26 November 2008

I Am The Last Omega Man Legend On Earth

Thought processes are a funny thing. Not so much funny ha-ha, more funny peculiar. Hancock, starring The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (aka Will Smith) is new out on DVD and we thought we should get jiggy with a series of films that ends with Smith's previous, er, blockbuster. Richard Matheson (Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Stir of Echoes) wrote his novel “I Am Legend” in 1954 and the films interpret his scenario in slightly different ways. All versions are set in the near future where a virus has wiped out most of humanity and left some survivors as vampire like creatures of the night, while one man patrols the streets killing the undead.

The Last Man On Earth (1964)
Vincent Price stars in the purest adaptation of Richard Matheson's book. Price spends his time playing music and killing pseudo-zombie-vampires and, unknown to him, the surviving humans, making him a 'legend' and he his feared by everyone. The film is slow but, with its unsettling visuals and claustrophobic feel, it plays like an extended episode of the Twilight Zone. And we love the Twilight Zone.

The Omega Man (1971)
Charlton Heston tries to live a normal life, test driving cars, watching Woodstock, playing chess in his apartment, and looking for the pale, daylight fearing, technology hating mutants so he can kill them with a variety of guns (hey, this is Charlton Heston). Heston's monotone monologues dominate the film, but the action and despair is increased making it the most accessible of the versions.

I Am Legend (2007)
Imagine thinking you were alone in a plague ravaged world, only to discover it is also populated by CGI wildlife and Will Smith. How depressing would that be? This film takes the title of book but not the premise of being a 'legend' (despite a sloppily added voiceover at the end that fits about as well as Ron Jeremy at a chastity convention). After Smith starred in “I Robot” (another film which had little to do with its source material), did he really need to do it again?

4 comments:

Panda Mime said...

Mister J, this is Sarah-Jayne.
What book was I Robot based on?
Christopher Pike? haha
No, seriously, there is a Christopher Pike book about the 3 rules of cyborgianism (yeah it's a word... why? BECAUSE I SAY SO)
x

mrjslack said...

"I Robot" the movie was just about completed before they got the rights to the name ( from the Asimov book of the same name which in itself was a collection of short stories ). So they added a few elements from said book, and hoped nobody would notice. Obviously science fiction fans have far better things to do than get caught up in the minutiae ( this IS a real word - who'd have thunk it? ) of such things... right??

Christopher Pike is said to be a big Asimov fan, so likely he referenced things from I Robot in his own work.

And even tho I've been drinking, I'm still fairly sure that "cyborgianism" is not a word. But if you say so, likely I will agree with you because you are very persuasive.

And how does one mime a panda exactly anyway? I'd imagine it involves sitting around a lot, eating bamboo shoots, and occasionally maiming tourists... am I close??

fabulous heretic said...

"Cyborgasms" is a word though. It is something that happens to Steve Austin (The 6 Million Dollar Man, not Stone Cold) during sex.

Panda Mime said...

Hahaha. Steve Austin is a dirty so and so.
And that is EXACTLY how you mime a panda! I get frightened by my young when it sneezes and small Chinese men carry me around the panda nursery and feed me bottles.
One time I was just chilling in my cage and a tourist had it's back to the bars and I just went nuts on his jacket. Like, totally mauled that shit. It was rad.