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In 1979, a low budget movie, The Clonus Horror (usually referred to as Clonus), told the story of an isolated community in a remote desert, where clones were bred as a source of replacement organs for the social elite. A few years later, Michael Bay, of Transformers fame, decided Clonus could be made as a big budget movie: The Island. Released in 2005, The Island borrowed not only from Clonus, but also from other cloning/escape-from-dystopia sci-fi films, such as Fahrenheit 451, THX 1138, and Logan’s Run. The key players in The Island are Lincoln Six Echo (played by Ewan McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson), who, like the characters in Clonus, live in a modified military compound governed by strict rules. Running the facility is Dr. Merrick (Sean Bean), founder of Merrick Biotech. The residents (inmates) have been indoctrinated into believing the world has become too contaminated for human life, which is why everyone must live in the hermetically sealed compound until they can move to The Island—supposedly the last pathogen-free area on the planet. Every week a lottery is held and a winner is selected to go to The Island. Echoing the Clonus plot, Lincoln questions the reality of his world when he has dreams he knows can’t be his. One day Lincoln witnesses a fellow inmate being wheeled into surgery to have his organs harvested. Lincoln puts the pieces together: the lottery is a guise to kill the “winners” for organ harvesting. The action—involving Lincoln and Jordan’s escape from the compound, their realization they are clones of wealthy sponsors, their search for their sponsors while being followed by mercenaries paid by Merrick, and a switched identity—cumulates in a clash with Merrick and the release of the clones.
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