All things considered, Francis Lawrence's I AM LEGEND was a pretty good flick. The one thing that nobody liked, however, was the laughably bad CGI vampires. There was a public outcry from fans when the switch from practical to computer-generated effects was announced, and their fears of cheesy-looking monsters were confirmed upon the film's release in 2007.
Why am I reminiscing about this? Well, makeup effects artist Steve Johnson recently posted footage from a makeup test he did for the movie. Johnson has a ton of credits to his name, including both cult genre films (FRIGHT NIGHT, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD III) and Hollywood fare (SPIDER-MAN 2, WAR OF THE WORLDS), so the guy obviously knows what he's doing.
Lawrence was reportedly unable to get the performance he wanted out of those playing the infected, so he opted for CGI. It's a true shame, especially now that we've seen what could have been. There have been talks of a prequel to the film with both Lawrence and star Will Smith returning; if it happens, let's hope they will make the right decision this time.