And check out the improvements to the internet. If you get lonely, you don't just read somebody's profile and maybe meet for coffee or something! No, they literally appear on your wall and walk out into your living room wearing next-to-nothing and within minutes the great sex begins. You don't even have to leave HOME, man! Take THAT, Match.Com!!!
But if you FELT like going out you certainly could! There are night clubs that host full on, bare-naked orgies and as soon as you walk in you're getting pleasured! Having a bad hair day? Feeling, maybe a little unattractive and down? No problemmo, dudes and dudettes! On your way to that orgy-packed hangout "The Love Shop", you can stop at "New You" where you can have a brand new face of your choice beamed on so everybody's happy! The beautician there, Holly, even looks exactly like Farrah Fawcett-Majors!
There's no overpopulation, no pollution, the war is long over, the ecology is perfectly balanced and in this hedonistic society, you can get anything you want, easier than even at Alice's Restaurant! The Pleasure never lets up! Sound like Utopia, like everything is 100,000,000,000% in place?
Well, it's not... quite! Because in the film Logan's Run you're put to death just before your 30th Birthday! Yep, folks, nobody over 30 allowed... to LIVE! Hell, that means, at the time of this writing, I'd have been dead for the past six years in Logan's World!
No doubt most, or all, of you have a basic idea about Logan's Run and its mythos! After all, it started as a 1967 novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson and was a big enough hit to spawn comics from Marvel, a popular soundtrack album from composer Jerry Goldsmith, a spin-off TV Series and various attempts at a remake. Yes, Logan's Run the story of a futuristic dystopian culture has been quite the impact on our own culture, to say the least.
Logan's own, however, is kept so ordered because of strict adherence to the rules... which is partially due to Sandmen like him. Sandmen, including Logan 5 (Michael York) and his partner Francis 7 (Richard Jordan), are futuristic police officers armed with impressive side arms and a license to kill anybody over 30. New face or not, this isn't something that can be hidden, as every citizen is given a "Lifeclock" at birth. It's a color-changing crystal housed in the palm of the hand which blinks red as it leads up to "Lastday" and then turns black. Every citizen with a black Lifeclock must report for euthanasia or hope to be "Renewed" at "Carousel", the bizarre and popular spectator sport of execution and rebirth (or... so they say)!
Logan 5 and Francis 7 are gleeful in the "execution" of their duties, sometimes toying with their victim "Runners" before firing the kill shot as if it's a sport of their own making. There is no question of the rules nor is there any hesitation or compassion for those who dare run... even when Logan meets a SUPER hot (and occasionally nude) Runner Sympathizer named Jessica 6 (Jenny Agutter)!
While our title Sandman might not question his duties or the reasons behind them, the audience is soon faced with a tougher question... what would Logan, whose job it is to exterminate Runners, do when his own Lifeclock crystal begins to blink red, signaling his upcoming birthday and DEATH WARRANT?
If the title of the film doesn't give that much away for you, the posters certainly will... the moral questions here are interesting, if not always fully formed, and the adventure that follows is exciting and well imagined by screenwriter David Zelag Goodman and director Michael Anderson, not to mention producers Saul David and Hugh Benson! Credit is (and should be) given to these guys, mainly because Johnson and Nolan's novel provides a great framework for the resulting movie, but the movie is not a literal translation of the book (what adaptation is?). Literary purists might take issue, and they may be right to, however, the ultimate movie is no less exciting and fun.
Logan's Run itself is no mere cat-and-mouse chase through the domed city buildings like a futuristic Die Hard. Once the chase is on, Logan 5 and Jessica 6 must face many dangers, toils and snares throughout the many levels of the world they thought they knew, and beyond. Along the way they meet an impressive (if enigmatic) robot named Box voiced and performed by Roscoe Lee Browne and a mysterious and OLD man played by Peter Ustinov! With each door that is broken down, the journey gets harder and the adventure keeps on going until the film's surreal finale.
In many ways, Logan's Run shows its age (after all, it is over 30 years old itself, now). There is an excellent use of miniatures and other special effects thanks to Glen Robinson) and his crew. As beautiful as these can be (and they often are), these always look like miniatures and special effects, not like "the real thing". That may seem like a silly complaint, but its notable that only a year later Star Wars was released and featured much more convincing effects, sets and even robots.
Even where the special effects show their seams, there are some moments of great beauty here when it comes to design. A decimated city of our own time is re-created amazingly with overgrown vines and cracked structures to great effect. Like other sci-fi films from around this time (such as The Lathe of Heaven), Logan's Run kept its set costs down by filming at some of the existing futuristic structures in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area instead of building all new ones. With what director Anderson does with these, they did and do look like something we might see in the future, both spectacular and practical. It's also noteworthy that the finales of both Logan's Run and The Lathe of Heaven were filmed within about 15 minutes of the hospital I was born in... which is now a Women's Prison!
They won't let me visit. I asked.
In many ways, Logan's Run survives based on the story itself, which is good, however some of the same issues that mark the film technically get in the way of the story and its telling. While the acting is adept, it can be somewhat dated in its delivery. Further, some of the morality, lessons and even the underlying themes seem to be somewhat buried and hard to comprehend. They're there and we catch them, don't get me wrong, but they're often trapped just beyond the surface. There are a few parts that I'm still not sure exactly what the hell happened or why. True, in a lot of post apocalyptic fiction ambiguity and even obscurity is the name of the game. In the case of Logan's Run, it seems that these are things that Anderson and Goodman want us to know and are trying to explain, but they don't quite come across!
On the other hand, it's no Zardoz or even 2001: A Space Odyssey. Most of what Logan's Run is trying to tell us comes across quite well and coupled with the effects, acting, directing and lots of great nudity, the film is worth somewhere in the dome of Three and One Half Stars out of Five! In short, this film's crystal may be flashing a bit, but it's far from burned out to black. This may not be Utopia, but I'll see you Runners in the Next Reel!
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