Length: 119 minutes / 1.98 hours
In today’s landscape of CGI and superb practical effects, it’s a little difficult to watch movies like Logan’s Run (1976). Sure, there are a few good bits (like dissolving bodies), but there are a lot of effects that look low-budget by today’s standards. Wires clearly hold up flying people, a robot is obviously a man in a boxy costume, and a futuristic society seems to be housed in a mid-1980s shopping mall. About the only reason I don’t necessarily deem Logan’s Run a B-movie fit for a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 ribbing is because it was the best technology they had at the time.
Of course, I say this was the best special effects of the day, knowing full well that Star Wars (1977) would come out a year later. If anything, this movie shows the enormous leap in special effects that Star Wars provided the film industry in comparison. And while the plot of Logan’s Run is relatively simple, certain elements appear to be pulled from Planet of the Apes (1968). Both seem to show how the future bodes for our society and, more specifically, one that settles on killing anyone over 30 years old.
Despite how poorly it has aged, Logan’s Run is still a pop culture reference that appears from time to time. From direct references in The Simpsons and Family Guy, the idea of an age limit was also adapted in a slightly different way (to middling success) in In Time (2011). There’s no denying its hedonistic appeal, if for no other reason than its ability to show that perhaps we shouldn’t trust everything a computer tells us. Of course, the utopian/dystopian dichotomy will always be present in media, but Logan’s Run has a reasonably good take on the theme for what it is.
The best special effects of 1976, I give Logan’s Run 3.0 stars out of 5.