Best Movies You’ve Never Heard Of: Logan’s Run #RunRunner

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LOGAN’S RUN

Hailed as the “first motion picture of the 23rd century”, Logan’s Run was a wild and burgeoning sci-fi tumbleweed of an ambitious film. You dare to doubt me on this? Watch the original 3 minute long trailer here and bask in the hyper stylized world that is Logan’s Run.

There is visually striking architecture everywhere, post apocalyptic overtones, Cirque du Soleil acrobatics, poofs of ecstasy like hedonistic smoke thrown into the air, sexy sexiness at every turn, all manner of futuristic technology and laser beams as far as the eye can see. This movie had it all! Released in 1976 (the year I was born!) and directed by Michael Anderson (of Around the World in 80 Days – 1956 fame), Logan’s Run was a sci-fi darling of its time, and even picked up an Academy special achievement award (special effects) as well as 6 Saturn awards, including Best Science Fiction film.

So why don’t people remember Logan’s Run? (as validated by this amazing dream sequence clip from the equally amazing flick: Free Enterprise – shameless plug for my post about it)

Well, in 1977 a little known director named George Lucas unleashed the lightsaber wielding universe of Star Wars on movie going crowds and created a science fiction juggernaut that captured the hearts and minds of everybody on the planet, except for me and Freddie Mercury (for reference see the following lyrics from the Queen song Bicycle, “Jaws was never my scene and I don’t like Star Wars”). Chances are Freddie probably loved Logan’s Run, as it was in many ways about a Utopia that allowed its citizens to pursue any and all hedonistic pleasures (including same sex coupling I might add, but with no violence, crime, murder and whatnot from the general population). Freddie would have loved life in the Domed City, as evidenced by this 100% not legitimate photo that I “found” online of the Queen crooner showing his growing love for Logan’s Run, clearly the mere idea of it gave him action in his pants. Settle down Freddie!imageedit_2_6441791027

OK, it disappeared… so what even is Logan’s Run? Logan’s Run is based on a simple principal: in the pleasure laden world of the Domed City, you can pursue all manner of happy endeavors (sex, drugs, booze, sports, etc.) until your 30th birthday. Upon turning 30, a jewel in the palm of your hand will blink red and at that point you are to submit to the fiery ritual of Carrousel in which you can hope to be renewed (rebirth through reincarnation) or added to the greater numbers. Most of the citizens of the 23rd century accept this lifestyle and as such there are no citizens that make it past the age of 30. On occasion, a citizen will attempt to run away from Carrousel and that’s when the Sandmen (essentially police officers with a license to kill) are dispatched to hunt them down. The main plot involves a Sandman, Logan 5, who is given a secret mission to find a potential underground railroad that some citizens are using to run from Carrousel. In his investigation, Logan 5’s jewel starts to blink red and in a desperate attempt to live long enough to carry out his mission, he enlists the help of Jessica 6, a woman whom he believes can help him to use this underground railroad to escape. I won’t give the rest away, but a whole lot more happens and it is a doozy of a rollercoaster.

So why should you care?

  1. Because it is a tremendously entertaining science fiction movie that one numerous awards, including an Academy Award and multiple Saturn awards.
  2. It his a fantastic ensemble cast whom I will introduce for the younger crew who might not know these fine folks: Michael York (Basil Exposition from Austin Powers), Jenny Agutter (Marvel’s: the Avengers, Captain America: the Winter Soldier), Richard Jordan (Gettysburg), Peter Ustinov (probably wouldn’t know him regardless, but you should! watch Spartacus and Quo Vadis), and Farrah Fawcett Majors (Charlie’s Angels… the original ones).
  3. It features a variety of complex ideas in an exciting story that will have you glued to the screen for the entire ride! At its core, Logan’s Run is an example of how too much technology and reliance on government control of our liberites leads to the subjucation and intellectual decline of the citizens of the Domed City. The people believe they are living in Utopia, with free sex and free everything, but ultimately their fate is far worse and honestly more than a bit depraved. There are serious questions posed in Logan’s Run about liberty, independence, freedom, loyalty, friendship and love. What’s even better, they are all handled beautifully and not just tacked on as an afterthought.
  4. The soundtrack is by Jerry Goldsmith (of Star Trek the Motion Picture fame amongst many others) and is incredible!
  5. The film has a ton of wide shots featuring fully animated model sets! They are beyond dope.
  6. It features an intense sequence of full frontal nudity (both male and female) in a pleasure room orgy scene, all in a PG rated film (and you thought that only Spielberg could get away with those kind of shenanigans, think again runner!)

Seriously, this film is just a pure blast to watch, and even better when you have a group of friends together to riff on it. It is very dated in every way, from the way dialogue is delivered, to the special effects, to the production design, and this may put you off from watching, but trust me – this only makes the movie that much more endearing. It is like a time capsule of the pinnacle of sci-fi movie achievement from a time briefly before Star Wars existed. A great popcorn flick that has a message that will make you think. Trust me on this, Logan’s Run is a cinema treasure and you and your friends will be quoting this film for years to come. Run Runner… and watch Logan’s Run today!

Images from Logan’s Run for your perousal:

Model of the Domed City:logans-run-city2Francis 7 and Logan 5 heading to go watch this evening’s Carrousel:logansrunLogan 5 and Jessica 6 in an intensely sexy interrogation!logan-s-runlogans-run-517487f8a24d8

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