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Logan’s Run (1976)

Logan’s Run (1976)

Movie Review

 

It’s the 23rd century and after an apocalyptic holocaust the descendants of the survivors live in a subterranean metropolis. Their society is a technologically advanced hedonistic utopia with all amenities and comforts. Even booty calls can be beamed up on command on the cruise circuit right to your home. But there is a catch. In order to control over population life is terminated at age 30. Welcome to the world of Logan 5 (Michael York), who is a type of  futuristic elite police known as a Sandman whose job it is to hunt and eliminate Runners (those who refuse to stop living just because they’re about to turn 30).

 

 

Of course, in this society, they don’t consider what they do to be murder or even death. Rather a mystical ritual that takes place in an amphitheater known as  carousel where those about to enter their third decade are essentially atomized while the excited crowd shout “Renew!” Oh yes, they believe their friends are about to be reborn in another body. Let’s get this party started!

Later that evening while cruising the circuit, Logan meets the lovely Jessica (Jenny Agutter) who is mourning a friend that was on the carousel earlier and expresses her doubts about the veracity of renewal. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Logan’s Sandman friend Francis 7 (Richard Jordan) and some lovelies.

Logan’s Run does not have anywhere near the astounding (for its time) special effects that we saw a year later in Star Wars but it still remains something of a sci-fi cult classic. Yeah, some of the sets are cheesy but for me that only adds to the retro nostalgia.

Later, while reporting at headquarters, Logan places for identification the objects he removed from the last runner he terminated on some sort of scan. We hear a disembodied female voice from the master computer command Logan to come forward and sit before a large screen. The voice asks Logan to identify one of the objects he just submitted. He responds negatively and the voice informs him the object is called an Ankh and is associated with a place called Sanctuary also associated with Runners.  All  of this is news to Logan. The voice then commands Logan to become a Runner, find Sanctuary and destroy it. He is given permission to “penetrate the city seals” and go “outside”. Huh? What? City seals? Outside? Logan has clearly never heard of such things.

Logan replies he’s only a “red 6″ and can’t pass for a Runner in order to infiltrate the group that helps them. Don’t worry Logan. The voice has a solution to that “little” obstacle. Logan is then commanded to place his hand atop a small screen where he is then aged 4 years and has his life clock ( a small gem like crystal embedded in everyone’s left palm) flashing red. That’s the Happy Birthday neon sign that announces your expiration date has arrived. Don’t try to high five any of your friends/acquaintances at this point if you plan on becoming a Runner.

Of course Logan’s concerned about getting back his 4 years once his assignment is completed, but the voice seems to be hard of hearing because she never responds to his repeated pressing inquiries. Hmm, not a reassuring start to this mission.

Logan now seeks out Jessica, after his Sandman friend Francis 7 dismisses his questions regarding if he actually knows of anyone being “renewed”. Jessica is part of an underground movement that assists Runners. She advises her confederates about Logan’s request for help. They don’t trust a Sandman and plot to eliminate him that evening.

When Logan helps a female Runner in Cathedral (populated by “delinquent” children) and lets her escape Jessica decides that he is not an infiltrator and warns him about the plan to kill him.

Logan now decides it’s probably a good idea if he gets a new face if he’s now in danger not only from fellow Sandmen but also the Sanctuary underground. He remembers the last runner  he terminated had obtained a new face at a place called  “The New You” and goes there with Jessica. Get ready for another dose of retro memories here as we meet the doctor’s receptionist/assistant Holly played by Farrah Fawcett (billed here as Farrah Fawcett-Majors)  sporting her famous 70’s Farrah hair.

I must admit I never get tired of watching Logan’s Run. Some of my favorite scenes are of Logan and Jessica discovering and breaking through the city seals with a relentless Francis right on their heels ready to impart some Sandman justice.

As well as the ice cave scene with Box where we learn what became of previous Runners who made it this far before reaching the outside.

So what is outside? A vine choked Washington DC is what Logan and Jessica stumble upon after days? hours? of fumbling and limping their way through unfamiliar vegetation.

 

Peter Ustinov has a nice turn as the sweet and endearing Old Man. The first human they encounter is also the current occupant of Capitol Hill along with a small army of cats. He’s also the first human they’ve ever seen over the age of 30 ….well over. Where’s Logan’s former BFF Francis you ask? Oh he’s coming! He’s in hot pursuit.

For those of you who haven’t yet experienced this kitschy morsel of retro sci-fi I’ll stop here.

To order Logan’s Run on DVD from either Amazon USA, Amazon UK or Amazon Canada click on one of the corresponding links below.

 

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