lost boys movie review

Halloween Extravaganza 2006
The Omega Man

One thing about horror movies is that they often cross the lines with both scifi and fantasy. For example, if you were to make a list of horror movies and a list of scifi movies, Alien could well appear on both. The Omega Man is one of those movies. Part scifi and part zombie movie, one could say this it presents the best of both genres. But that person probably wouldn't be a movie critic.

The movie opens with shots of the lead character, Neville (Charlton Heston) cruising the streets of a deserted Los Angeles. Everything is pretty much in a state of ruin with corpses lining the streets and businesses that look like they've been abandoned for some time. Basically, it looks a lot like Los Angeles does today. But Neville plays it cool, he just cruises the streets and even takes the time to see a movie, so he's obviously been living in LA for a while.

omega man

But then something happens. Neville gets a bit spooked when he realizes that the sun is going down. But why is that? Well, it turns out that the city is also occupied by a gang of mutants known as the Family. The catch is that they only come out at night. The Family were once people like Neville, but we come to learn that China and Russia went to war and the war resulted in the release of a bio-chemical plague. Those who weren't killed by the plague were transformed into hideous albino looking mutants. They have open sores, their skin and hair are ghostly white, and their eyes are translucent. Neville, on the other hand, was a doctor and managed to vaccinate himself before becoming ill with the plague, so he's normal. The Family hates him for this almost as much as they hate technology. So when they're not trying to burn Neville alive, they're burning things like books.

the family

And how does Neville react to the Family trying to purify him with fire every night? Just like Charlton Heston would in real life. He's pretty laid back about the whole thing. He setup lights to keep the family away and occasionally takes pop shots at them with his sniper rifle when they try to burn him alive. Other than that, he's pretty much trying to keep himself sane by following a routine of dressing for dinner and being the badass he is.

omega man movie review

Nope, that's not Austin Powers, that's Neville in his swanky evening wear. Sure, it's lonely being the only non-mutated freak left on the planet, but he makes the most of it. Mutant hunter by day and space age bachelor by night.

But then something happens. While out one day trying to locate the mutant strong hold, Neville comes comes across something he hasnt' seen in a while: a non-mutated jive talking sassy sistah.

omega man meets woman

The chick who we later find out is named Lisa is spooked by a shirtless Neville and takes the hell off. Neville, desparate for human companionship, gives pursuit, but he can't keep up. But that's ok, at least ne now knows that he's not the only normal person left in LA (a fear anyone who's grown up there has had at one time or another). The problem is that while he's out hunting down the Family all day, he failed to realize that the Family has also been just as eager to get their hands on him.

This is made apparent to Neville the next day when the Family ambushes him in a wine cellar and manage to take him prisoner. Does Neville lose his cool? Not for a minute. Even though they put him on trial and find him summarily guilty of using technology, he doesn't flinch. He just laughs in their hideously mutated faces and scoffs at their beliefs.

omega man trial

That's one thing that sets this movie apart from other zombie movies such as Dawn of the Dead or 28 Days Later. Unlike those movies that take a similar apocalyptic approach and play on the fears of being the last man standing in a mutant infested world, the mutants in this film are intelligent. They just all sort of joined a cult that shuns anything that has to do with technology. I think that the robes and sunglasses have more to do with the fact that they're all extremely photo sensitive, but they also succeed in creating a spooky effect.

Anyhow, the Family decides that the only way to deal with Neville is to burn him alive in the sports arena. That way all the Family will witness the death of the last normal man on Earth. Fortunately for Neville, his rescue comes at just the right time. Just as they're lighting the match, Lisa and her friend switch the stadium lights and ambush the family with homemade flash bombs. These distract the family long enough to untie Neville and make a daring motorcycle escape from the stadium.

neville escapes

They take Neville back to their hideout in the hills and tell him that they usually avoid the city because he's out shooting up the town during the day and the Family is out burning stuff at night, reinforcing the notion that nothing has really changed in LA. They also let him in on a little secret. You see Lisa and her friend Dutch have also found several children along the way. They care for the children the best they can, but they had to help Neville because they're starting to show signs of the plague.

Neville offers to bring Richie, one of the infected kids, and Lisa back to his place so he can devise a vaccine for the plague to cure Richie and make sweet love to Lisa. I don't remember if he phrased exactly like that, but it works and they head back to the bachelor pad.

jungle fever

Neville spends about a whole two minutes diagnosing Richie and then turns his attention to Lisa. I don't know what movie has the first interracial love scene, but this has to be among the first. Neville makes sweet love to Lisa and tells her that once they get enough vaccine they can all head to the mountains somewhere away from the Family. But first they have to make love repeatedly.

Lisa's cool with this plan and tells Neville that she used to be a part of the family until they decided she was too freaky to be a member any longer. This is where the movie switches from the classic scifi plot of man destroying himself with technology to the classic horror plot where you just know that the characters are all going to ruin the plan by doing something stupid. Bad judgment is critical for horror films to work and the Omega Man is no different. While they're waiting for Richie to get cured so they can start making vaccine from his blood, Lisa decides to go shopping. Feeling better, Richie decides that he can end the feud with the Family by reasoning with them. Neville decides to go round up the kids and get some supplies. Good thinking, let's all split up.

Well, Richie's well intentioned plan doesn't go so well. He finds the Family and tells them that he used to be a freak too but then Neville cured him. The Family, being all quite insane, say that's great but that they're going to kill him and Neville anyways.

The Family then hits the town with torches ablaze. They come across Lisa who is still out shopping and Lisa's happy to see them because she's subsequently caught the plague and turned into a freak too.

omega man family

This is when things really start to turn bad for Neville. Upon returning from the hideout, he discovers a note from Richie stating that he went to the old courthouse to reason with the Family. Well, Neville has a bit more sense than Richie and he knows that the only way to deal with this is to kill everyone in the Family. He's not going to waste his time trying to cure them, it's simply easier to kill them. But first he's going to need a gun, a captain's hat, and a really tight jumpsuit.

omega man gun

Neville then descends on the courthouse only to find that Richie is dead and the Family members are all out. Well, no time to spare, it's back to the bachelor pad to get Lisa and then it's splitsville. But of course, the bad judgment continues to pay off. Neville returns to his place only to find that Lisa and the Family are waiting for him. Well, they tie Neville down and make him watch as they lay waste to his precious place. They destroy his medical equipment, they destroy his art and they destroy his TV. They basically destroy everything.

omega man ambush

But Neville can only be pushed so far. He manages to free himself, kick the hell out of some Family members, grab Lisa and split. At this point it looks like they're going to make it. The only hitch is that Lisa is still a freak and, as such, she's compelled to obey the commands of Matthias, the Family's charismatic leader. Matthias beckons Lisa from the balcony. Lisa tries to refuse, but can't because she's still under his spell. Neville tries to shoot Matthias, but his gun jams.

omega man matthias

Well, while Lisa and Matthias are going back and forth with their "Lisa" "Matthias" thing, Matthias notices a spear on the balcony. He seizes his opportunity to teach Neville a lesson and, with keen aim, hurls the spear from the balcony and impales Neville. But it's not fatal is it? After all, Neville still has the vaccine and the kids are coming in the morning so they can all go to the mountains. Well, it is too late. The blow was fatal and all Neville can do is try to stay alive long enough to give the vaccine to Dutch and the kids.

neville dies

In the end, I guess the captain's hat and tight jumpsuit just weren't enough to defeat the Family. It's a rough lesson to learn and Bear got really upset by the ending. "Why did he have to die?" she asked me when it was over. "Because mutants can be cruel," I responded. But back to the movie- Neville's holding himself up against he fountain, bleeding profusely when Lisa comes over. She can't resist the Family anymore, but nevertheless, she's sort of sorry for the whole spear through the gut thing.

omega man vaccine

Well, it's too late for Neville. He manages to hold on until the morning when Dutch and the kids arrive. Dutch tries to help, but Neville tells him it's too late and gives him the vaccine. The kids all just sort of look at Neville. I think one even pokes him with a stick out of curiosity. Dutch takes the vaccine from Neville, gets Lisa and they all leave. I guess that when you live in a mutant infested wasteland, you don't spend a lot of time mourning those you care about.

Although it's a cult classic, not many people seem to have seen The Omega Man. Bear and I were actually surprised by this one. I thought it would be too dated to be anything but campy. Even though it is dated and campy, it had a good soundtrack and the movie was actually really entertaining. I think it is one of the only zombie-mutant type of films that makes the zombies intelligent. They're just basically albinos with wacky religious beliefs and not the zombies I was expecting when we rented the film. This makes the movie more interesting in my opinion because it adds more depth to the film. The mutants actually have a motivation you can understand instead of being merely mindless killers.

If you haven't seen The Omega Man, you might want to give it a try. If nothing else, it's entertaining and the soundtrack will play in your head for days after you see it. Of course, Bear was upset that Charlton Heston died in the end, so if you watch it with Bear, be warned that she'll whine about the ending. In any case, we both give it our seal of approval.


  << Take me back to OnePageWonder's Halloween Extravaganza

Geek About Omega Man on the Blog


halloween countdown
Be sure to check back daily for more Halloween cheer!
halloween extravaganza
halloween links
Cool Halloween Links and Stuff
halloween information
visit the blog

  << back to one page wonder
Drop Mark a note at because he gets lonely sometimes. So very very lonely. So alone.
Copyright 2006,