Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Omega Man (1971)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie The Omega Man (1971)

Charles Heston is Neville, last man on earth. Plague has taken other humans. Those few that have survived plague are turned into light-sensitive albino religious cult called Family. They are not vampires as in The Last Man on Earth nor they are zombies. Movie doesn't tell if they have lost their mental abilities or not. Some of them seem to lost but their leader Matthias had same ideas before he got plague. Matthias and one other member of Family have clearly kept their mental abilities but others seem to lost them. But that is not clear. Like is with point of the movie. I am not sure what it is.

Because plague victims are not vampires this time Neville uses more modern weapons. He hunts Family by day and by night Family gives him hard time. This time plague is biological weapon released during war between Soviet Union and China. Neville was working on antidote. When he got sick he too experimental antidote and that worked. That was too late for others. Others got sick and died or turned into light-sensitive albinos.

Matthias made his own religious cult among survivors and called it Family. Family wants to destroy all modern things because they think those gave them punishment. They hate Neville because he is the last thing from earlier times. Family has problem that plague still kills them. Not as fast as those who dies right after they got plague, but some time later. It is not clear if they know this or not. Matthias doesn't want to be cured. He sees that humans deserve the punishment and doesn't want to get back to earlier times and being normal human. When he founds out the cure, he kills the cured kid and goes after Neville who can cure everyone.

Family rather have their faith and destroy everything from the past than be saved from plague that will eventually kill them. Religious cult theme is underlined with what happened to Lisa. Lisa was uninfected when Neville found her. She was against Family and wanted to cure plague victims. Neville was only immune human. Others will get plague sooner or later. When Lisa gets it she turns into family member. She changes totally and eventually betrays Neville. Like I said earlier it is not clear how plague works. Early in movie Family can only move during night and they have problems with bright light. In the end they don't have problems with bright light anymore.

In the end Family kills Neville but this time cure is not lost. Neville save some cure and gave it to small group of uninfected kids before he died. I am sure there is lot of symbolism in the ending with Neville dying in fountain looking like crucified and giving cure made from his blood to small group of kids but it is totally lost in me. Probably the spear also had some deeper meaning. This might be a good movie for someone who understands all symbolism. I just don't understand it and it doesn't help this movie that I saw better version of this story before this movie.

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