Simple, maybe stupid, question about "I Am Legend"

When we see the hero returning to his apartment the first time, he stops before he goes in the door and pours a liquid out of a plastic bottle all over the steps. What was it? Why did he do it?

White vinegar, presumably to disguise his scent.

That was nitroglycerin, how do you think he blew up all those dark seekers when they found his house?

I really liked that movie though. I enjoy tales of human isolation for some disturbing reason. And that first encounter with the seekers was downright scary.

Well, now that we have two responses and two different ideas about what it was, I don’t feel so studpid.

My first thought was it was ammonia or bleach, but others say it’s vinegar. Maybe their eyes are better than mine and they saw the label.

Regardless what it was, it seemed obvious it was to disguise his smell. But if the zombies’ sense of smell is that good, and as has been pointed out in other threads, the zombies set traps, then fresh vinegar poured in front of apt #4 every night would be a dead giveaway where Neville was hiding.

You missed my smilie. It was obviously a scent-deterrent…and he blew up the seekers with planted explosives.
Cool movie, though.

In the book, it was garlic and garlic extract to act as a ward to the classic vampires. It was trying to tie in to the story I am Legend by Richard Matheson in some kind of weak and patronizing fashion.

Maybe the better question is, if you were a Viral Biologist what would you use to mask your scent, if tracked by mutants?

Did the book have anything about the night seekers being super durable? Because when the leader was smashing the glass of the lab with his face, I would have figured that his skull would have cracked before the glass did.

And yeah, I thought the stuff he was pouring was bleach as well.

The bottle and labeling looked like some kind of chemical or biological plastic jug. It didn’t really remind me of a vinegar jug, IIRC. Of course, it could be a vinegar jug too? …Not sure.

This was the only part of the movie that kind of bothered me. The concept of the movie is that the survivors of the “virus” were either immune or exhibited severe rabies symptoms, not sudden bursts of superhuman speed ( the leader dodging bullets that killed every other mutant) or beyond human strength (the leader bashing himself into the thickest plexiglass imaginable to break it).
I liked the fact that the hunter became the hunted, because Neville assumed that there was no human function left in the mutants, but their skulls and bones should have been just as easily breakable, and they weren’t, as evidenced by the ending.

In the book, the Hunter became the hunted by a third species that had the weaknesses and strengths of the other two, but remained seperate and the evolutionary favorite. That would have made a much better plot point and stronger story than the direction of this rather unimaginative screenplay.

I will never forgive this ending. Why must the writer’s truth and meaning always suffer this kind of irrelevance?

I finally saw this movie last night. I thought it was a big let-down. Beautifully acted by Smith but what burned my arse was the following 1. - when you first see the critters, they are standing around with their backs to him and it looks like they’re playing the soggy biscuit game 2. They are smart enough to set a trap for him but can’t communicate with him and for all intents and purposes are seen to be primitive and savage and yet they work out if they set up a trap they’ll catch him? 3. The butterfly symbolism with the cracking glass around the ‘leader’ as they smash into the lab, followed by the butterfly tattoo on the chick’s neck, followed by the butterflies on her shirt at the end was just blah, 4. Smith shoves the chick and the kid into a fireplace and blows the lab - and they make it to civilisation in a new 4 wheel drive without any complications? No, no, no.

<minor hijack>
the soggy biscuit game?
</minor hijack>

Not sure if it’s more than a myth. A group of men sit in a circle, masturbating in the direction of a biscuit (cookie). The last one to finish is forced to eat it.

I generally enjoyed the movie, but it certainly doesn’t hold up to close scrutiny.

As to the OP, I can’t site exactly where I saw it, but I’m 90% sure there’s a moment in the movie where we see clearly that it’s white vinegar. I have the recollection of seeing that scene and asking the same question only to find out later in the film that it was white vinegar on a label. I think maybe they showed he had a cabinet full of the stuff, but I can’t recall for certain. Sorry I can’t be more precise, it’s been almost a month since I saw it.

I too was annoyed by the way the they portrayed the Seekers. They never really explained the vinegar thing and what it accomplished. They never explained why these guys were smart enough to follow him home, but not smart enough to recognize the truck that he drove parked outside of it all night long. They never explained what that goofy huddle thing was. They never explained the whole super-human strength thing. Still, on balance, I found the movie enjoyable enough so long as you didn’t expect more than a horror-action flick.

As far as following him home, wasn’t Neville bleeding after his suicidal rampage when the chick rescued him and they folloowed the blood trail…right?

AKA wet biscuit. But by far the best name for this game is ookie cookie.

They were gathered around the headless deer corpse chowing down. For a second they showed the deers ripped off head on the floor.

Okay - but my first reaction was that it was a giant wank (much like the rest of movie). The soggy biscuit game is notorious amongst footballers who “go away for the end of season holiday”. It starts out as a biggest dick competition and rapidly goes downhill. (My mother wondered why I never dated footballers …)

No, when he was passing out he told the chick to stay out until after sunrise. Later when they are coming for him he asks her “did you came home when it was still dark” and she says “you were bleeding badly”, implying that she did come back too soon.

It was clear to me that the seekers were able to follow him home while it was still dark to find out where he lived.

The deer’s head was there off to the side, but I don’t know that it was clear that was what the group was doing. The one seeker who first spotted him was the one I thought was eating the deer. The group was standing shoulder to shoulder, arms at their sides heads bowed grunting. Would have made for a very awkward way to try and eat. Had they been hunched down or tearing at something that might make sense. I think the implication was that that was some type of sleep for them or something.