Archive for » April, 2007 «

Monday, April 30th, 2007 | Author: Colleen Criswell

Shutter

So, last night I couldn’t sleep and I decided to pop in an Asian Extreme movie called Shutter. Now granted I had to read subtitles, but I have found that with these movies it isn’t all that bad. I have always had a fondness for foreign films. Maybe it is just my artsy phartsy side showing but I must say that the Asians have always been able to put a little chill in the air for me when it comes to a good ghost story.

Now with this film we find a story of a group buddies all sharing a drink together, as one of them (Tun Ananda Everingham ) is introducing his new girlfriend, Jane ( Natthaweeranuch Thongmee). Unfortunately after having one few too many, the two love birds wind up running down a mysterious woman. Tun panics and makes Jane leave the spot of the accident. They go back to their lives. Tun is a photographer and at another friend’s college graduation, is taking photos. When he gets the photos developed many of the images are blurred and a face appears in some of them.

Now this is a typical story line of a basic haunting. However, things started to get a bit confusing after that. Now the hit and run thing, apparently no body is ever found. Considering the fact that early in the film it is announced that it is actually Tun’s secret ex-girlfriend who happened to die a few years previous, the whole hit and run thing just made the movie confusing. Also, according to the back of the DVD it mentions his friends start getting killed off one by one. Now this was sort of misleading, as we witness the death of only one friend and the friend’s distraught wife tells Tun that his other two buddies also died the same way. No other mention came up and Tun had no idea. Later it explains why they were marked for death but it sort of gave us a detached feeling about it; ok these people died, so what. We have no emotion for them as we have only seen them in the first five minutes of the film.

Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed in the film though there were little hints to the ending as we went along, which gave some wonderful imagery. The mating ritual of the praying mantis was focused on, so I knew it played an important part in the film. The main point of the film was: Our past sins come back to haunt us. Our lesson learned: When your friend’s gang bang your secret girlfriend, don’t take pictures. And next time my neck starts to hurt, well…I am going to make sure all my ex-boyfriends are still alive and well.

3 pooping transvestites out of 5

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Tuesday, April 24th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Roman

Way back when in 2002 director Lucky McKee brought the creepy little tale of May. Starring Angela Bettis, May was a tale of loneliness and desperation as May reached out to try and make a friend with anybody who would listen. The result was a fabulous psychological thriller that left the viewer a bit unnerved and thoroughly creeped by the end.

In 2006, Mckee and Bettis have reunited for the flick Roman, but this time around they’ve switched roles. Directed by Bettis and starring McKee, Roman is another tale of loneliness. This time around we see loneliness and desperation from the males point of view with a different result.

McKee plays Roman, a factory worker who is painfully alone. It’s not that he’s not interested in other people or the fairer sex. Quite the opposite actually. Every day Roman returns home from work and watches forlornly out of his window for the arrival of his neighbor. (Yay! Kristen Bell) Feigning an excuse to head to the mailbox Roman places himself daily in close proximity to his neighbor in hopes she might notice him, yet he lacks the social skills to approach her or to even say hello. One day all changes and she does happen to take notice. Soon Roman is basking in the attention of the lovely girl next door and his hopes begin to grow for something more. Thinking all is well Roman makes his move until something goes terribly wrong.

Seeing as this movie is helmed by the same creative forces, it is hard not to review this one with out drawing comparisons. They are very similar in scope differing only in the driver behind the wheel. Looking at the two films in this light I’ll flat out say…Roman is not as good as May. The first film was something shocking and new at the time backed by relatively unknown staff. As we go into Roman notions are preconceived on what to expect and in that light the outcome is somewhat diminished as you are awaiting something far more shocking to out do the first. That is not to say this isn’t a good flick however. It’s just different.

Where May (the character) lived a traumatized childhood leaving her a shy and untrusting shell, Roman (again the character) comes to us with no background whatsoever. Where the first example shows us how and why our main character became the trouble soul she was, we do not have that with Roman. Roman appears to us seemingly out of nowhere. Faced with a man who is just down right disturbed with no reasoning as to how he became this way, we the viewer are forced to watch a man who is plain and simply broken. Why is he so awkward? How did he come to become so obsessed with this woman? We simply don’t know and this is the factor that makes this flick that much more disturbing. At first appearance Roman is a fairly normal young man that looks like every one else, just likes to keep to himself. It’s not until you find him locked alone in his apartment that he begins to make you squirm. How many people on the street that are just like this do you pass on a daily basis? How many have Kristin Bell’s corpse stuff in their bath tub? (No I do not have Kristen Bell’s corpse in my bath tub thank you very much.)

This factor is what makes Roman a good flick. This man is disturbed and he radiates this fact. It’s not about the jump scares; it’s not about fast paced music video cuts. It’s all about the slow boil and making you the viewer squirm in your seat, and at this they succeed. When we first finished the flick I was a bit put off. Parts where slow and dragging, some just out right repetitive. In hindsight after it had time to sink in however it became more apparent that they accomplished exactly what they set out to do, showcasing the life of a man sinking into insanity. Looking back in that light and the fact that it still creeps me out two weeks later means a job well done. Kudos to Bettis and McKee for doing it all over again.

3.5 loving psychopaths out of 5

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Tuesday, April 24th, 2007 | Author: Colleen Criswell

Perfect Creature

Ok, I have had this movie in my stack for a while and kept looking at it thinking, “do I want to watch it today?” So finally giving in to my inner turmoil, I tossed in Perfect Creature. This 2006 New Zealand take on the vampire was a bit different than what I expected. You see, before I throw in a movie I some times check IMDB.com for a little synopsis of what it is I am putting in. Usually what I read totally paints the wrong picture in my head, as was the case with this one. What I read made me think that the setting was in the 60′s and 70′s… this was not the case at all.

The movie is futuristic however apparently in the future we backtrack into the Victorian era. The Vampires were created by a virus caused by some crazy alchemists. When born, they are taken from their mothers into a form of priesthood. On the side they dabble in biogenetics. Unfortunately the experiment goes wrong and one of The Brothers goes mad and turns into the vampire-type that we have read about in literature. The head of The Brothers is helping the police track down and deal with the rogue vampire.

So…. yeah…. the movie itself wasn’t too bad. It felt very draggy and slow paced. Silus (Dougray Scott most recently as Ian in Desperate Housewives) gives off such a soft spoken aura as our good priestly vamp that I was starting to nod off during it. Lilly (Saffron Burrows) our police escort, comes off so wishy washy through out the film, so bland that there were times I got her confused with another character in the movie! Our bad boy, Edgar (Leo Gregory) just didn’t come across very threatening.

The writing and directing by Glenn Standring was ok but a bit stiff. The whole drab world came bursting through it, just a bit too drab and dull. It did have a bit of a comic book feel to it which I liked, but at the same time didn’t draw enough on the fantastical insight that was poking through here and there. It had promise but just didn’t follow through.

2 close ups on dripping water out of 5

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Sunday, April 22nd, 2007 | Author: Colleen Criswell

Death Weekend

Ah, the late 70′s when cars drove fast, women wore fur, and the motto “He who dies with the most toys wins” first became apparent. My film for today was the 1976 film Death Weekend a.k.a The House By The Lake, or as I like to think of it I Spit On Your Grave Lite.

Our story is about a dentist (Chuck Shamata) and a model (Brenda Vaccaro) who are going on a weekend visit to his “cabin” in the woods. They have just met only a day or so ago. On the drive up to the cabin, she talks him into letting her drive his pretty little black Corvette. He finally says sure and as she takes the wheel and peals out onto the dirt road it draws the attention of some local thugs. Deciding it is race time, the chase pursues. The four over aged, beer swilling, delinquents start to feel emasculated that they are being out run by a woman so they raise the stakes a bit and still have their balls handed to them as they end up getting run off the road and into a pond.

Our couple finally gets to the destination, a huge old rambling mansion, out in the middle of nowhere. Harry (the dentist) flaunts all of his prize possessions as Diane (the model) smiles and nods obviously really not all that impressed by it all. Now let me stop here. One thing that I found very important, and keep in mind this is made during the turning point of women’s lib, our model was not what one would expect. Where she was lovely, she wasn’t fragile or your typical dumb blonde. No, she was nothing that you would consider of our models of today. This I loved. She was a take charge type of woman. She knew all about cars, she fixes the boat, and she stated right away that she wanted to get to know him before she would think of kissing let alone sleeping with him. A strong female role and it was pulled off wonderfully by this fine actress. Our dentist on the other hand, is only interested in the material value of things. As our characterization unfolds we find he is a womanizer bringing a different woman up every weekend. He has a secret room adjacent to the room he fixes up for his guests with two way mirrors so he can observe and photograph his female companions without their knowledge.

During this time our four ruffians are on the look out for the car and the driver who have bruised their pride. Finally they get the info they are looking for and head to the secluded cabin. They arrive, terrorize Harry and Diane, break everything, wreck the boat, attempt to rape Diane, and beat the hell out of Harry. The only time Harry gets upset however, is when they start smashing his possessions. To this, the leader of the pack named Lep ( Don Stroud) makes a very interesting comment which I feel sums up the Baby-boomer generation fairly well. “You don’t care what happens to this fine lady. You don’t even care what I do to you. But we start to wreck all of this crap in this shitty house, well then you get upset?”

Of course as the passions escalate so does the violence. Harry ends up dead and Diane is faced with what to do. However we are not dealing with some screaming empty headed bimbo. We have a woman who uses her brains and her wits to defeat her foes. I was impressed with the style and the composure that Vaccaro brought to this character. Here is a strong female role in a horror film that doesn’t come off as butch. She still holds her poise without becoming whiney. It was impressive how she did not portray this role as a victim, but as a heroin. This to me was important. Also, I am so happy with the lack of falling down in the woods. In any horror film that contains a female and the woods, well every five steps they stumble and fall and whimper! Not for Diane!

So bravo William Fruet for writing and directing a psychological thriller that contained such an impressive female lead! Good work!

3 dentists out of 5 recommend!

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Wednesday, April 18th, 2007 | Author: Colleen Criswell

Straight On Till Morning

As I sit down this morning with my morning tea, I decided to go British. Today’s film I picked was Hammer’s 1974 film Straight On Till Morning. Now unlike most of my Hammer Films experiences, this one did not take place on some rambling gothic estate. No fiendish vampires or things that go bump in the night. Instead, this little gem takes a whole different approach to the genre that Hammer has forged throughout the era. This movie was not really a horror film but more on the lines of a psychological thriller.

Our film takes place in the “big city”, in modern times… well at the time the movie was made it was modern times. Our plot revolves around an innocent young woman who has a romanticized notion of love. Brenda ( Rita Tushingham) is a “plain Jane” who loves to create her own little faerie tales. She has decided that it is time to make these tales a reality so; she creates a story that she has become pregnant and informs her mother she is off to London to find a father for her child. Once in London, she is thrown into the harsh reality of the grown up world. She finds that her plain looks and dreamy deer-in-the-headlights looks are not going to get her far but she still attempts to fit in.

During this part of the movie we are made increasingly uncomfortable by Brenda. Tushingham did a lovely job in creating a character that gave you that jittery feeling simply by watching her interact. Her awkward approach to meeting people by invading their space, then staring at them with her saucer like eyes, and unblinkingly saying “Hi” with that too bright edge that makes you wonder if she is holding a pair of pinking shears behind her back. Her unending need to meld with the grown up world, yet simply not wanting to let go of her fantasy fairytale dreams leads her to the realization that this just isn’t going to work. So attempting to clear her thoughts she takes a walk.

On her little journey she comes across a scruffy and ugly dog who she finds has the name of “Tinker”. She notices the poor pooch’s owner looking for him; a handsome man with blonde wavy hair. On a spur of the moment she kidnaps the dog and gives him a bath. The following morning she returns the dog to the young man claiming she found Tinker and brought him home and gave him a bath. The man introduces himself as Peter ( Shane Briant). Peter claims that he witnessed her stealing his dog and wanted to know what the point of doing it was. Breaking down she explains she just wanted to meet him. Peter presses a bit further and Brenda explains how she wanted to know if he would be interested in fathering the child she wanted to have. Peter thinks on this a moment and makes a proposition. If she comes to live there with him, clean up after him, do the cooking and mending, then he will see… but he has one stipulation; she must allow him to call her Wendy.

Of course, she agrees to the terms and without letting anyone know where she is off to, she moves in with him.

Now our Peter is actually a serial killer and what he hates most of all is anything beautiful. As they sit one night, Peter tells her a tale which she doesn’t know was actually his life story. Now this is where I had a few questions. Early in the movie after the girl leaves home, the mother eludes to the fact that she had an older brother that also left unexpectedly and never returned. Never was his name mentioned or anything about him. Now I know that on occasion little things like that are simply filler, but the way it was brought up. The mother stating it in a scene where nothing else was really mentioned made me wonder if Peter was indeed Brenda’s long lost brother. If so that adds even a bigger, albeit disturbing twist to the story. Peter mentions that he left home after his father died at the age of fourteen. He then met a string of beautiful (much much older) women (his idea of beauty… well it is all in the eye of the beholder I guess), but they only loved him for his beauty not for him. They only wanted to show him off and this made him despise beauty, so he kills them all. Keep in mind that Brenda mistakenly made Tinker beautiful as well… poor doggie. However, lucky for Brenda!

Where it didn’t give us the gore, it did make you wonder what was going to happen. It gave you an interesting look at the J.M. Barrie tales of Peter Pan. His refusal to take responsibility for his actions, blaming it on someone else, and always in search for a mother like figure to do everything for him that he didn’t really want to do. One thing I found unfortunate throughout the film, which is also a problem I had with the movie A.I., was the blatant push in your face hey-this-is-what-this-movie-is-about. Constant references to Peter Pan, the title of the film, even a statue of Pan himself in Peter’s court yard. It was a little much. A.I did the same thing with the Pinocchio theme, but even to more of an extreme. I don’t mind a bit of reference to the muse, but the constant reminders not only makes it looks like the audience is a flock of idiots it also makes it difficult for us to consider it a new and exciting concept.

I did enjoy the film, but it is a bit slow paced and some of it is slapped together which made it confusing. The ending of the film left you empty unfortunately with too many questions and no answers.

2 stars to the left out of 5

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Saturday, April 14th, 2007 | Author: Colleen Criswell

Drop Dead Sexy

Typically my taste in movies is strictly horror or campy horror. Well, Drop Dead Sexy was campy sans the horror. Mind you I knew that this wasn’t a horror film going into it but I still feel it deserves a mention here. When looking at the cover art and reading the description, I wasn’t too sure about what I was going to find. I was expecting something along the lines of Weekend at Bernie’s to be honest. However, you never can judge a DVD by its cover.

The story revolves around two bumbling idiots. Frank (Jason Lee) who is a used car salesman and Eddie ( Crispin Glover) who is a subterranean architect (read gravedigger). Frank has higher goals in life and simply wants to get to Vegas as his older brother did before him. He gets a delivery job from the shifty eyed Spider ( Pruitt Taylor Vince)… and when I say shifty eyed, I am serious. I thought I was going to have a seizure just from his rapid eye movement alone. Enlisting the aid and truck belonging to Eddie, they proceed upon their highway adventure. Unfortunately Frank, who considers himself to be the luckiest man in the world, and Eddie stumble across a huge problem when the truck happens to explode. Realizing that Spider is probably going to kill them if they don’t get him the money, they quickly go into hiding at Frank’s alcoholic taxidermist mother’s home. Now if that isn’t enough, they decide to do a little grave digging and exhume the body of a young socialite who died under mysterious circumstances to retrieve a diamond necklace that Eddie saw she was buried with. Again, luck was not a lady there either as they discover she no longer is wearing the necklace. So what do they do? What any normal person would; abscond with the body and hold it for ransom.

With the colorful characters, including a mortician (Brad Dourif) who makes his patients more at ease with candle light, soft music and a bottle of wine, and some fun dialogue and a little bit of action this movie wasn’t all that bad. Where I probably won’t watch it again, it was a nice little comedy to enjoy.

3 overstuffed beavers out of 5

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Friday, April 13th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Teenage Exorcist

She Said:

Teenage Exorcist is a 1994 film that was written by and starring Brinke Stevens. This was right on the cusp of her pretty/pretty-scary era. The central character, Diane ( Brinke Stevens) has just bought a house of her own. A house with a dark secret (cue ominous music). The previous owner of the home was a powerful warlock and is determined to return to the living by possessing young Diane. Running to Diane’s aid is a fun group of idiots. Diane’s flighty sister Sally ( Elena Sahagun), Sally’s stuffy yet funny husband Mike (Jay Richardson who, I might add has been in a number of movies that includes Bikini in the title), a young man who is in love with Diana named Jeff ( Tom Shell who looked an awful lot like a guy I knew in high school), a stereotypical Catholic priest named Father McFerrin ( Robert Quarry), and my personal favorite the squirrelly pizza delivery boy ( Eddie Deezen who we all love in every film he has ever been in, including Grease as Eugene as well as the evil Mandark in Dexter’s Laboratory).

The movie was packed full of very funny one liners and crazy little plot twists. The cute play on words and the pratfalls and gags were enough to keep me going in this film. This is one to put on the shelf next to Transylvania 6-5000 and Killer Tomatoes! I will watch it again when I need a good chuckle.

My heart was warmed with the good father singing Tu-ra-loo-ra-loora to the zombies.

4 attacking chiffon gowns out of 5

He Said:

Stupid jokes, stupid site gags, and over the top comedy hijinks from a cast of ham handed b-grade actors. Sounds like a good formula for some good old fashioned cheese to me!

Going into this one, I knew very little about it aside from it starring Brinke Stevens and a guest spot from Michael Berryman. With talks of demonic possession and humor sprinkled about I figured it couldn’t be much worse than anything else I’d settle in for. To my surprise I found myself laughing heartily though out. Sure most of the jokes were all pretty cliché and not wholly original, but they were pulled off well; especially in the context they were given. Starting out slow as we build our initial character backgrounds etc I was a bit concerned. Once everybody arrives at the new home of Ms. Stevens however the chuckles come aplenty and make for an entertaining watch.

There is pretty much zero horror to this flick aside from it’s setting in a demon possessed house. But for a little known flick out of the early 90’s it’s worth it for the laughs and in jokes spread throughout. With Brinke Stevens being a veteran of many low grade horror fests in the 80’s she was quite familiar with the genre. She knew what was laughable and what the formulas were. Using this knowledge she managed to put together a script that exploited and lampoon nearly every convention for a demonic horror flick and we all get to reap the benefits.

Not worth a purchase maybe, but if you stumble across this one on the late night cable channel you owe yourself a good chuckle. You’ll enjoy it more than you think! Plus you get to see Brinke Stevens parading around in dominatrix gear before that was a shuddering thought to think of.

4 clichéd jokes out of 5

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Thursday, April 12th, 2007 | Author: Colleen Criswell

Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes

My film I chose to watch today was Pumpkinhead Ashes to Ashes, which is the third in the Pumpkinhead franchise. Unlike the second film Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings , for this movie we must first go back to the original film, Pumpkinhead.

In the first film we have a single father ( Lance Henriksen ) and his son who own a small produce stand out in the country. A group of wild teenagers on motor bikes accidentally plow down the young boy causing his untimely death. The father in his grief hears from one of the local bumpkin urchins, a young boy named Bunt, about an old hag in the woods who knows how to “make things right”. The old woman, properly named Haggis, conjures a spell bringing to life an abomination of a creature known only as Pumpkinhead. (This is due to the fact that the area in which he is buried in is covered with pumpkins, it has nothing to do with the creature’s facial features which look more along the lines of the queen in Alien than anything from the squash family…well, maybe a gourd, but Gourdhead doesn’t seem to strike too much terror now does it?) One by one the young people die as well as some innocent bystanders. When the father realizes that vengeance was probably not the answer to his problem, he knows it is too late and finds the only way to stop it. As it was conjured by his own blood, the only way is to kill him self. This destroys the beast but, what the old woman didn’t explain is that once the beast is destroyed it needs a new “donor”, meaning the father’s corpse takes its place in ye ole pumpkin patch.

Now in the third move of this franchise we come across an old town crematorium where the doctor has enlisted the help of some of the less fortunate in the area to help with his dirty work, one of them being a now grown Bunt who is now being haunted by the spirit of the father from the first movie, who is still played by Lance Henriksen. When a person has passed on, instead of actually cremating them, they had started harvesting the organs and skin and what have you, giving the mourning families wood ash in lieu of the actual remains of the dearly departed, then dumping the leftovers in the swamp. Unfortunately a hiker comes across what is going on and after the remove a couple of vital organs, they leave him for dead. But, he still has enough life in him to make it to a road and flag down a car. Before he finally stops ticking he informs a woman of the happenings he has come across and so a search ensues and they find many bodies, including the body of the woman’s eight year old daughter and, after going too deep in the swamp they stumble across a pumpkin patch with an unidentified and deformed body. From out of a wooded area in comes our lady of the woods, Haggis, looking even more lovely than usual announcing that the deformed body is her property and she promptly carts it off with no argument from anyone.

There are a few whispers and the mourning mother realizes that this is the woman to ask for help. She and three friends go off to the woods to request a boon. The old woman gives them every chance to change their minds but they say they know what they want. So she takes the blood donation from each and wakes up the Great Pumpkin.

Now, as we understand, we have the return of some characters from the first one however, Bunt is now on the other side of the fence. He has been marked. The thing is, he knows the secret to the end of Pumpkinhead. So our “villains” know the secret is to kill the person who called the creature. The only thing standing in the way is knowing who did it.

This movie was great for the continuing storyline on the Pumpkinhead franchise. It stuck to the plot, kept it in the same area, and enlisted previous characters and the original tale; to me this is important to the mythology of a tale such as this. Casting was very well done with the Bunt character. Originally the part was played by Brian Bremer; in this one, the grown up version is played by Douglas Roberts. They both have similar facial features, especially the large eyes. Lynne Verrall returned to play the part of Haggis, and the aforementioned Henriksen returning in his role of Ed Harley.

The deaths were creative and very well crafted so kudos to the special effects and make up.

My main problem with the film, and you will find me critical of this in many films (Don’t even get me started on Far and Away), is the accent issue. The film takes place down in the southern region of the U.S. Unfortunately most of the actors must have learned from the same coach Jessica Simpson used for The Dukes of Hazzard. It made me want to cut my ears off. In most cases I was glad to see people get killed, just so I wouldn’t have to suffer through the butchery!

4 smashed pumpkins out of 5

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Thursday, April 12th, 2007 | Author: Jeff Gabbard

Most of you on Cinemafromage know me because of my interest in Martial Arts. I enjoy martial arts as a way to keep in shape, focus my mind and make friends. At heart, I’m really a pacifist and consider myself a secular humanist. It is with great sadness that I share with you that the man who has informed my thinking more than anyone else, fellow Hoosier Kurt Vonnegut Jr., has passed away at age 84. I have read most every word the man has written and have had the great privilege of seeing him speak twice over the years. Do yourself a favor today and visit your public library or favorite bookstore and pick up one of his books, or rent one of the movies based on his books. God Bless you, Mr. Vonnegut.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Wednesday, April 11th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

The Omega Man

Robert Neville (Chuck Heston) was a military scientist. After a mysterious biological attack on the US he is put on the case to find a cure. When fleeing one day he begins to succumb to the disease and injects himself with his experimental antidote. Lucky for him it worked. Unlucky for us he found out to late. This turn events made Neville the last man on earth. He’s not entirely alone however. Haunting his day to day solitary existence is a group known as ‘The Family’. Being forced to a nocturnal lifestyle as well as a psychopathic bent, the family isn’t truly human anymore and strives to burn the old ways of life and create a new one as they become further deformed due to the results of germ warfare.

Combining the manliness of Charlton Heston with a post apocalyptic world with nothing but him and a handful of ghouls is an exciting prospect for fans of science fiction. Seeing how well he handled the genre in Planet of the Apes it’s easy for one to have high expectations for his return to the genre. Machine guns, pillaging and looting, and generally whatever the hell he feels like is the game of the day. Made in 1971, the world was always in a varying state of panic over one doomsday theory or another. Nuclear war, germ warfare, all were a vague possibility in that era making The Omega Man chill straight to the core. In 1971 at any rate.

Not an original tale by any sorts, The Omega Man is based on the Richard Matheson novel I am Legend. Portrayed once before by Vincent Price in The Last Man on Earth and soon once again by Will Smith in I am Legend, Omega Man manages to separate itself form the pack a bit by giving voice to ‘The Family’ as well as adding a touch of blaxploitation to spice things up. Where the original and new films were pitted against vampire hold overs from the human race, Robert Neville this time around faces off against a group of madman that are slowly dying off themselves. When Neville finds a hidden group of survivors not yet turned to the dark side our movie splits into to opposing sides. One who strives to make things as they once were living off the land and making the best of what they’ve got, and one attempting to eradicate the traces of their former lives believing technological advancement to be the downfall of man. When you add in Rosalind Cash with her touches of black power looks and carrying herself as a woman of strength with her interracial love affair with the lonely Robert Neville, Omega Man takes on yet another sociological aspect. Despite being called ‘science fiction’ it’s a flick that gives you some issues to think upon and that might make you take a look at the world around you.

Getting past the philosophical there’s an angle to this flick that screams out to the inner boy child in all of us. Harkening back to the days of old out playing war with you tree twig machine gun, we’re watching a movie about a man and his gun. (It’s Heston, what’d you figure?) One man against a world full of nasties, one man with no rules to abide by, no boundaries, nothing to do all day long aside from whatever the hell you want. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of you out there have day dreamed a similar situation when you were a wee tyke and The Omega Man plays upon these fond memories adding to our enjoyment even further. To further this thought, the star of those day dreams always being your self, you’re now watching said daydreams starring Charlton Heston. Sure he was starting to gray and growing that old man chest, but he was Chuck Heston and he was all machismo. When you’re playing good guys and bad guy’s it’s hard to picture yourself much manlier than that.

The performances throughout were all top notch and helped to pull you in to the ongoing plight of the last man on earth. The sexiness touched with danger of Rosalind Cash, the boyish hope and exuberance of Paul Koslo, the often chilling rants and psychosis of Anthony Zerbe, all pull together to make the entire package enthralling and thought provoking. Even the writing is well done as we first feel the loneliness and isolation of Neville, forced to talk to a statue just so he has some one to talk to. His excitement at finding other humans not fallen to the ways of the family. The fear and excitement of Neville being caught by these monsters and the mystery of what they were going to do him. The list goes on but trust me when I say it’s worth the watch.

The Omega Man is an old school post apocalyptic flick done right. Stemming from the seventies it worked well to play upon the fears of world around at the time giving its viewers that taste of fear to make the tingle and perhaps tremble a bit watching the nightly news. Sure it’s a bit out there when you mix in all the elements but the roots of it, biological warfare, were a definite possibility. What makes this fun over twenty years later? It’s all a possibility once more.

For some good old fashioned end of the world fun, it doesn’t get much better than this. But if you don’t agree? “Damn you. Damn you all to hell!”

4.5 manly men out of 5

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