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Soylent Green (1973) — Episode 88 — Decades of Horror 1970s

“It’s the year 2022… People are still the same. They’ll do anything to get what they need. And they need SOYLENT GREEN.” It kind of makes you hungry, doesn’t it? Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they tag along with Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson while they try to solve a murder case and partake of some delectable treats along the way in the world of Soylent Green.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 88 — Soylent Green (1973)

In 1966, Harry Harrison wrote a science fiction novel titled Make Room! Make Room! about the effects of rampant population growth on society and the planet. In 1973, the movie loosely based on Harrison’s book and titled Soylent Green was released. Soylent Green differed from Harrison’s novel in a lot of ways, but one, the addition of a form of cannibalism, has garnered the film a position in the cultural zeitgeist of the 45 years since its release.

Soylent Green is directed by Richard Fleischer from a script adapted from the novel and written by Stanley R. Greenberg with an extraordinary cast of stars, former stars, and character actors including Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Joseph Cotton, Chuck Connors, Leigh Taylor-Young, Brock Peters, Whit Bissell, Dick Van Patten, Mike Henry, Leonard Stone, Roy Jenson, and many more. The filmmakers do an impressive job of creating a dark, even depressing, world fifty years in their future where systemic corruption is the order of the day.

The Grue Crew is universal in their admiration of this film. Soylent Green was another checkmark on Doc’s bucket list and he was surprised at how the story and the characters pulled him in even though he had known the punchline for years. Bill was surprised at how much the filmmakers got right in their predictions of the future and points out what a solid, journeyman director Richard Fleischer was. Edward G. Robinson’s performance in the face of his failing health made a lasting impression on Jeff as did the place held by women in the nihilistic future depicted in Soylent Green. Chad relates how unnerved he was by the future life depicted in Soylent Green and how the possibility of it coming true seemed so real.

Soylent Green is a dark, dark movie with a powerful message delivered by equally powerful performances, especially that delivered by Edward G. Robinson in what turned out to be his last role. The film receives the highest recommendation from your Grue Crew.

We want to hear from you — the coolest, grooviest fans: leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an “Old Boy.” Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for Horrornews.net and SQ Horror Magazine and co-hosted the SQ Bloodlines podcast. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is co-host of the Decades of Horror The Classic Era and 1970s podcasts.
Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an “Old Boy.” Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for Horrornews.net and SQ Horror Magazine and co-hosted the SQ Bloodlines podcast. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is co-host of the Decades of Horror The Classic Era and 1970s podcasts.