Which is the best Movie adaptation of Matheson's I Am Legend?

Discussion in 'Reader Polls' started by thing, Nov 21, 2016.

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Which is the best Movie adaptation of this Horror novel?

Poll closed Jun 21, 2017.
  1. The Last Man on Earth (1964)

    7 vote(s)
    38.9%
  2. Omega Man (1971)

    11 vote(s)
    61.1%
  3. I am Legend (2007)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. I am omega (2007)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. thing

    thing Well-Known Member

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    The horror novel I am Legend has had some wildly different adaptations, which of these four feature length movies do you like best?
     
  2. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    At present, I'm leaning toward The Last Man on Earth. Have to check out Omega again.
     
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  3. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    I think THE LAST MAN ON EARTH is highly underrated. Saying that, I have a weakness for the Charlton Heston OMEGA MAN with it's 70's vibe. The Will Smith film had some good elements but a weak payoff and some poorly used CGI were major deficits. I've never seen I AM OMEGA, is that one of those Asylum cash - ins ?
     
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  4. thing

    thing Well-Known Member

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    yes i believe it is
     
  5. Spacevis

    Spacevis There's some Dettol in the jeep!

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    None of the above. Although some of them are OK films as such, none of them are good adaptations of the book which imo cannot be translated to the screen. They all just lack the power contained in the book.
     
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  6. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    Thanks !
     
  7. Harry Warden

    Harry Warden Well-Known Member

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    I would say The Omega Man (1971).
     
  8. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    None of them are very good adaptations. Last Man on Earth is the most faithful, but is has none of the excitement of the novel. It's lifeless.
     
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  9. Workshed

    Workshed a.k.a. Villyan Shit

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    The novella works because it is quiet and short. Tough to build a feature around that.
     
  10. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    I don't think so. One page of script is supposed to equal one minute of the movie. I Am Legend, while not in script form, is still about 150 pages. Most of the time when a full length novel is adapted it is always a question of what parts to chuck to get to a 90-120 minute run time. There's more than enough to get to 90 with I am Legend, and even if there wasn't they could easily pad out the runtime with more set pieces of vampire slaying.
     
  11. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    Night of the Living Dead.
     
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  12. Spacevis

    Spacevis There's some Dettol in the jeep!

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    That's not the point. It's not a question of length but a question of transmitting something that is contained within the pages of the book, namely
    the fact that the main character has become the abnormal one in a society where vampirism is the norm, and through his conduct has become a legend to be feared by the vampires
    The effect of this realization is communicated at the end and can, imo, only be transmitted through the medium of literature because it has a different build up, a different sense of time and a different sense of narrative than the medium film.

    And in that respect I agree with buck135. The original Night of the living dead is the movie that comes closest to this. Which is also why it is such a legendary film.
     
  13. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    Nah, all of that could have been summed up pretty seamlessly with his trial and execution at the end. The point that he became a murderer would have been driven completely home.

    Night of the Living Dead is nothing like I am Legend. And I mean like in no way, shape, or form. Just don't see it.
     
  14. Spacevis

    Spacevis There's some Dettol in the jeep!

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    When I'm talking about the similarity with NOTLD I mean
    The reversal of the order where the hunted becomes the hunter, and the retroactive effect that this has on the whole movie - as if suddenly, at the very end, the whole story is put in a totally different light.

    Maybe I'm too radical when I say this cannot be achieved through the medium of film, but it certainly hasn't been achieved successfully in any official film adaptation of I am Legend.
     
  15. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    Romero admitted it. From Wikipedia:

    Though referred to as "the first modern vampire novel", it is as a novel of social theme that I Am Legend made a lasting impression on the cinematic zombie genre, by way of director George A. Romero, who acknowledged its influence and that of its 1964 adaptation, The Last Man on Earth upon his seminal film Night of the Living Dead (1968). Discussing the creation of Night of the Living Dead, Romero remarked, "I had written a short story, which I basically had ripped off from a Richard Matheson novel called I Am Legend."
     
  16. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    Inspiration isn't adaptation. I don't care what Romero has to say because he is clearly wrong. Absolutely everything about it is different. Night of the Living Dead has more in common with The Alamo.
     
  17. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    I think I sensed some of that when I watched it too.

    Though it was also the main influence for 28 Days Later and... who wouldn't agree that it's quietly unsettling to see so many densely populated areas suddenly completely void of humanity? That was pretty damn powerful stuff.
     
  18. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    I'm allergic to CGI and Will Smith, so I hated I Am Legend. The Last Man On Earth and The Omega Man are both flawed but hugely enjoyable. I'm going with Heston. The Family is creepy, the setpieces rule, and the supporting performances and score are far superior to those in Price's vehicle. The cynical, pessimistic 70s vibe serves The Omega Man well, too. And then there's Chuck. Heston really excelled in roles like this one. It's hard to imagine The Omega Man or Planet of the Apes working nearly as well with anyone else in the lead roles.

    The Last Man On Earth is definitely more faithful to Matheson--particularly in the way it preserves the critical twist ending. But, as cinema, The Omega Man is superior.
     
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  19. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    I haven't really liked Will Smith since "Summertime" and... Made in America (I know, I know what I just said in another thread but I never said I didn't have my un-PC days same as anybody else). I like the idea of him becoming a huge star thanks to blind-racial casting in a huge hit action film... But almost all of his characters are exactly the same. Even his "stoic" father figures. But I think I actually have a great reason... He was a hypocrite. He said he hated rappers cursing to sell records. Has anyone seen Men in Black? If it's a movie, it's a different issue? (I know Men in Black is no Pulp Fiction but there's a ton of bordering-on-R stuff there. Even if he just says "shit" a dozen times, it's still hypocrisy.) I'm much more of a Kadeem Hardison guy, I guess.

    That considered, I Am Legend just sucked- flat out. CGI is one of the reasons. But it still sucked anyway.
     
  20. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    As others have stated, the book is pretty hard to adapt. But, I lean more towards Last Man on Earth just because it was the only one that really nailed to loneliness and sadness of the book.
     
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