Film / The Omega Man

"There's never a cop around when you need one."
Robert Neville, the last man on Earth.

The second, and perhaps the best-known, screen version of I Am Legend, The Omega Man was released in 1971 and directed by Boris Sagal.

The film stars Charlton Heston as Robert Neville, a military scientist who saves himself at the last minute from the fallout of biological warfare between the Soviet Union and China. The end result is that he's now the last man on Earth, and so he spends his existence just trying to survive. This is complicated by a group of survivors, now mutated into albino mutants and led by the charismatic Matthias (Anthony Zerbe). "The Family," as they call themselves, have set out to eliminate all traces of civilization, Neville included.

Has nothing to do with MegaMan: Star Force, we can assure you. Nor does it have anything to do with Omega Men.

This work features examples of:

  • And Then John Was a Zombie: At the climax, Lisa becomes a part of the Family.
  • Apocalypse How: This was a result of Depopulation Bomb in the form of The Virus.
  • Bittersweet Ending: On the one hand the last survivors have been given the cure to the disease, in the form of Neville's blood and Mathias is dead. On the other hand, so is Neville.
  • Black Dude Dies First: The first of the survivors to be killed by The Family is Richie—who is both black and a kid.
  • Disease Bleach: Kicks in instantly and just as instantly reverses when someone is cured.
  • Evil Albinos: The Family. The plague mutated into something that turned many of the survivors into albinos but it still kills in the long term.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Matthias refuses to believe Richie that Neville will cure them and accuses him of being a spy and kills him.
  • Evil Gloating The albinos can't stand bright light. The head of the Family is preparing to kill the hero in a darkened stadium at night. Head bad guy to followers: "Darkness is triumphant!". Then the stadium lights come on.
  • Evil Luddite: The Family is an entire group full of them—Mathias believes that anything and everything Man has made (from cars to catapults to paintings) is a sign of his corruption and must be destroyed.
  • Ghost City: Los Angeles. The establishing shots of a lifeless L.A. were achieved by filming on Sunday mornings when there was almost no traffic. It works for the most part except for one shot where the viewers can see another car moving in the distance, and a random pedestrian.
  • In-Name-Only: Not even that really. But in the original book it's vampires, not mutants, Neville is an everyman, not a scientist-soldier and it's a lot more morally ambiguous.
  • It Won't Turn Off: "THERE IS NO PHONE RINGING!"
  • Last of His Kind: Initially, Neville thinks he is.
  • Ludd Was Right: After the last scientist on Earth dies, the survivors leave the city to live lives of backbreaking agrarian toil in the countryside.
  • Obliviously Evil: The Family are convinced that Neville is the real evil one because his use of technology.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Matthias and Neville's exchange
    Matthias: You are discarded. You are the refuse of the past.
    Neville: You are full of crap.
  • Technology Marches On: Whilst it was probably very impressive and advanced at the time; today that infrared scope on the top of Neville's BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) is absolutely huge.
  • Wall Slump: In a fountain.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Richie goes to the Family's base and tells them that Neville is working on a cure for their disease. Mathias kills him and leaves his dead body for display on said base.