Monday, April 26, 2010
Retro Goodness - Logan's Run (1976)
Logan and Jessica on the run
Recently watched a childhood favorite of mine called Logan's Run. And guess what, the film actually holds up remarkably well 34 years later. I was expecting it to not be as good as I remembered it, but it actually surprised me. It's the 23rd century and some type of holocaust has decimated the earth, and the survivors sealed themselves into a domed city near Washington, D.C. To maintain the population balance, the computers that run the city have decreed that all people must die at 30. Those who turn 30 must participate in the event called Carousel, in which they expect to be renewed, that is reborn. But no one actually has seen or heard of anyone being renewed. And those that chose not to take part attempt to run. This system is enforced by "sandmen" : black-clad police operatives who terminate (kill) "runners" (those who attempt to live beyond 30). Logan, a sandman, is sent on a mission to find "sanctuary," which is a code- word used by the master computer to describe what it believes is a place to which runners have been escaping. Logan begins to question the system he serves and after seeing for himself that there is life beyond the dome, he returns to destroy the computer. Michael York is Logan, fresh off the Three Musketeers film. His partner and friend Francis is played by Richard Jordan. And both do a solid job. British fan favorite Jenny Agutter is cast as Jessica 6, a woman who helps Logan escape and find the truth. And she is credible in the lead female role. Not too mention beautiful. Farrah Fawcett appears in an early film role as Holly, a doctor's assistant who is gorgeous but a little confused about things. A side note, this film may be rated PG, but there is a brief orgy like sequence where there are several women that are seen topless. The movie may be set in the year 2274, but that scene feels like the 1970's. God bless the film-makers for that.
Those freaky Carousel robes and masks......
I remembered Logan's Run being this cool sci-fi movie and to that effect it is still very cool. Some of the effects may be dated now, but they were state of the art then. And to be fair, the carousel scene is still very striking today. As the participants must wear some freaky robes and masks. Sweet. The sandman's weapon is a very cool blaster that fires 4 energy blasts that form a circle pattern and strikes with deadly impact. I always thought that was a fantastic weapon to have. As are the striking uniforms of the Sandman. The action scenes are still very exciting as Logan and Jessica are pursued relentlessly by Francis, who goes off the deep end a bit. There is also the sensational score by Jerry Goldsmith which is foreboding and intense.
Richard Jordan as Francis looking crazy as hell..........
So I am pleased to report that Logan's Run is still a highly enjoyable piece of sci-fi fun that does not, I repeat, does not need updating. It's one of those few films that film-makers should leave alone. It has stood the test of time. It was even spoofed in the cult comedy classic Free Enterprise but in a good way. And although Logan's Run the movie is still awesome, the unfortunate TV series that followed it, is best forgotten.