Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sci-Fi Gems Week: Logan's Run

Heyas folks and welcome to Day 3 of Sci-Fi Gems Week. What say we head into a time of the year 2274, a society composed of young carefree people with all the comforts of automation, food replicators and rampant desires of the flesh? Sounds pretty decent overall; that is until you reach the age of 30 and you are fated to engage in the ceremony known as Carousel. So grab your flame pistol, your negligee toga and prepare to run. This is Logan’s Run.

Ugh, mall walking is still a thing??!!

Based very loosely on William F. Nolan’s novel of the same title, this utopia gives humans very little to do in the terms of work relations. Only a handful of men are selected to be Sandmen, a quasi-police force that ensures no one over the age of 30 skips out on the time of renewal. It is said at the age of 30 that your time is up and new life must begin to take the place that you left behind in order to keep population down and resources maintained and managed. According to their religious standing that has been founded God only knows when, these people have lived in harmony but unaware of their beginnings. The schools only teach so much and history is almost frowned upon. All knowledge of the Earth seems to be erased and no one would think of what is beyond the great domed city. The New You face lifts, tucks and sculpting for when you are tired of that appearance anymore comes in handy. To track their years of life, at birth they are fitted with a Lifeclock crystal in the palm of their hand that changes color as they approach their “Last Day.”

So yours is starchy and itchy, too?

A sandman named Logan 5 (Michael York of The Three Musketeers, The Four Musketeers: Milady’s Revenge, Murder on the Orient Express, Seven Nights in Japan, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Lady and the Highwayman, Night of the Fox and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) begins to wonder, to query about the meaning of life and the point of Carousel. His friend Francis 7 (Richard Jordan of The Yakuza, Rooster Cogburn, Alibis, Les Miserables, Dune and The Mean Season) warns him that such thinking undermines Carousel and all its teachings. They are force to chase a runner and terminate him. Logan fins a pendant in the shape of an ankh. By the by, booty calls are quite simplified as it would be bad manners to turn a person down. Logan selects a young girl for the evening, a one Jessica 6 (Jenny Aguttter of Walkabout, A War of Children, The Eagle Has Landed, The Man in the Iron Mask, Dominique, An American Werewolf in London and Love’s Labour’s Lost). As the two get cozy Logan notices that Jessica wear an ankh as well and questions its origin. He takes it to the main computer to verify it. The computer explains it belongs to an order known as Sanctuary. A haven for runners to flee to and hereby orders Logan to destroy Sanctuary. Moments later, his lifeclock starts flashing red a year too early forcing Logan to become a runner.

I had a few observations on the movie and wither or not it has stood the test of time. The exterior shots of the domed city is obviously forced perspective and scale models for walk ways, tram system and buildings. Obviously there is a far amount of blue screen being used for matted shots and the robot servitors look a bit hokey and those poor actors in the suits must have been broiling but I do not think that should derail you from the story. I don’t think it is the pinnacle or apex that science fiction has created but it should be considered at the very least of a view of what times are ahead. An alternative timeline for humanity if you will and that has always made for good sci-fi.
Apparently given this is 1976, bras were outlawed in this utopia and brother does that ever show. I guess the sexist pig producer came to the conclusion if babies are genetically engineered and raised by machines, then breast feeding and lack of offspring meant no sagging or gravity. Trust me, there was a pig with a cigar making this decision.

Well I am not a huge fan of werewolves.