Walter Seltzer

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The Omega Man Review


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There's an entire subgenre of science fiction flicks from the '70s which feature Charlton Heston in a futuristic setting. Nowadays, these films work mostly as camp or kitsch (with the possible exception of Planet of the Apes). Soylent Green is one of those movies I suspect few people haven't actually seen. Many know it from that hilarious Phil Hartman sketch on Saturday Night Live, where he plays a hambone Heston who continually flubs his line. It's pretty funny in the actual movie, too: Heston flails his arms and screams, "Soylent Green is people! It's peopppppllllleeeee!" All right, maybe you had to be there, but to me, that's pretty hilarious stuff.

Finally, we have The Omega Man, based on a popular Richard Matheson science fiction novel entitled I Am Legend. I'm surprised that this film hasn't become part of pop culture, since it features Heston as the last virile hero on the planet (involved in an interracial romance -- a bold political move at that time).

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