Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Prepare: Logan's Run

When I was a little kid in the 1970's, I went to the neighborhood two screen theatre and saw Logan's Run for the first time. As we exited the movie, young people dressed as characters from the movie handed out free copies of the book the movie was based upon. It was pretty cool at the time and I have liked that movie ever since.

The book, Logan's Run is far different than the film and if you have read/watched both, you know why. Logan's Run is science fiction story set in the 23rd century where the world has pragmatically and harshly dealt with the spectre of overpopulation by limiting the oldest a person can live. At the end of their state approved lifespan, most people voluntarily commit suicide. Others, wanting to live longer, decide to run, and that is where Logan comes in.

Logan is a police officer called a Sandman who hunts down and executes people who have exceeded the approved age. The state is able to keep track of people's age by a lifeclock installed at birth in the palm of their hand which changes colors as they age. Once the clock goes black, the person is now a runner who can be tracked electronically by Logan and other Sandmen like him.

There were many variances between the book and the movie.

- In the book, life ended at age 21, whereas in the movie, people could live to the age of 30. The rationale for this allowed for established actors like Richard Jordan and Michael York who were in their late 20's at the time, to play the lead rolls.

- In the book, the future world comprised the entire globe whereas the movie only had people living in a single location called "The City", a domed and climate controlled metropolis with no knowledge of the outside world.

- In the book, people who followed the law, ended their life in a state run Sleep Shop where robot attendants euthanized them. In the movie, people attempt to find afterlife by going through some ritual called Carousel where their bodies are suspended in midair and blown up as part of a spectator sport in the City.

- In the book, there were only four palm flower colors; green, blue, red, and black. In the movie, an additional color was added, yellow, to extend the lifespan by 9 years.  

- In the book, Logan decided to run when he was 24 hours away from turning 21. In the movie, the master computer "stole" four years from his crystal to make it easier for him to infiltrate the runner's network and further, allow him to destroy their ultimate destination called Sanctuary.

- In the book, Logan's Sandman partner, Francis, is secretly 42 years old and is the leader of a the network spiriting runners to safety. As a Sandman, Francis was always on duty and rarely took any time off. In the movie, he is a zealous Sandman only concerned with killing runners as sadistically as possible while engaging in as much pleasurable activity while off duty.

- In the book, the Sandman's primary weapon, the Gun, was modeled after the 19th century Colt Peacemaker and only carried six different and purposed rounds with the Homer cartridge used to kill runners. In the movie, Sandmen carry an elongated futuristic flame pistol which is not very accurate, appears to have unlimited ammunition and is better used for shooting fireballs pell mell. Further, the book states that the Gun was programmed for the Sandman's lifeclock in the palm of his hand and picking up another's gun would burn an arm off. In the movie, Logan grabs and uses other guns without a problem.

- In the book, the lifeclock embedded in the palm of everyone's hand was referred to as a "flower". In the movie, the lifeclock was called a "crystal".

- In the movie, Sanctuary, the final destination for runners, did not exist. All runners died in route or were ultimately killed by Box the insane robot in the basement bowels if the City. In the book, Sanctuary was on the planet Mars and was home to hundreds of runners who had escaped over the years.

For those new to Logan's Run, I suggest they read the book and then catch the movie. The book is far more detailed about how the system came about whereas the movie is rather mindless eye candy. The movie now has cult status and has a legion of die hard fans, but be warned, the uncut version is not for children! It has several scenes of nudity, sexual activity and violence. The book, released in 1967, has some scenes which were considered quite provocative for their time, but now are tame by today's standards.

1 comment:

Bustednuckles said...

A good movie.I have seen it several times.
I always wondered if the band Rush was inspired by it to make the album 2112.

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