The last man on Earth is not alone
Running Time: 98 minutes
UK Certificate: PG
Country: United States
In this supposedly-horrifying vision of a post-apocalyptic future, theres a shop somewhere doing a roaring trade in black cloaks and sunglasses. For thats what comprises the chosen uniform of Matthias (Anthony Zerbe) and his Family, a whooping hoard of murderous nocturnal albinos. Theyve all been mutated by implied biological warfare, and as a result have decided to shun technology and the wheel (something Matthias drones endlessly on about, despite clearly being seen to utilise both as the film progresses). For a bunch of folks who cant stand light, they also seem to spend an awful lot of time carrying around torches and setting fire to things, but I suppose thats beside the point.
The only normal (a word I use extremely loosely) man seemingly left alive is Charlton Hestons Robert Neville, who hides from The Family by night and goes looting for horrendously bad tracksuits by day. Hes also obsessed with the movie Woodstock, though obviously not to the point of embracing any of that peace nonsense, given how much time he spends shooting anything that moves. His faith in humanity is restored when, after two years of having only himself to inflict his rubbish one-liners on, he comes across a commune of fellow daytime-types, including the wooden Rosalind Cash and a bloke who insists on dressing like Biggles (Paul Koslo).
Hestons trademark over-acting and Ron Grainers ridiculously inappropriate score blight any chance this film has of containing the slightest shred of tension. Its also got some not-so-subtle racist undertones which dont even merit going into.
As a young un, I used to think The Omega Man was actually pretty decent. Then again, I also liked fish-fingers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so shows what I knew. A more recent viewing of this 1971 end-of-the-world baloney showed it up for what it actually is absolutely bloody awful. Watch Danny Boyles similarly-themed but infinitely superior 28 Days Later instead.
It's Got: One of the few movie heroes to get away with being called Neville.
It Needs: Heston to stop laughing heartily even when NOTHING REMOTELY FUNNY HAS HAPPENED. Just watch him he does it in practically every film hes in. The crazy b*****d.
DVD Extras An up-to-date featurette entitled The Last Man Alive. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10
Alternatives:28 Days Later...
Perhaps a serious production at the time, but nowadays only worth watching if youre in need of a good laugh. This ones hilariously bad.