In 1971 The Omega Man turned “The Last Man On Earth” into a weirdly kitsch movie with messianic overtones. The uncomfortably apocalyptic (if slightly hammy) Vincent Price version of the Richard Matheson novel “I Am Legend” was a far more faithful reproduction of the book’s theme yet Charlton Heston had the box office pull and so it is his version of the story which is generally set in the public’s psyche.
This is a pity because in my mind the movie almost falls into the category of 1970s blacksploitaion for it’s treatment of Rosalind Cash’s character “Lisa”. She conveniently appears in the narrative in the place of the original “Ruth” from the Novel and provides titillation rather than the dramatic tension from the Vincent Price original. This ignore’s Ruth’s function in the novel as a way of exposing Price’s character’s humanity. Sad, but a product of the time I suppose.
Pity some film makers keep using the same conceit of throwing in a sexual interest to a film that’s lost its way instead of actually writing a good script … LOL