Logan’s Run is a great example of what passed for Sci-Fi before Star Wars (1977) was released and presents a real 1970s vision of the future.
It’s the 23rd century (a century after the apocalypse, we’re told) and a bunch of happy nubile white people live in a world without strife inside the ultimate singles complex – a huge climate-controlled domed city that looks suspiciously like the Texas shopping mall it was filmed in.
Here they lounge around in skimpy disco clothing (although the women don’t wear any undies), do drugs, beam up sex partners on demand, and wait to turn 30, which is when their hand crystal starts blinking red and eventually turns black – then they get to float around in a cool zero-gravity arena and explode in front of a cheering crowd, in a quasi-religious “renewal” ritual called “Carousel” (pictured below).
Unbelievers go on the run and are hunted down by ‘Sandmen’ – gun-toting cops employed by the city’s computerised overlords to hunt and kill runners as a means of maintaining order – like Michael York’s square-jawed Logan 5 (pictured below left). Either way, nobody gets to see 31.
When Logan discovers a clue about the runners’ hidden citadel, “Sanctuary”, his lifespan is abruptly abbreviated so he can go undercover as a runner – a harsh move that eventually turns Logan against his former superiors.
In the original novel by George Clayton Johnson and William F. Nolan, this was a population control measure – an idea somewhat buried in the film, which instead concentrates on Logan’s crisis of conscience and on making sure his companion Jenny Agutter’s flimsy chemise gets soaking wet at every opportunity.
Roscoe Lee Browne
Michael Anderson Jr