OMEGA MAN and Mr. Matheson
Today is the 43rd anniversary of Omega Man, a 1971 film adaption of I Am Legend. (It also happens to be @DCMcGannon‘s birthday, which tickled me to no end. Happy Birthday, Omega DC!)
Here is the trailer for the 1971 OMEGA MAN. At the end of this post is the full-length 1964 film The Last Man On Earth. Enjoy!
I Am Legend has always held a special spot on my list of favorite reading material. Written by Richard Matheson, a master of horror and science fiction short stories—think Real Steel, Twilight Zone: The Movie, What Dreams May Come, and Duel—I Am Legend followed Robert Neville alone in an empty world, the only other inhabitants being vampires that rose to torment him at night, which he hunted during the day. The story took the vampire myth down to a science, quite literally, explaining the reasons they came back to life, the reason they died from a stake to the chest (although, that would kill most people), and even their aversion to religious artifacts. I won’t spoil the end of it for those of you who have been living under a rock for the last few decades, but Neville’s last words in the novel sent chills up my spine.
I Am Legend has been adapted several times over the years, with the people portraying Neville including Charlton Heston, Will Smith, and the fantastic Vincent Price. It even inspired The Night of the Living Dead, as I Am Legend’s vampires were more zombie-like in nature…or were they?!?!
In my own opinion, Richard Matheson’s works have helped shape certain parts of film culture, both with his short stories and his own screenplays written for film. It’s a testament to Matheson that this single story has carried so much weight over the course of the years, and continues to do so. One could even say….he is legend! (See what I did there? Oh, nevermind.)
Watch 1964’s Last Man on Earth (with Vincent Price) below!
(The Last Man On Earth link) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX64ZjaEtFc
(Omega Man trailer link) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiNY3anKBa4
So happy birthday, DC, and happy birthday Omega Man…
…and Happy Halloween 2014!