23. "Soylent green is people!"
Movie: Soylent Green (1973)
Writer: Harry Harrison (original novel: Make Room! Make Room!), Stanley R. Greenberg (screenplay)
Soylent Greengives the age-old police procedural template a very welcomed shot of science fiction austerity. Charlton Heston stars as a New York City detective who’s investigating the murder of the Soylent Corporation’s director while living in a futuristic and impoverished society in which the middle- and lower-class citizens have to live off of processed food.
The most talked-about items of edibility are known as “soylent green,” little green wafers that are said to be made from “high-energy plankton.” Oceanographic reports eventually divulge a cannibalistic secret, though: Barren oceans can’t produce plankton anymore, meaning that soylent green wafers are made of something else. And just what else, exactly? Try dead human bodies. Or, we’ll let the late Chuck Heston explain: “Soylent green is people!”