Demolition Man

taco bell

Three Seashells

Demolition Man is a 1993 American science fiction action film directed by Marco Brambilla, and starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes (co-starring Sandra Bullock and Denis Leary). The film tells the story of two men—one, an evil crime lord; the other, a risk-taking police officer—who are cryogenically frozen in the year 1996 and reawakened in 2032.

Following a massive earthquake in 2010 that destroyed much of Los Angeles, the city merged with San Diego to form a planned city called San Angeles in which all crime has seemingly been eliminated from mainstream society. Sandra Bullock replaced original actress Lori Petty in the role of Lenina Huxley after a few days filming. Her character’s name is a reference to Aldous Huxley, the author of ‘Brave New World,’ and Lenina Crowne, a character in the dystopian novel.

By 2032, toilet paper has fallen out of use; a set of three seashells is provided in every toilet stall. Though their method of use is not explained in the movie and is instead left to the viewer’s imagination. Stallone later suggested a possible method in an interview as told to him by one of the film’s writers involving extraction with two and scraping with one.

The movie features a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 in its chase scene. The Oldsmobile brand is also featured prominently in the film (including a scene involving an Oldsmobile dealership), becoming an unintentional anachronism due to the Oldsmobile brand’s discontinuation in 2004. For some non-American releases, references to Taco Bell were changed to Pizza Hut. This includes dubbing, plus changing the logos during post-production. In one scene, Phoenix makes a comment about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer being one of the cryo-inmates. Since this movie was made before his death in prison in 1994, in this alternate time period, he had been frozen with all the other criminals that were deemed too dangerous. Later versions of the film have this comment deleted.

Hungarian science fiction writer István Nemere claims that most of ‘Demolition Man’ is based on his novel ‘Holtak harca’ (‘Fight of the Dead’), published in 1986. In the novel, a terrorist and his enemy, a counter-terrorism soldier are cryogenically frozen and awakened in the 22nd century, when violence was purged from society. Nemere claimed that a committee proved that 75% of the film is identical to the book. However, Nemere chose not to initiate a lawsuit, as it would have been too expensive for him to hire a lawyer and fight against major Hollywood forces in the United States. The author claims that Hollywood had ripped-off works of many Eastern European writers after the fall of the Iron Curtain, and that he knows the person he claims to be responsible for illegally selling his idea to the filmmakers.


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