your move.
    • [makes drink]
    • Neville: Join me? Hmm? Miserable schmuck!
    • [to his own image on the video screen]
    • Neville: Isn't he? Isn't he a sullen b...
    • [stops when he hears the "Family" calling him from outside]
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The ghouls are a little too ridiculous to quite fulfill their function in the movie. They make all the wrong decisions, are incompetent and ill-coordinated.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

It's not the plot that disappoints, it's the poor dialogue between action sequences. Sadly another film to file under not as good as the book.

Metacritic review by Ian Nathan
Ian Nathan