Soylent Strains
Cinematic sci-fi thrillers, chillers and spillers from the 1970s


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The Andromeda Strain
D: Robert Wise (1970) 127m


Based on the Michael Crichton novel, the Project Wildfire epidemic-control team takes on a nasty virus from outer space. Following the crash of a satellite, almost everyone in a remote New Mexico village dies when their blood turns to powder and coagulates. The scientists whisk away the survivors and run a chilling race against time.





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The Omega Man
D: Boris Sagal (1971) 98m


Based on the apocalyptic Richard Matheson novel I Am Legend, Charlton Heston plays a man besieged by mutant zombies following some ugly biological warfare. The impressive visuals are suitably dark and sombre. Heston plays it for all it's worth while sticking with the sci-fi groove he found with Planet of the Apes, although Matheson's novel leans more towards the horror side of things.





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Soylent Green
D: Richard Fleischer (1973) 100m


Established sci-fi luminary Charlton Heston plays a near-future New York cop in an overpopulated world short on culinary delights. Soylent Green is the latest synthetic food created by some corporate genius who decided to utilise the most plentiful edible material available. Based on Harry Harrison's Make Room! Make Room!.





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Zardoz
D: John Boorman (1974) 105m


Most wondered what James Bond was doing flying around in a giant stone idol when they first laid eyes on this somewhat ambitious big-budget headtrip. Now achieving cult status, it is all about a mysterious "god", a race of immortal intellectuals and the definition of existence. Proved way too heavy for box-office success.





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Rollerball
D: Norman Jewison (1975) 122m


Corporate cartels have replaced countries - with part of the package being a mindless capitalist dystopia where war, poverty and freedom are all things of the past. Remaining violent tendencies are played out in the deadly sport of rollerball… sort of a roller derby with motorcycles. James Caan excels as the free-willed sports hero.





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Logan's Run
D: Michael Anderson (1976) 118m


People in a domed mid-23rd century city live the good life until they reach 30 when they are required to undergo 'renewal'. The total absence of older people raises the suspicions of Logan - a member of the security force. An escape to the outside leads to a meeting with an old person played by the irrepressible Peter Ustinov.





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The Man Who Fell to Earth
D: Nicolas Roeg (1976) 140m


David Bowie (as Newton) is top-notch in this moving film about the dangers of earthly-excess and temptation. Needing water to save his home planet and family, Newton comes to Earth and utilises alien-technology to get rich quick. Sex, drugs, alcohol and a wall of TVs soon lead him astray and family values are put to the test. Cult classic 70s film with a twist.





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Alien
D: Ridley Scott (1979) 117m


The ultimate sci-fi horror film - with the possible exception of its equally fine sequel, Aliens (1986). Sigourney Weaver shines in a top-notch cast playing crew-members of a space-freighter which picks up a tear-your-heart-out alien passenger. Wonderfully original set designs and outstanding special effects top off the mix.


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