Break out your hoverboards and metallic DeLoreans; it’s “Back to the Future” Day, a time to reckon with the dystopian futures that Hollywood once invented for us. The cult favorite is one of a few future-set movies whose era -- and predictions for the present -- has arrived, or at least is fast approaching.
It’s October 21, 2015, the date the characters time-traveled to in the hit 1989 film “Back to the Future Part II.” In Robert Zemeckis’ famous movie, Doc Brown, Marty McFly and Jennifer speed off to the future to save Marty’s family.
The movie got a few things right. We have the likes of Skype and FaceTime, virtual reality goggles, 3D entertainment and hoverboards are sort of available, though you could argue that the more mainstream Swagway could pass as an alternative.
On the other hand, we don’t use fax machines to communicate anymore, we don’t have a female president in the U.S., and activists have not yet mobilized to get rid of alphabet soup.
— VILLA (@RUVILLA) October 21, 2015
But "Back to the Future II" isn’t the only film whose future is here. Over the next few years, sci-fi fans will be able to celebrate "The Running Man" (set in 2017), "Rollerball" (set in 2018), "Blade Runner" (set in 2019), "Soylent Green" (set in 2022) and "V for Vendetta" (set between 2015-2038).
The year 2017 will also have seen the complete collapse of the world economy, the rise of totalitarian governments and the sick phenomenon where prisoners must compete in a game show in order to survive, according to the 1987 movie "The Running Man," featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
— Bob Gilmer (@AtBobGilmer) October 21, 2015
If the world is anything like the 2018 of "Rollerball," in three years we can expect a society run by one giant corporation, where the only form of entertainment is a form of roller derby in which anything -- including violence and murder -- is encouraged in order to win. In 1975, when the movie was released, that probably seemed entirely plausible.
oh my god forget back to the future, we only have three years until rollerball is a real sport
— Coleman Collins (@COLEMANICEWATER) January 10, 2015
"Blade Runner" depicts an eventful and very interesting 2019. Ridley Scott’s classic 1982 film features flying cars, iris-scanning technology, massive amounts of pollution and genetically engineered humanoids. Completely ridiculous? Or a possibility?
Thanks to the dismal weather, today is more Blade Runner than Back to The Future.
— Siegfried Baber (@SiegfriedBaber) October 21, 2015
One engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon said he’s invented technology that can identify someone from across the room using iris-scanning technology, and two scientists set off a huge ethical debate when they launched a human embryo modification experiment.
The 1973 sci-fi classic "Solyent Green" depicts an equally grim 2022. Dealing with overpopulation, the death of the world’s oceanic habitats and global poverty, humans will have to rely on a rationed nutrition called “soylent green.”
Enjoy your Back to the Future Day, cattle. Just remember, only 7 more years until Soylent Green Day. pic.twitter.com/wamSWjxEkp
— Chris Kottom (@chriskottom) October 21, 2015
And of course, “remember remember the fifth of November” and the all-out anarchy of the near future (2015-2038) made famous by "V for Vendetta," released in 2005. The future is here, folks. Or closer than you think.