I ended the week this evening as I began it – watching a 1970s science fiction film starring Charlton Heston. The Omega Man (1971, directed by Boris Sagal and based on Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel, I Am Legend) is so much better than the 2007 Will Smith re-make, I Am Legend (I see from this 2009 post). The latter got smug on its special effects and put the emphasis on the horror. The 1971 film played down the vampire and zombie themes in favour of the love interest (Rosalind Cash, sporting a great afro and engaging, with Charlton Heston, in one of the first inter-racial kisses on screen) and, behind that, the inter-ethnic relations between the albino mutants (surving victims of a plague who have re-established a primitive mediaeval society known as ‘The Family’) and the original human race (Heston, at first alone) who brought the plague upon the world through biological warfare. Heston, as scientist Robert Neville, portrays a half-crazed, trigger-happy, macho loner. The Family, on the other hand, have foregone guns, together with all other machines, and are trying to re-build a society, no matter how regressive and repressive. It might be surprising to find Charlton Heston and the word ‘subtle’ in the same sentence, but the 1971 film is far more subtle and balanced than the 2007 remake.