It’s always fun to look at older science fiction films and see what, if anything, is true. We don’t fly around in hovercrafts and we haven’t mutated into subhuman creatures quite yet, but much of the sci-fi from the 50s to the 80s shows an apocalyptic planet and a bleak future. Although not quite 2022, in Soylent Green, which makes its debut on Warner Brothers Home Video Blu-ray, the forecast for Earth is pretty bad.
Soylent Green is a 1973 film directed by Richard Fleischer, starring Charlton Heston. It blends a police investigation into the murder of a wealthy businessman with a world suffering from pollution, overpopulation, depleted resources, poverty, dying oceans and a hot climate due to the greenhouse effect. Much of the population survives on processed soy food rations, including soylent green, soylent red and soylent yellow. Soylent green, specifically, is manufactured and distributed by the government for Soylent Green Tuesdays.
The film is loosely based on Harry Harrison's book "Make Room, Make Room!", which is about over-population and environmental damage. It was a powerful message back in 1973 and it’s still a potent message today. I could almost see this being the world that Colonel George Taylor wanted to leave behind in Planet of the Apes.
Edward G. Robinson, in his last performance, plays Heston's partner and friend. He's an old man fighting with his memories of better days. His fate, the murder, and the environmental problems, come together at the end in a gripping finale.
This film features a thoughtful storyline, some great action and fine performances from two legendary actors, making it a must see for science fiction buffs.