#5 The Omega Man (1971)
Another 1970s flick, but one that more accurately captures the mood of the times than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Like Will Smith’s I Am Legend (2007), The Omega Man is based on an oft-filmed Richard Matheson novel.
J.R. Taylor of RightWingTrash put The Omega Man on the top of his list of “The 10 Best Conservative Horror Films.” He calls Heston’s lone survivor character “the last conservative on earth.” There’s something to that, although “the last Objectivist” might be more accurate. (Lots of things RightWingTrash calls “conservative” seem more “libertarian” to me, like his open-mindedness about porn. But maybe I’m just playing semantics…)
The story is set in an apocalyptic 1977, after the culture wars are hastened to an end through Soviet chemical fallout. Charlton Heston is Robert Neville, a scientist who injected himself with an experimental vaccine right before the eve of destruction. Now he’s a walking dawn of correction, attempting to survive in a Los Angeles overrun by diseased weirdos called The Family [an intentional nod to Manson's murdering gang]. (…)
This is an obvious forewarning of Jesse Jackson’s chants of “Western culture, it must go!” Screenwriters Joyce and John William Corrington had a remarkable grasp on the future, as seen in the celebration of Neville as a sardonic square. He watches Woodstock while reciting along with a stoned idiot’s talk of peace. When he finds a small commune of folks who haven’t yet succumbed, he sets out to make a serum of his “100 percent Anglo-Saxon” blood.
And when The Family grabs Neville for a trial, he’s condemned as the “last of scientists, of bankers, of businessmen.”
In The Omega Man, Los Angeles has been reduced to rubble, and neo-primitives and not-so-noble savages, The Family likes it that way.
In the most insightful touch, Family leader Matthias (Anthony Zerbe) isn’t some maniac whacked out by the plague. He’s actually in his element: the guy was originally a network news commentator. When gullible young Richie (played by Room 222’s Eric Laneuville) approaches The Family with news of Neville’s cure, Matthias patiently explains that they have no desire to return to the days of the old. Like most progressive liberals, Matthias doesn’t want to improve the world. He wants to make the world more equal at the expense of others.
Richie is rewarded with the highest honor liberals can imagine for a young black man. He ends up as a sacrificial corpse…