I watched the 2007 Will Smith film, I Am Legend, last night and was underwhelmed. There are a lot of things wrong with it. Lapses of logic in the script. Really bad CGI. Yawn inducing plot turns. What it does have going for it are Smith’s performance and the fully realized vision of New York City emptied of people, three years after a global viral apocalypse. Lots of attention to detail and it pays off. It’s eerie and feels all too real.
But the film as a whole was a disappointment and too short, so I went digging for extras on the DVD. Strangely, there were no behind the scenes documentaries, nothing on the Richard Matheson novel that is the original source material (although the film wanders far from it) or the two previous film adaptations. The only thing of interest on the menu was a set of animated comics.
I watched all of them. Each presents a short story set during the global pandemic or its aftermath. One is in China. One in Colorado. One in Central America. None of those was particularly arresting. The Colorado one squanders an interesting premise. The other two are just sketches.
But…the last one, “Shelter,” written by multiple award winning author, Orson Scott Card, well…that one saved the evening. It’s a harrowing, heart breaking tale set in a disintegrating New Delhi. A bit predictable in spots, perhaps, but it has a twist or two and it had much more of an emotional impact on me than the feature film that spawned it. I include it below with a warning that it is not for the squeamish.