What makes a movie great? Is it the ability to be watched over and over again? Is it the memorable performances? Is it the fact that Hollywood has run out of good ideas so they make a crappy reproduction that just proves how good the original was? I like to think so. I won't take the opportunity to point out the greatest crime against humanity, the remake of the Stanley Kubrick classic, Lolita. Fuck you Adrian Lyne, but that is neither here nor there. There have been many other cinematic crimes, some egregious errors in judgment, such as...
#5 I am Legend
What started as a book in 1954 by Richard Matheson resulted in three films being made from the subject material. The first starred Vincent Price as The Last Man on Earth. After a plague strikes the Earth, turning most people into vampiric creatures, Dr. Morgan (Price) spends his days hunting the vampires, and his nights, locked in his home. Stabbing the vampires with a wooden stake and burning their corpses is how this doctor deal with these affronts to God.
Sadly, not 100% successful
Dr. Morgan, having been bit by a Vampire Bat years earlier, thinks that granted him an immunity to the virus and is convinced that he is the last uninfected person on Earth. Enter Ruth. Ruth is another survivor, in a way, she is infected but through use of a vaccine, she, and others like her, are able to hold the disease at bay. She explains that she has been sent by other "survivors" to spy on Morgan. Using his blood to give Ruth a transfusion, he realizes that he is in fact the cure, and that he can cure all of her fellow vampires. Revelations like this in horror movies never come without consequences. The Vampires attack, forcing him to flee his stronghold, as they exchange gunfire Morgan is hit and wounded. Retreating into a church, he gets impaled on the altar with a spear, and screams that the vampires are "freaks" and that he is truly, the last man on Earth.
And what a man!
Like I said this was the first of the three. The Omega Man came seven years later and starred Charlton Heston as the last man, fighting mutants, instead of vampires. Some change but overall still the same basic story. This decent remake couldn't stand, so Hollywood did something about it in 2007. Let's get the Fresh Prince! The ending of the film has a standoff between the infected and Smith, after realizing that they still show signs of humanity he returns an infected woman that he captured and the vampires leave him, leaving him to continue being the monster of the "new humanity". His is no longer the norm, or the basis for deciding what is human, he is the legend. At least that's how it was initially filmed, but a test audience didn't care to much for that ending.
We no like the thinky! Blow some shit up instead!
Instead we end up having a guns drawn stand off between Smith and the Vampires, where he sacrifices himself so that two other uninfected people with him, can escape. Why he couldn't escape with them and still blow up the house and vampires alike is unknown to me. One of those cliched sacrifices to the movie gods that seems to happen more than we'd like to think. That aside, let's look back at the start of this paragraph and see if you can notice anything else wrong with what I've said. If you've noticed my mention of the two other uninfected people then congratulations, you get a thumbs up.
Soak it up cause this will be the only time women like this will give you their approval.
The problem with having a "Last Man on Earth" type of movie is that you must be the last man on earth! The book and the first two movies held the notion that there were no other people left uninfected, that is the whole point of the story. It doesn't work if there are still ten percent, which is what the movie tells us, of the world's population left. Nearly 700 million people survive the outbreak, just to show you a comparison, the total current population of Canada, the US, and Mexico, is around 440 million. Granted the roughly 6.3 billion infected makes them a minority, it is equivalent to the African American population in the United States.
Always part of a minority.
Stay tuned dear readers for part two of my introspective into these abominations that pass themselves off as legitimate cinema and take a moment to click on my link over to America's Hobbies where you can read more of my reviews and witticisms. While there, take the time to watch a few videos about different peoples passions that have nothing to do with movies.