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Halloween Horror Countdown 2010 Day 4 October 6, 2010

Posted by vorpalkeith in Film Thing, Movie Review.
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The Omega Man
1971
Directed by Boris Segal

The Omega Man opens with Charlton Heston cruising through the dead streets in a convertible and popping an 8-track into the player. Just when we think this movie is going to be totally groovy he takes a potshot at a shadowy mutant in a window and our buzz is totally blown.

You see, Charlton Heston is the last man on Earth, cats. Much like Vincent Price was in The Last Man on Earth. Or Will Smith in I am Legend. These are all adaptations of Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend. It even went on to inspire Mark Daskaskos to be the last man on Earth in The Asylum’s cleverly named I am Omega. Ya dig?

I’m talking this jive because this particular take on the film is served up with a big heaping of 70s cheese. It shares more similarities with the Will Smith version than with Matheson’s novel, or does the Will Smith version share more with this?

Anyway . . . you all know the story, so why belabor that more than countless remakes have done. I’ll just hit the positive and negative of this particular adaptation. Positive: I kinda liked the design of the mutants, as cheesy as it was. Negative: Too much 70s cheese, the movie hasn’t aged well. Positive: Anthony Zerbe as the mutant leader Mathias.

That’s a positivity sandwich.

I give it three spooky pumpkins out of five.

Pandorum
2009
Directed by Christian Alvart

The real joy of movie watching is discovery. I’ve often found that the movies I grow to like the most are the ones I go in with no expectations for, or even negative expectations . . . and then get totally surprised. Such was the case with Pandorum.

I really didn’t think I was going to like the movie, as I felt I’d seen it already recycled through a dozen films. I’m glad that I was wrong.

The subgenre of science fiction horror is hardly new. Look to Alien, Pitch Black, or Event Horizon. The darkness and claustrophobia of starship corridors are a boon to horror. You want a terrifying atmosphere? How about the concept of being cut off, alone in the universe, with no hope of someone coming to help you?

Of course Pandorum takes cues from all of these previous films, but it works. What you get is an intelligent story, that manages monsters, claustrophobic terror, and real science fiction. Pretty cool mix, if you ask me.

Five spooky pumpkins out of five. Watch it.

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