LOGAN’S Run is one of those films that I happen across on the TV every now and again, but once I do, I have to watch it.
Based on a novel by by William Nolan and George Johnson, the film tells of a idyllic future domed city where people live only for pleasure with one catch – everyone has to die at 30, to manage resources and avoid overpopulation.
Those who try to escape their fate – to run – are hunted down by cool-looking Sandmen – police assassins – of which Logan is one, as seen in this great sci-fi moment, when a runner is stalked through the city by Logan and Francis, a fellow Sandman.
The sheer joy or blood lust on Logan and Francis’s faces, as they shoot away at the runner, taunting him, clearly illustrates the dark side of a seemingly utopian society where anything is available – a new face, new sexual partner, drugs – and of Logan himself, a cold-blooded and amoral killer.
But when Logan himself is forced to run – to discover sanctuary, the mythical refuse runners hope to reach – it makes his growing realisation that their way of life is based on a lie all the more compelling. Plus he has this realisation in the company of a scantily clad Jenny Agutter.
Although some elements of the film seem dated now – like Box the robot – or just annoying like Peter Ustinov’s old man, the idea of a society where they reject their older members remains very prescient.
Director Michael Anderson also creates an unsettling tone throughout – making full use of a wonderful shopping mall location – and people remain chillingly oblivious to their fate – wonderfully realised in the Carousel scene, where those who reach 30 try to ‘renew’ or live again wearing skeleton masks, but are instead executed.
The film remains a sci-fi love favourite, while I also have memories of the spin off TV series which didn’t last long.
Given Hollywood’s current bid to remake any film over 30 years old, I wonder how long it will be before we see Logan’s Run on the big screen again?