Friday, August 9, 2013

Revisiting the Classics -- Logan's Run

Today we have the 1976 cult classic, Logan's run, starring Michael York and Jenny Agutter.

The story takes place in the future following an unspecified apocalypse. The remnants of humanity live inside a domed city where they have everything they could ever want. There's just one rule: Upon turning 30, everyone must die. Once the crystal in your hand starts blinking red, you're done. The only possible way to save yourself is to take part in a bizarre, nonsensical ritual called Carrousel, though even after watching the movie I still have no idea what's supposed to be happening during it. Some choose to flee, and it's up to the local security force to terminate the "runners". One such Sandman (as these executioners are called) is Logan. Together with his best friend Francis, he hunts runners with sadistic glee. In his mind they are not killers; they are simply ending the existence of people too stupid to take part in Carrousel, and having fun doing it.

As you can probably imagine--assuming the title didn't already give it away--this carefree life soon comes to a halt for Logan. The city's central computer suddenly drops a bombshell on him: Over 1,000 runners are unaccounted for, and it's up to him to find them. The computer believes they are hiding in the mythical city of Sanctuary, and decides to set off Logan's crystal so he can pose as a runner and gain their trust. Once he has done that, he is to destroy Sanctuary. But Logan soon comes to see things from the runners' perspective, and he teams up with runner/digitized hooker Jessica to get to Sanctuary and help them. All the while they are being hunted by Francis who believes Jessica has brainwashed Logan. Do they have what it takes to bring down the system?

Logan's run is one of the most bizarre movies I've ever seen. It's also wildly imaginative. It features very diverse and colorful settings, from the city's interior (which looks like a futuristic Las Vegas to me), to freaky night clubs, to sewers, to an arctic freezer, to...well, I won't spoil the rest. The film plays out like a very long episode of the original Star Trek series, but with way more nudity (in one nutty scene Logan and Jessica are accosted by a band of naked people); I honestly don't know how they got away with a PG rating. I don't normally like anything campy, but it definitely works for this movie.

As for the acting...well, Logan's Run doesn't exactly set a new bar here. Several scenes in the movie are unintentionally funny due to the actors' reciting their lines weird. I don't know what went wrong with Farrah Fawcett's character, but she comes across as mentally impaired during a scene that's supposed to be serious. 

In my opinion, though, it's all part of the film's charm. You can't really take Logan's Run seriously, but that's OK. And at the end of the day, you get a memorable sci-fi movie with classic memes such as "Life day! Renew!"

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