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DVD Reviews:  The Omega Man

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Peter Parmac
Distributed by:
Warner Home Video
Running Time: 94 Minutes

Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and Charlton Heston finds himself the last man alive on earth, or so it seems.  He is the Omega Man and it is his struggle with his sanity and his battle with the remnants of humanity twisted physically and mentally by germ warfare that is central to this cult 1970’s sci-fi gem.

Robert Neville (Heston) is a biological scientist who through miraculous circumstances finds himself immune to a worldwide virus that kills off most of mankind.  He roams around a deserted city during the day shopping, catching up with his favourite movie (Woodstock no less) and changing cars as suits his fancy.  As the sun sets however Neville becomes the supreme survivalist armed to the teeth with automatic weapons.  For at night ‘the family’ rule the streets, deformed albino’s led by their messiah Matthias (Anthony Zerbe), sworn against modern man’s evil technology and seeing Neville as the last painful memory of what they once where.  Heston and Zerbe are brilliant and ironically both seem as violent as each other, enter into this mix several non virus humans Neville stumbles across and the story unfolds.

DVD visual transfer is good for a movie this age with a great widescreen presentation.  Audio is in Dolby Digital 1.0, yes that is mono, but the movie doesn’t suffer that much due to it’s great on screen action.  Music in the title theme is memorable and still conjures up fond memories of this movie when I saw it some 20 plus years ago.

Extras are a little light with a brief introduction by screenwriter Joyce Corrington and two minor supporting actors.  There is an interesting featurette with Charlton Heston giving some insight into his character’s mental state and a decidedly 70’s theatrical trailer. The menu is not animated but serves its purpose in a workmanlike manner.         

I am a great fan of this film and I was overjoyed to view this in widescreen for the first time.  It is a sublime idea carried by the star presence of Heston with great action and tension.  Who can forget Neville playing chess against a bust of Caesar, his self depreciating one liners on his predicament and the bizarre pseudo philosophical mutterings of his arch nemesis Matthias.  One of my favourite movies of this sci-fi genre and with tremendous repeat viewing appeal.  To quote Neville “they don’t make films like that anymore”.

The Omega Man Features

  • Bonus featurette - The Last Man Alive. Starring: Charlton Heston, Rosalind Cash, Anthony Zerbe


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