May. 14th, 2010

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Up at Fair Food Fight Films this week is Soylent Green, everyone's favorite pretend-you-saw-it sci-fi potboiler.

Here's the thing: Soylent Green gets a reputation (rightly) as being one of Charlton Heston's most insufferable performances in a SEA of insufferable. And the last few minutes, with him bellowing "Soylent Green is made from people," is one of the top movie twists of all time, delivered so badly that it's become a punchline for unappetizing foods or movie "surprises" we all saw coming.

I remember seeing this movie as a kid and thinking it was TERRIFYING, but whenever I thought about why I couldn't really place it, because Sol's death scene and the final five minutes, which were the parts people kept suggesting to me as the scary ones, didn't bother me in the slightest.

Sol was treated with more dignity than most people today can hope for, and I thought listening to your favorite music while you die painlessly after a long life was the best possible way to go. And the Soylent thing seemed like a great idea to me. You have limited resources but an abundant source of meat; why the hell wouldn't you package the nutritious parts? It's not like people are inedible, or that life in that city is precious. I mean, be real.

On the rewatch, I realized why it was so terrifying - it's basically a documentary about the future, and even as a kid I must have recognized how easy it was for women to be stripped of their rights (again), for the planet to finally collapse under the weight of overpopulation, for the food supply to just suddenly stop forever.

So yeah, this movie is terrifying, and it's worth your time despite Charlton Heston being in it. There are so many little things about it that are chilling to see, because it looks straight-up like today's news. And that's good social commentary, and it's fantastic sci-fi.

Check out the full rundown here.

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Genevieve Valentine

September 2010

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