We love Chuck Heston?

I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately starring Charlton Heston, and I don’t know why (neither does my family). I’ve never really cared for his acting style, and he always seems miscast. Of course there’s the Easter/Passover classic “The Ten Commandments” oddly pairing Chuck (as Moses with the trimmest beard in the Old Testament) with gangsta Edward G. Robinson and syntactically-challenged Yul Bryner (defying the standards of script reading way before Christopher Walken), and then we expect to see Chuck in all his bristling glory pissing off the Romans in “Ben Hur”, but I’ve recently watched him in some real stinkers. We can give him a pass on the original “Planet of the Apes” because compared to the ape masks, his face was a plethora of emotion, and in “Soylent Green” he scream-croaks his famous line “Soylent Green is people,” but it’s his acting in “The Omega Man” where I find Chuck at his nonchalant best. As an indifferent former military officer, immune to a plague-like virus, he never seems surprised at the apocalyptical state of his world. Whether he’s being attacked by mutant zombies living in his garage, oogling the Afro of his co-star Rosalind Cash (it was the free-love 70s baby), or going on shopping sprees in empty and abandoned department stores, he’s unaffected by the devastation surrounding him and goes about surviving in a completely matter-of-fact, whistle-while-you-work manner. Unintentionally comical, he’s strangely fascinating to watch, and the crucifixion/Brady Bunch ending is just too much Chuck for me.

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