Dusting Off... Logan's Run
What is it?
Released in 1976, Logan's Run is a science fiction film based on a novel of the same name by William F Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, set in a dystopian, futuristic society that promises its inhabitants 'the perfect world of total pleasure', as the film's tagline suggests, but there's a catch: nobody is allowed to live beyond the age of 30, at which point they are vaporised and supposedly 'renewed'.
Directed by the legendary Michael Anderson, the man behind films like The Dam Busters and the original film adaptation of 1984, Logan's Run is set in the year 2274 and stars Michael York as Logan 5, a police officer - known as 'Sandmen' - tasked with keeping order in this peaceful, utopian world. Sounds like a pretty easy gig, right? Except for the runners...
Each member of this society is tagged with a device called a 'life clock' – a crystal inserted into the palm of their hands at birth which signals the person's age and changes colour the older they get. When their time is up, not everybody is keen on the idea of being vaporised and so some of them become runners – that is, people trying to make a run for it beyond the walls of the domed city in which they live and beyond, in search of a place known as Sanctuary.
Logan is tasked with a mission to leave the city, find Sanctuary and destroy it along with its residents, former escapees who disappeared after evading the police. To do this, the computer which runs and monitors their society fast-forward's Logan's life clock and he himself is forced to become a runner. Along with another runner named Jessica 6 (played by Jenny Agutter), he escapes the dome and sets out to discover if Sanctuary really exists.
Why should I revisit?
Although the film's special effects do feel a bit dated, the film is a lot more fun than its dystopian synopsis would suggest, and it has become something of a cult classic. Along with York and Agutter the cast also includes Farrah Fawcett, Roscoe Lee Brown and Peter Ustinov, and even though the film is very much of its time it has proved highly influential. It also has a great score composed by Jerry Goldsmith, the man who penned the music for The Omen, among many other films.
Mike Myers is known to be a fan and this is believed to be the reason for him casting York in the role of Basil Exposition for the Austin Powers films, and it even spawned a spin-off TV series in the late 70s.
A remake, which was due to be directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and star Ryan Gosling, has been in the pipeline for ages now, although the project seemed to hit the skids when Gosling quit in 2012, and the last word on this was a statement from Refn last year in which he described the projects as “dead as dead can be”. Since then though news has broken that Bioshock creator Ken Levine has signed up to write the screenplay for the new film, so all hope is not lost just yet.
Who will enjoy it?
Any sci-fi fans who haven't already seen it should give Logan's Run a watch, particularly if you're a fan of retro sci-fi flicks like Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Soylent Green or Westworld.