Monday, February 2, 2009

Now Playing: Logan's Run

The Internet Movie Database issued a challenge directly to my brain without even intending to. I found a feature on their site that when you register (free, though I imagine my inbox will shortly be deluged by spam) you have access to something called MyMovies. This nifty gem lets you add and sort all manner of films you’ve seen into whatever categories you feel like creating.

Want to create a list of all the romantic comedies you’ve seen, or only the ones you would recommend? It’s great to have options, but I took a different plunge:

I wanted to know what I’ve seen, period. In total.

Those who know me just read that sentence and laughed saying a variation on the following sentence, “Good luck with that chief, you’ll never finish that list.”

I would agree even though I blew north of 300 listed films right off the top of my head. If I really worked at it I’m sure I’d probably climb closer to 1,000 without too much of a struggle. But then I found a link on Wikipedia that lists every single film that was released in every single year since the late 1800s.

Oh yes, I found my Holy Grail™. I’m up to 1940 or so now, and I’m already dreading when I hit the 1970s. Why you ask?

Because I realized courtesy of this list that there are a few GLARING holes in my extensive cinematic knowledge. I’ve seen virtually everything under the sun, or so I thought. But then I found this list and went down the rabbithole and when you combine this with Netflix I’m able to plug those holes with gleeful abandon.

Such was the case with “Logan’s Run” and I honestly wish that hole had remained.

This film is an awful, cheap-ass 70’s sci-fi clunker with some of the dreariest dialogue, horrid costume design, and virtually no sets to speak of. Not that it lacks for imagination. Anyone trying to pass off a hotel or conventional hall lobby as the town square of the future deserves kudos for chutspaz. Even the famed “Run runner” line is poorly delivered by an emotionally constipated Michael York. Speaking of which, let’s talk motivation.

York and his pal Richard Jordan play Sandmen, futuristic hit men who execute people that would rather run instead of facing mandatory execution once they hit the age of 30. So let’s see here. I can be killed when I hit 30 by a machine called Sanctuary or be killed by a guy with a light pistol calling himself a Sandman. Hmm. How about Door #3 where I get the hell out of this place when I’m 18?

York’s Sandman is tasked with tracking down all escaped runners and destroying their hidden refuge. Since he can’t tell anyone what he’s doing, his friend goes berserk immediately when he sees York behaving strangely. This in no way implies a man-crush or unrequited love between the two. Oh no. It practically shakes you by the shoulders while screaming it in your face.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

As odd and under-financed as it appears, the movie deserves major kudos for wanton 70's nudity, which is always welcome in my DVD player. Another snicker comes from seeing the Fort Worth Water Gardens at the end as a futuristic water recycling... something. Plus I think I've been in the building they used as the primary city hall or some such, because the layout and architecture remained exactly in tact through the 1990s. I would imagine it's still there, but beyond pegging it somewhere on the Plano/Richardson border, I don't recall where it is. A shame, really.

Oh, and what’s with the weak fight at the end? The bad guy gets three love taps from a pole and rolls over? What the hell is that? THIS was a giant hit in 1976?!?!?!?!

At least Star Wars came out the following year and showed what genuine science fiction is. This film is so horrible I’m stunned it wasn’t the lead off picture of MST3K.

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