Lion of the Blogosphere

Logan’s Run (the first 20 minutes)

This is not a case of getting bored after 20 minutes. Logan’s Run is a movie worth watching in it’s entirety. But there was already so much to write about in the first 20 minutes, so I decided to stop and write down my thoughts.

We are introduced to the concept of “Carousel.” When people become 30 years old, they are required to participate in a quasi-religious ceremony where they float in the air and explode, in large circular stadium packed with people shouting, “Renew! Renew!” They believe that they aren’t getting killed, but they are being renewed and will be born again, or something like that.

Some people, back when this was filmed, may have though, “no way would people be so stupid to let themselves be slaughtered like cattle.” But two years later, at Jonestown, 900 people committed suicide by drinking poisoned Kool-Aid, and thus was born the phrase “drunk the Kool-Aid” to describe a true believer. Almost everyone in the City of Domes where Logan’s Run takes place have figuratively drunk the Kool-Aid.

But there are a few free thinkers who think the religion of the City of Domes is a lot of bunk, and they try to escape. The police force, called “Sandmen,” call these people runners.

In the second scene in the movie after the Carousel scene, Logan and his partner Francis are capturing a runner. The city is empty because everyone is still at the Carousel watching people get renewed. Logan laughs with glee as he intentionally shoots at the runner to miss him. I didn’t remember the cruelty that Logan displayed in this scene. Eventually, the runner falls from a balcony several stories above the ground and falls to his death. (The City of Domes looks very much like a multi-story shopping mall.)

Then Logan takes out of his pocket a small device that he uses to call in his report to his headquarters, and then there’s also a color videoscreen on the device. I totally missed this the last time I saw the movie, but yes, Logan’s Run predicted the smartphone! (Although the movie smartphone is bigger and chunkier than real-world smartphones. But damn, it was pretty prescient for 1976.)

He brings up a picture of the deceased on his smartphone, and then suddenly becomes worried that he killed the wrong person, because the guy he killed doesn’t match the picture. But then he phones in an “identity check” and he gets a text message (yes, Logan’s Run also predicted text messages) that the runner had a “face change” at a place called “New You.” Later on, we will learn more about this on-demand automated plastic surgery center.

Logan then goes back to his apartment, and uses the future version of Tinder. But better than Tinder because it’s like Tinder combined with the transporter from Star Trek. When he sees someone he likes, they are instantly transported to his bedroom for casual sex. (A much better use for transporter technology than Captain Jean-Luc Picard dourly teleporting down to yet another planet while smugly moralizing about the Prime Directive, don’t you think?) The first person who shows up is a shirtless man, and Logan sends him back. The implication, however, is that gay sex is common and out in the open in the City of Domes. When Jessica shows up (played by the beautiful actress Jenny Agutter, wearing a green robe that doesn’t hide very much), and she doesn’t seem into him, Logan asks if it’s because she prefers women. Once again implying that lesbianism is a normal thing. Remember, this is was filmed in 1976.

The reason that Jessica isn’t into Logan is because Logan is a Sandman, and Jessica apparently thinks that all Sandmen are fascist pigs. Which is indeed pretty close to the way it is. As we saw in the previous scene, the Sandmen take great joy in “terminating” runners.

Then Logan’s Sandman partner Francis walks in with two giggly blondes, and Jessica huffs out of there. Then Francis throws a globe into the air that breaks upon hitting the ceiling and emits a huge amount of pink smoke and the girls start giggling even more as they both embrace Logan. The implication is that the pink smoke makes everyone extra horny and giggly. This was in 1976, before most people ever heard of Ecstasy. This movie was so much ahead of its time.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 15, 2019 at 8:49 PM

Posted in Movies

41 Responses

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  1. Not all of the 900 in Jonestown willingly killed themselves. Some had it forced on them. And it wasn’t Koolaid. It was the cheap knock off, Flavor Aid.

    Half Canadian

    September 15, 2019 at 9:03 PM

    • Jonestown is often held up as an example of bad religion. But the founder, Jim Jones, was actually a far left atheist and communist who supported homosexuality and miscegenation. For whatever reason, the left is much more susceptible to mass insanity than the right.


      September 15, 2019 at 9:56 PM

      • It’s been claimed that the Jonestown massacre cost an entire generation of California politicians any shot at national office: Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, and several others. They did photo-ops with Jim Jones and praised him before the whole thing.


        September 16, 2019 at 12:38 AM

      • It was an echo of the Münster rebellion. It’s not accurate to think of it as an atheist leftist thing.

        A lot of west coast nuttiness is better understood as a recurrence of germanic christian heresies.


        September 16, 2019 at 3:13 AM

      • The right has tradition, the left has…ultimately nothing to ground them.

        Mike Street Station

        September 16, 2019 at 6:03 AM

      • @bobby:

        I don’t think you can draw a straight line from the violent Anabaptists to Jonestown. If there are similarities, it’s that they are both examples of a sort of folly to which humans (or some humans) are prone.

        Romans 1 describes a whole lot of 1st century AD folly, but it’s also a pretty good summary of 21st century folly.


        September 16, 2019 at 8:53 AM

    • To think that a congressman would go to such lengths as to fly to an SA shithole (as the current saying goes) to see to his constituents’ well being. Leo Ryan is probably laughed at and pissed on in the “cloak rooms” that we will never see, if they even know who he is.


      September 15, 2019 at 10:28 PM

  2. I’m sure you’ve reviewed this before?
    I then recommended Zardoz and you said it was terrible.


    September 15, 2019 at 9:04 PM

  3. I’ve seen Logan’s Run a couple of times. Once as a kid and again a couple of years ago. I don’t watch movies for social / technology predictions. I watch them to see what’s being said at a deeper level. And I didn’t see much depth to Logan’s Run. However, there was another scifi movie made a couple of years earlier that had a lot to say about people and society at a deeper level. It was one of the worst movies ever made but redeemed in my eyes for rarely presented themes I agree with. Of course, some of the themes are obvious. But others not so much. And I’ve wondered if others saw in it what I did. Or if it just went over everyone’s heads. I’m referring, of course, to Zardoz.


    September 15, 2019 at 9:29 PM

    • Zardoz is a horrible movie.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      September 15, 2019 at 9:32 PM

      • Yes. One of the worst movies ever made. With it’s only redeeming quality being that it subtly covers important but neglected themes. If you don’t appreciate those themes then you’re probably gay.


        September 15, 2019 at 10:03 PM

    • ZARDOZ is profound.

      I can get the visceral dismissal. The first time I saw it it seemed an amusing romp about the TOOS from their point of view harmed by the British affection for special effects that cost 25 cents. One evening I saw it again and suddenly got it.

      I’ve since realized, like the WIZARD OF OZ it references and all good stories, there’re several themes at once. It’s a real Russian puzzle box.


      September 16, 2019 at 4:24 AM

      • Well said. The movie is so bad that it’s easy to dismiss it as nonsense. But there’s some very profound stuff hiding in it.


        September 16, 2019 at 2:21 PM

      • I agree, Zardoz is a film that needs to be watched a few times, in order to get over Sean Connery’s Mankini and all the stone heads ‘the penis is evil’ business. I saw it for the first time as a teenager, and it went completely over my head, but there was something about it that I couldn’t get out of my mind. It was such an unusual and imaginative idea of just how different the future could be.

        But the idea of the barbarian immigrant destroying the more advanced yet bored and decadent society is obviously one that has only grown more prescient as time has gone on.

        Logan’s Run on the other hand is the kind of film that is diminished with repeated viewings.It’s got a rather weak plot, and the ending with Peter Ustinov as a hammily-acted and batty old man rather undercuts the idea of aging being something venerable and to be treasured. You should be watching Zardoz again, Lion.

        prolier than thou

        September 16, 2019 at 6:46 PM

      • It’s about class warfare not immigration. Otherwise, good comment.


        September 16, 2019 at 11:41 PM

  4. Can I presume Lion’s next write-up is going to be about Ric Ocasek?


    September 15, 2019 at 9:45 PM

  5. Jenny Agutter was in that? The werewolf in London movie, she was a total babe. And then decades later she plays a nun. Some people can have it all.

    Can't Stop the Music--Really, I Can't, You See...

    September 15, 2019 at 9:57 PM

  6. A bit harsh, Lion. Zardoz is such an odd and unique movie, it’s definitely worth seeing once. I would definitely rather watch Jenny Agutter in a gown than Sean Connery in his mankini, though.

    Heinrich Zemo

    September 15, 2019 at 10:40 PM

  7. I’ve always been a square who relied on my looks/personality to get babes, so tell me, did/does X really cause girls to peel their clothes off?

    You know me

    September 15, 2019 at 11:12 PM

  8. “This movie was so much ahead of its time.”

    Except the part about killing people at 30, a central conceit of the movie. The retirement age when this movie was made was probably closer to 58 not 65. We’ve gone the opposite direction, now old people are kept on life support to make nursing home jobs for third worlders.


    September 15, 2019 at 11:23 PM

    • No, we just kill people if they said “nigger” once. Totally different.


      September 15, 2019 at 11:55 PM

    • “old people are kept on life support to make nursing home jobs for third worlders”, and the third worlders are imported to pay into the social security system that pays for the old people to live. It’s a ponzi scheme.

      Peter Akuleyev

      September 16, 2019 at 3:39 AM

  9. (The City of Domes looks very much like a multi-story shopping mall.)

    Logan’s Run location: the DMC Apparel Mart (1970)

    During the summer of 1975, LOGAN’S RUN filming took place within two buildings on the Dallas Market Center campus; the Apparel Mart and the World Trade Center. This video highlights the Apparel Mart which supplied the Great Hall and Arcade (i.e. West Atrium) locations seen in LOGAN’S RUN. The footage in this video is excerpted from a 20 minute promotional film showcasing all of the Dallas Market Center buildings, filmed in 1970 titled DALLAS MARKET: CENTER OF WORLD TRADE. The Apparel Mart was built in 1964 and demolished in 2006.

    MEH 0910

    September 16, 2019 at 12:07 AM

    • “The City of Domes looks very much like a multi-story shopping mall.”

      Yeah, and multi-story shopping malls were a new invention, so it looked futuristic at the time. Although I imagine a futuristic underground city would look a lot like a shopping mall.

      Eric Weinstein argues that technology in the current year is basically stalled in the 70s with the exception of computers. I pretty much agree.

      Another really interesting setting from the film is the Fort Worth Water Gardens fountain. That has its own history including dumb people who died in it, and a very easy fix to make it safer. I used to visit the fountain when I lived near where the movie was filmed.


      September 16, 2019 at 2:25 PM

  10. The book was written in 1967 by two 40-something authors, at a time when young people were becoming a major social force. I heard the book described as middle-age guys describing what would happen if we let those damn hippies have their way.


    September 16, 2019 at 12:46 AM

  11. What did you think of The Wicker Man (1973)?


    September 16, 2019 at 1:50 AM

  12. Everyone in the 60s and 70s predicted the smartphone/Facetime/Skype. In reality it seemed to take people longer to adopt the technology than those of us who grew up in the 70s would have guessed.

    What no one predicted, as far as I know, is that most people would stop talking to each other and prefer to send text messages. Is there any SciFi created before the 2000s where people in the future text each other? And of course emojis would have seemed incomprehensible to people in the 1970s unless you were writing some Idiocracy style parable.

    Peter Akuleyev

    September 16, 2019 at 3:36 AM

    • DFW predicted this to a limited degree in Infinite Jest. People obtained and quickly abandoned the equivalent of FaceTime because the tech made it harder for them to pretend to be interested in what the person they were speaking to was saying. It required them to actually pay attention to the convo. Text messages just take this preference for superficial distraction over meaningful communication to the next level.


      September 16, 2019 at 12:49 PM

  13. Jessica apparently thinks that all Sandmen are fascist pigs. Which is indeed pretty close to the way it is. As we saw in the previous scene, the Sandmen take great joy in “terminating” runners

    Minor quibble. Fascists want to shoot people trying to get in (just ask Antifa), liberals want to shoot people trying to escape (just ask the KGB). This is the latter.


    September 16, 2019 at 6:56 AM

  14. Logan’s Run is the kind of movie that would appeal to all extremists, considering that both the Alt-Right and the Progressive Left are virulent ageists. The Alt-Right for its latent homosexual quasi-fascist worship of the virile Alpha Male and his righteous squashing of everyone else, and the Progressive Left for its detestation of those Old White People who stand in the way of Rainbow Coalition racial replacement.

    Mister Triple 800

    September 16, 2019 at 9:32 AM

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