Do You Ever Read the Books You Burn?: Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

So today ends Banned Book Week. As this is the first time in forever that it runs into October, I thought what better time than now to review this movie.

Guy Montag: Do you remember what you asked me the other day: if I ever read the books I burn? Remember?

Clarisse: Uh-huh.

Guy Montag: Last night I read one.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is one of my absolute favorite books. I was first was introduced to it at the age of 10, when I came across my parents watching the film, this movie. I didn’t quite understand it, so my mom gave me the book to read. Since then I read it at least once a year.

Or 10th, 50th, 100th....

Or 10th, 50th, 100th…

So I don’t always love when they turn a book into a film as usually the film greatly disappoints, but in this case I love this film. Although I do dislike one thing. I can’t stand Julie Christie in the dual roles of Montag’s wife Linda and Clarisse, the woman who makes him start questioning what he believes. I know why the director chose it-to highlight the differences, contrast the personalities, etc.-but I think it makes it seem like he falls for her because she looks like his wife instead of who she is. It turned out to be a last minute decision as they couldn’t get who they wanted (Alfred Hitchcock wouldn’t let Tippi Hedrun go as he was obsessed and controlling her). The studio wanted Julie Christie and François Truffaut decided to have her as both characters.

François Truffaut was known to say he disliked SciFi films, and a friend suggested that he try Fahrenheit 451. He did and was hooked, feeling he needed to make a film of it.

But all was not happy on the set. Terrence Stamp was supposed to be Montag, but dropped out and was recast with Oskar Werner. Werner is the only one in the whole production to have a different accent, German to everyone’s English. I don’t mind as it is another thing that sets him apart from the others. He and Truffaut did not get along, and Truffaut said that if he hadn’t wanted to make film so bad and spent so much time raising money for it, he would have walked. Even though the two had their differences and fights, the end result of the film looked good to me and remains a favorite dystopian future film.

So we start the film off with seeing how every house has antennae. Everyone watches TV, are they also being watched?

Hmm…

The credits are read out to you instead of you reading-to go with the no reading anything in the future. This adds to the creepiness. of the film.

Creepy…

They start the film off immediately with them going in the firetruck all dressed in black suits similar to Nazi uniforms. The firetruck is an old fashioned one that just holds the men-there is no fire hose.

The music playing makes me think of Psycho-the way the music lifts and falls increasing your anxiety. I looked it up and it is by the same composer, Bernard Herrmann.

I can’t believe I got that right!

So back to the film-a man is calmly eating an apple in his home receives a phone call-warning him to get out. He leaves with nothing, running. The fireman come in and start searching for books, finding Don Quixote  in the light-I read somewhere that a lot of the books used are the directors favorites.

They have nasty looking tools they use to search everywhere-the TV is full of books, it being completely fake. You couldn’t do that today with these skinny ones. After they collect all the items they take them outside and burn them all.

I’d be freaking out if those were my books.

A little boy picks up a book off the ground and looks at it, curious. A fireman looks at him-and dad, scared, throws it on the fire.

So in the book all the firemen look alike, one of the reasons why you are given that vocation. They are all dark haired and tall, same build. In here, most of them are all a shade of blonde, ah Nazi ambience again. It makes sense as Truffaut was a preteen during WWII, I’m sure the experiences really affected him, espechially seeing the Nazis taking over French cities. He probably used some of those experiences when directing this.

It is really unsettling to see these men in black and they all look so much alike-a faceless horde in a way.

SUPER creeped

Captain Beatty, Montag’s boss refers to Montag in a kind of the third person-just by his last name. No I You, etc. No individuality at all. 

Montag rides the train home, and runs into Clarisse. In the book she was a teen and a representation of innocence. In here she is a woman, which is not a bad change as they decided to go the route of a romantic relationship.

Clarisse talks to him, and she loves to talk. It seems a bit odd has she comes up and talks to him, I feel it made more sense as a teenager, as being young you wouldn’t always know or recognize social cues like an adult would.

Hmm…

They get off at the same stop because they are neighbors and Clarisse talks to him and asks him if it was true that firemen used to put out fires instead of starting them. Montag laughs at her, and says houses have always been fireproof-firemen have always destroyed books.

Clarisse asks about why Montag does it, and Montag gives the spiel of what they told him, books are rubbish. Clarisse continues to press him on it and Montag continues giving the spiel. I like this because it shows that Montag isn’t thinking about it or believes in the books being an evil to society, but that he has been taught that and never gave it another though-but now, those questions have started a seed in his head.

Clarisse asks him, “Do you ever read the books you burn?” and he repeats the spiel again…but something has him thinking….

Hmmm…

Montag gets home and the TV is on, the TV is always on. His wife is obsessed with the TV calling them “her family”, the announcers being referred to as “cousins”. he TV tlks to people nd calls them  cousins, evryone is one hapy family. His wife, Linda, is so checked out, she only cares about watching TV.

That night she has a special part in the episode. At times the show will pause as they will ask a question and wait for Linda to reply. Montag is checked out of this as he is bored-his upcoming promotion is blah, life is blah, wife is blah. This makes me think of The Truman Show when Truman starts thinking, why did I choose this life and then realizing he didn’t really choose it.

I love all the little touches Truffaut has with the newspaper being just has pictures. I never noticed it before but it looks like the Ku Klux Klan on the back.

While Montag “reads” the paper, Linda watches a mini TV by her bed, I told you that’s her life. She has to watch 24/7.

She’s glued to it. (Picture from Ringu)

Next day at work everyone congratulates him on the promotion, but he’s not as thrilled as he should be. One thing I really like about this is seeing the Montag teach the new recruits. I think it adds to the film. Montag is currently teaching them about concealment-must learn to where you would hide them. Hide in every day objects like toasters, use cylindrical objects like thermos to trick the firemen, using empty TVs, even hiding them in the house construction, etc. All the things he talks about will be shown again in the film as hiding places.

Montag gets called to come see the Captain. When they greet their higher ups they do a saute across the body, again reminiscent of Hitler and the Nazis. I definitely think some aspects of this were influenced by the Occupation of France and WWII

The boss looks though the file, as he wants to talk to him about the promotion. In his file are only pictures-ones from every angle, in fact they look like prison photos. Their whole interaction is strange but we learn a lot about the world they live in. You see Montag is married, childless, says little, and agrees with everything that his boss says. The perfect man to be risen up in power. That’s their ideal person.

That night, Montag gets home and finds the TV off-strange. Something is wrong as Linda always has the TV on.

Something isn’t right…

Linda has overdosed on drugs. Earlier Montag asked her about how many pills she took and she laughed shrugged it off. He calls 911 and no doctor or nurse come. Instead two guys come to pump her stomach and give her a transfusion. I liked in the book how Bradbury described it as a snake going into her, in my mind I aways saw them as like plumbers snaking a drain. The guys are jolly and joking, just another day this happens all the time. The guys joke and laugh as they go out that “tomorrow she’ll be hungry for all types of things”.

The next day Linda is normal, nothing is remembered. Montag is upset and tries to talk to her but she doesn’t care she just has an appetite for everything and all is forgotten as all seems fine, in fact more than fine.

That’s just how I am.

The next day Montag takes the train home and sees Clarisse, thinking about what she said.

One thing that is interesting seeing people on the train, people are all in love with themselves. When he’s on the train he sees the girls looking at themselves and admiring their beauty and the boys doing the same. No one interacts with each other, or talks to each other, etc. They are too busy focused on themselves. It’s like that Billy Idol song, Dancing With Myself. All they care about id their reflection.

The next day Montag comes home with something in his pack. He stuffs it in the bathroom. What is it?

Hmm…

A book?

It is a book!

He’s reading David Copperfield! I really like how they show him reading with his finger under each word. I know they probably did for the camera-but it is how a lot of people read when they first learn.

The next day Clarisse is walking with an older lady and they see Montag, watching him on the train as well. Clarisse goes alone and plans running into him. I don’t like that as much as in the book Clarisse, looked for him at first but then they continued to run into each other organically as Clarisse’s innocence and her total opposite of what was normal to him-intrigued him.

So Clarisse is upset and runs into Montag, the two go into a coffee shop and shares what is going on. She’s upset as she was dismissed from work (she was on probation as a teacher). Montag tells her to go and talk to them, but she doesn’t want to go lone. Clarisse calls Montag’s boss as Linda and says he is sick. I can’t believe Montag would go along with that as he is such a yes man, but I guess that is why he agrees with Clarisse.

So watching this film, I don’t really like Julie Christie in the dual role. I know money was tight and that’s why they ended up doing it that way but I really wish they had another actress in this. Julie Christie as Linda is perfect-she’s froth, light, no substance-only focused on the shallow things in life and checked out-but Christie as Clarisse is where I feel she struggles. It’s not wholly her fault, she trying to be do completely different people, which is extremely tough. Clarisse is light, carefree, innocent, naive, and endearing-Christie tries to do it but instead of being young she comes off as if she is trying too hard to be carefree. It doesn’t work for me.

When they get inside the school the kids all dress the same and are doing their multiplication in perfect unison. It’s really creepy and reminds me of the scene in A Wrinkle in Time when all the kids on the planet do everything in perfect unison.

SUPER creeped

At the school the children all run from Clarisse in fear. They loved her a few days ago, and now they hate her. Someone tosses her belongings tied up in a scarf and slide them down the hall-very clear their message: get out and stay out.

I really like the set of this film-the hallway is long and foreboding. The predominant clothes are red, orange, black, and gray-like fire and firefighters.

Montag admits to Clarisse that he read a book-wow the whole David Copperfield in one night?

Now that he started, he can’t stop. He has more and more book every night, he’s reading and thinking, even reading the dictionary.

Mildred wakes up one evening and starts investigating  finding a ton of them. She’s upset and wants them gone, but Montag is too protective.

Guy Montag: [to Linda] You’ve spent your whole life in front of that family wall. These books are my family.

Montag starts asking Linda questions about their relationship. When did they meet? Why did we get married? How did we fall in love? Linda cannot remember, neither can Montag. It makes me think of The Truman Show, when he starts thinking about his life and how it all happened.

How did this all happen!

The next day Montag tries to use the fireman pole but it’s not working. He has to take the gorgeous spiral staircase. If I ever built a house I would want a spiral staircase as it is just lovely. Anyways, the bell rings, and the men get dressed and go out, instead of the pole, Montag has to take the stairs.

They go to the house and find it unlocked, strange. It’s a beautiful Victorian and the lady comes out-it was the one that Clarisse had been talking to, the teacher who was fired and she took their place. She laughs at the men when she sees them and quotes:

Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.

This lady is awesome-the way she stands up to them. They try to push her around and she laughs in their faces. I hope that if I ever stand up for my beliefs I’m as cool as she is.

Her house is full of books.

There are books everywhere and in everything-every place they could be hidden. They toss them downstairs to burn them.

The hous has a secret room-a secret library.

That’s soooooo cool!!!!!!!!!

Captain Beatty takes Montag upstairs and tells him that every fireman once in their career wants to read one, a book-but he cautions Montag that there is noting.

The Captain: Listen to me, Montag. Once to each fireman, at least once in his career, he just itches to know what these books are all about. He just aches to know. Isn’t that so?…These are all novels, all about people that never existed, the people that read them it makes them unhappy with their own lives. Makes them want to live in other ways they can never really be…Look, all stories of the dead, biography that’s called, and autobiography. My life, my diary, my memoirs, my – intimate memoirs…Robinson Crusoe, the Negroes didn’t like that because of his man, Friday. And Nietzsche, Nietzsche, the Jews didn’t like Nietzsche. Here’s a book about lung cancer. You see, all the cigarette smokers got into a panic, so for everybody’s peace of mind, we burn it….You see, it’s… it’s no good, Montag. We’ve all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

As Captain Beatty rants, he goes through the different books in the library. Here are a few I caught the names of: Othello, Vanity Fair, Alice in Wonderland, Edicts of Aristotle, Robinson Crusoe, Madame Bovary, The World of Salvador Dali, Holy Deadlock, Confessions of an Irish Rebel-etc.

Montag steals a book, but another fireman spots him.

Beatty’s philosophizing is interrupted when they find out the lady won’t leave the house. Montag wants her to be forced to leave, but Beatty doesn’t care and says if she wants to die she can die.

They spray the house with kerosine, but instead of them lighting it up, she has matches in her pocket.

Yep, she’s going to decide when the fire will come. The men run while she burns with her “family”. Montag is the last one out, shaken by the scene. Uncertain of how to feel, what this means, what is right, what is wrong, etc.

Linda and her friends are all gathered watching TV, their talk is meaningless and shallow. Montag is mad and and upset about what happened and shares about how he saw the lady being burned. He’s angry and lashing out at these empty husks-not living but just killing time. Mntag brings out a book and reads it to them, a passage from David Copperfield. One lady, Doris, starts crying as the words evoke emotion in her.

“There can be no disparity in marriage like unsuitability of mind and purpose.”

All the ladies leave. Montag is like an addict, a book addict.

He is compelled to read, he wants to read everything-he feels the need to catch up-as there is just so much and so little time.

That night Montag has a nightmare. He’s i the schoolhouse, on the train, at the lady’s house who burned up, instead of the lady it is Clarisse and he sees her burning.

You know I realized watching the film this time that Clarisse and Montag actually haven’t spent a lot of time together in the film. I feel like they had more meaningful conversations in the book.

Hmm…

That night Clariss hears the siren and sees the firemen coming to her house. She grabs her go bag and escapes through the roof. The next day Montag goes to work but feels sick. Linda can’t stand the books and begs him to get rd of them threatening to leave him as she can’t live with the fear and anxiety, but Montag ignores her

Montag goes to talk toClarisse and finds the house boarded up and that they were arrested last night. Montag has to know if they are alright and hurries to work. Outside, Montag spots Captain Beatty yelling at a recruit. Montag uses that time to sneak into the captain’s office to find out what happened to Clarisse. He uses a stud in his glove to unscrew the window in the door and reach in and unlock it. Very Macgyver. But unbknowst to him, downstaies the captain has just been given the file.

Will Montag get out in time!!?

Oh no! The music emphasizing every step of the Captain.

Montag gets caught, and the Captain shows him the pictures of those that were imprisoned and those that escaped. The captain thinks he wants he house, but questions how he got into his locked office. Before Montag can reply he faints from relief and is sent home.

Mildred decides she can’t do this anymore and reports Montag.

Meanwhile, Montag searches for Clarisse and finds her getting off the train. Clarisse stayed away all night but needs to sneak into her house to get something. She is searching for a list of names and addresses of people hiding, Montag offers to help as it is something he knows how to do and is really good at. Remember he taught all the recruits.

He discovers it in a vase-cylindrical objects, and burns it for Clarisse.

Clarisse admits that she picked hjm out-she thought he would help them. Montag tells her he knows as he realized it when the woman burned herself. Clarisse shares she did it as she was afraid that when they tortured her she would spill everything.

Clarisse shares with him that there is a place where the book people live. People who have escaped from society-they live far away in the hills and country-all have  a book committed to memory. No longer themselves, they are a book.

Or years.

Clarisse asks him to come with him, but Montag has unfinished business. Things he wants to do here, to try and destroy the power of the fireman. They part ways both believing they will never see each other again.

Linda packs up at the house, taking her clothes and a picture of herself (wow, that’s telling), while Montag goes to the station to try to give his resignation-but Beatty refuses it and convinces him to take a final call. When they stop at the house, Montag realizes it is his house!

Montag helps pull all the books out, although he does stuff one in his uniform. They give Montag the flame thrower to destroy it and he burns his bed-the betrayal of his wife.

Then the tv he always hated, the family. He then burns the books-Moby Dick,  Don Juan, The Mystery of Jack the Ripper, Plexus, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, MAD, Lolita, The Brothers Karamoz, etc.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Not the books.

Everytime I watch the books burn my heart breaks a little and it makes me want to cry. This would be me:

Montag won’t let them burn his special book, and when Captain Beatty tries to pull it from him and threatens to arrest him-he turns the flame thrower on Captain Beatty, and the house.

Montag runs away and the authorities call out to all citizens to look out their doors for Montag, a man running and report if they find him. They use all those pictures in his file to splatter across TV.

So in the film, Clarisse told him where to go to find the book people, while in the book he just runs to the country. In both, all people live in the city and no one ever goes out to the country which makes it the perfect place to hide out.

Montag is hidog as they search for him. In the book they sent a mechanical hound that searches for him by his DNA with a needle full of toxic substance that will find him and prick him, killing him. I don’t think they had the technology a the time to make a creepy and realistic looking one. I don’t really want to watch the remake with Michael B. Jordan as you know how I feel about remakes:

I espechially do not like HBO ruining books I like (I did not like The Big Little Lies adaption)-but I would be interested to see how they have they do the hound.

As Montag walks he comes upon a group of people. One man greets him and shows him to a TV where they watch Montag’s capture.

What??

In the future, people have short attention spans and cannot keep the viewers waiting. They must have a climax and they find a guy just walking down the street and shoot him down.

We see different people walking around-hey there is the guy from the very beginning! So remember how the film didn’t have a lot of money? The Book People at the end were mostly played by members of the film crew.

Some of the book people are Plato’s Republic, Wuthering Heights, Alice in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Pilgrim’s Progress, Waiting for Godot, The Jewish Question, The Martian Chronicles, The Pickwick Papers, David Copperfield, The Prince, Pride and Prejudice (spilt between two people as it was originally two volumes), etc.

One day society will want them again and books will be printed again.

Montag’s “special book” is Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe. He will be memorizing it and runs into Clarisse,

I love at the end how everyone is walking and reciting their books, Montag reading and trying to memorize his. The lovely words from all different books running over each other as the snow falls.

Everytime I watch this I always winder, which book would I want to memorize? Which would be the one I think is the important enough to carry on to the next generation? I feel like it would be too hard to pick one.

 

For more on Fahrenheit 451, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For more Ray Bradbury, go to Book Club Picks: The Illustrated Man

I’m Not Into Politics. I’m Into Survival: The Running Man (1987)

It is time for our annual Stephen King film:

I’m not into politics. I’m into survival.

So I promised back in January that I would review this film as it takes place in 2019 and inspired this year’s Dystopian theme. Plus I love this movie.

I know lots of people don’t care for Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I love his films. I just can’t enough of the puns and the comebacks and of course action.

So when Rob Cohen purchased the rights to the Richard Bachman novella “The Running Man”, he had no idea that Bachman was actually a pseudonym for Stephen King. I didn’t know it was a Stephen King film either, until a few years back I was trying to pick a Stephen King film and it came up when I googled him.

Huh?

I know I was in shock too, it didn’t seem like the other stuff he made. So without further ado, it’s time to start… RUNNING!

So it is the film starts off in 2018-the economy of the world has collapsed due to a lack of resources and they are all ruled by a totalitarian government that controls everyone through TV.

The people are kept in line with anyone who steps out gets sent to prison, or worse to be on the TV show, The Running Man. “Runners”, the prisoners, have to compete in gladiator-type battles against “Stalkers” who all have a theme character and weapons-kind of like wrestlers.

Does this remind you of anything? Like:

Or maybe:

Yes, it is very similar but lots of Dystopian films/books share similar things. The nice thing is that while all of these are similar-there are enough differences that you aren’t feeling like you are watching/reading something that was regurgitated.

So our story begins with Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a captain of the militarized police force and is sent into Bakersfield to stop a revolt. When he does get there, he finds no dangerous revolutionaries, but just hungry people-women and children.

Dispatcher: Proceed with plan alpha. Eliminate anything moving.

Ben Richards: I said the crowd is unarmed. There are a lot of women and children down there. All they want is food for God’s sake!

Dispatcher: As you were, Richards. Proceed with plan alpha. All rioters must be eliminated.

Ben Richards: The hell with you. I will not fire on helpless people. Abort mission. We return back to base.

But the others open fire and kill all, and who do they blame? Ben of course-naming him “The Butcher of Bakersfield”. This scene always made me think of Fahrenheit 451 when they have to find a scapegoat.

He is dubbed “The Butcher of Bakersfield” and sent to prison where he serves 18 months.

He and few other prisoners work on a plan and manage to break out and get free from the electric collars. Ben heads to L.A. to find his brother. Instead he finds Amber Mendez (Maria Conchita Alonso), TV show jingle writer, residing in his brother’s apartment as he has been taken away for “reeducation”.

This is so 1984, they have to “reeducate” the troublemakers-really torture ad brainwash them.

Ben ties Amber up and investigates her apartment, taking money, her flight pass, and booking a flight to Hawaii. He wants Amber to come with as they will be looking for a single man, but she refuses. He won’t take no for an answer and convinces her by picking up the machine he strapped her to and threatening her.

This reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps when Richard Hannay gets framed for murder and team’s up with Pamela (Madeleine Carroll), an unwilling accomplice. She hates him and fights with him, but discovers he is telling the truth and falls in love with him.

They get caught in the airport, and Ben is sent back to prison. There he is offered to be on the show The Running Man by the owner, Damon Killian, instead of rotting in prison. He is amazed by Ben’s survival skills and knows he will be a GIANT HIT.

Unfortunately, Killian doesn’t know what we do-it’s a bad idea to go after Ben. Ben refuses until they threaten to send his compatriots from the prison escape to the show. He agrees, but then finds out that Killian lied and they are all going on the show.

Gosh, I love how cooly he delivers that.

Meanwhile, Amber is like Pamela (from The 39 Steps), and starting to wonder if maybe Ben told her the truth. She goes into the files of ICS (The Running Man station and government) to see what the original recordings were. She discovers Ben is telling the truth but is caught.

So how the game works is that they are in a abandoned area of Los Angeles and have to go through multiple levels and fight different “stalkers”. If they defeat a stalker, they progress to the next level-although many don’t ever do that. Only a few even make it to the very end and win.

The first one Ben has to fight is Sub-Zero:

I love Arnold’s quips and his delivery of them. LOL.

Now that I have sen Logan’s Run, like Ben and Amber are just a more hardcore version of Logan and Jessica.

They move to the next level and are joined by Amber, who has been found and thrown into the ring. One of Ben’s friends, the hacker, knows he can get into the system if he just gets a chance. He gives the uplink code to Amber to memorize.

Then then have to face Buzzsaw:

Ouch!

They then fight Dynamo:

But Richards doesn’t kill him. It is interesting why he chooses to spare his life and not the others? Maybe because he isn’t defending himself, but it would be “murder” in his eyes. Maybe because he realizes they are all stuck in this life, all prisoners running in the hamster wheel of life created by the government?

They then head to the final level, Fireball. There they discover that the winning Runners didn’t win after all. They were killed! Just like in Logan’s Run!

They defeat Fireball and then Ben threatens Killian-I love this:

Killian is at a loss, Ben cannot win. He is inciting people to rebellion. There is only one thing left to do-bring Captain Freedom out of retirement.

Captain Freedom doesn’t want to fight and lose and Killian needs him to win so they decide to lie. They bring in stunt doubles of Ben and Amber to fight and lose-just like on Fahrenheit 451

” They know they can hold their audience only so long. The show’s got to have a snap ending, quick!” –Fahrenheit 451

Meanwhile the resistance has made it to the games and busted Ben and Amber out. Ben’s friends have been killed in the game, but luckily the hacker shared the uplink code with Amber. They come up with a plan to hack the system, reveal the truth, and destroy Killian and the others.

I don’t do requests, LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.

In the end Killian is killed, the truth is revealed, Ben is a hero, and all ends well.

I really enjoy this film, but I think they could have focused more on deeper themes, but the director they had was let go a week before production and new one brought in. Knowing that, I’m surprised it was good as it was.

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more Stephen King, go to Ever Heard of the Tommyknockers?: The Tommyknockers (1993)

For more Arnold Schwarzenegger, go to Someone Has Erased His Memory: Total Recall (1990)

For more dystopian future films, go to Tonight Has Been the Birth of the Planet of the Apes: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

Don’t Go in There! You Don’t Have to Die! No One Has to Die at 30! You Could Live! LIVE!: Logan’s Run (1976)

NO! Don’t go in there! You don’t have to die! No one has to die at 30! You could live! LIVE! Live, and grow old! I’ve seen it! She’s seen it!

The first time I heard of this film was when I was watching The Island with my mom, she kept saying that the film reminded her of Logan’s Run. While I think The Island is more like The 6th Day, it does take quite a bit from this film. So does that Justin Timberlake, Olivia Wilde, and Amanda Seyfried film and that one Matt Damon time movie.

Yes, none of those could be made if it wasn’t for this film.

This is based off a book and had high class special effects for the time, my mom was telling me how watching it for that first time on the big screen, it just blew everyone away.

Wow!

The film is set in 2274 and people live in this doomed domed city, all their life revolves around is pleasure, like the city in Metropolis.

Pleasure Garden

No sickness, diseases, pain, suffering, etc-just sex, play, and everyone dies at 30, unless they can be lucky enough to get to carousal and renew.

To make sure people accept their fate at 30, they have a police force-called Sandmen. They hunt the “runners”, those that try to escape.

When everyone is born they have a jewel on their palm. They start out white, then become yellow, from there they turn green, then red, then black and flash when their time is up.

Logan (Michael York) is a sandman and in his red period, 26 years old. We first see him when he is looking at his son Logan in the nursery. In this time men donate their seed, women give birth, and children are raised separately from their parents-the only thing they have from them is their name-boys take their father’s name and girls their mother’s name. Now this is an interesting scene, because even though Logan acts like a Sandman we see there is a part of him that doesn’t quite match up with how this world works. He goes to see his child-something his friend finds odd as no one ever does that.

Logan: [tapping on a glass window of maternity room] Wake up.

Francis: Logan, you are here. I couldn’t believe it when they told me. What are you doing?

Logan: [indicates baby] Logan 6. Well it’s not everyday that they authorize a new sandman. I tell you Francis…[indicating babythat’s him.

Francis: Well maybe, maybe not. What does it matter? Anyway, he isn’t yours anymore.

[Logan continues to tap lightly on the glass]

It reminds me of Fahrenheit 451, how Montag was a fireman and did what they were supposed to do-but there was something different about him, something in his foundation that opened himself to Clarisse’s wondering and changed.

So anyways, Logan goes about his day as normal, watch people try to renew and fail, kill those running, then go home and drink, get high, and swipe left or right for sex.

That last part though, it actually sounds quite a bit like today…

Spooky…

Seriously, you call people up on the circuit, they materialize, and you guys decide if you are going to be together or not. This night Logan meets Jessica, a green-wearing girl (younger than him) wearing an ankh necklace.

Stop, that is important to the plot. Remember it.

Jessica (Jenny Agutter) is sad, as a close friend of hers tried to reach “renewal” but didn’t, he died. She went on the circuit to distract herself, but has changed her mind. She isn’t interested.

Logan: Killed? Why do you use that word?

Jessica: Isn’t that what you do? Kill?

Logan: I’ve never killed anyone in my life. Sandman terminate runners. What’s your name?

Jessica: Jessica.

Logan: You’re sad enough. You’re beautiful. Let’s have sex.

Jessica: No.

Logan: Then why are you wasting my time, hmmm? Why did you put yourself on the circuit?

Jessica: I thought I had to do something. I told you it was a mistake. And I’ve changed my mind.

Logan: Because I’m a Sandman? Am I your first?

Jessica: Yes. And I’m curious.

But she’s got into him. The way she talked about his job, and sandmen has got him thinking…

Hmm…

Like I said before, this film really reminds me of Fahrenheit 451. As Jessica challenges the way Logan looks at things, just like Clarisse did for Montag. From that first meeting-their whole life changes. The book Fahrenheit 451 was published in 1953 and the film came out in 1966, so it is easy to see how it influenced this film.

But-back to the story. So Jessica leaves, and Logan and his best pal and coworker, Francis, have fun with some other ladies and drugs.

Forget that girl…or can he?

Another day, Logan and Francis take down a runner and Logan recovers an ankh symbol. When he and Francis turn over the evidence and items they find off the runners, EVERYTHING CHANGES!

This is going to get good…

When he drops the ankh down, the computer freaks out and creepily calls him over to sit.

I wouldn’t!!

He has started Procedure 033-03. The computer tells him over 1600 people have run and found sanctuary. They don’t know where they go but that the ankh is what they use to find/get to sanctuary,

Logan questions the computer and discovers that there is no “renewal” and “carousal”. They all die.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LOGAN, STOP! YOU KNOW TOO MUCH!! THEY ARE GOING TO KILL YOU!!!! RUN NOW!!!!

But of course he doesn’t. The computer gives him his mission to find sanctuary, changes his light so that his time is now up and he has to “run.”

OF COURSE it has to be a secret and he CAN’T TELL ANYONE, really?

This is like Departed-level bad idea. Jeez, no pne knows about you except two of us-one who does, and the other who gets fired so no one is going to help you!

So Logan calls up Jessica again to try and get her to help him, as he remembers she has the ankh symbol too. Jessica, however, is much smarter than Logan thought. She doesn’t really believe him as “sandmen never run”. He does all he can, but her group plots to murder him as he knows too much. Before they accomplish it, Logan gets a call to get a runner thats going through the chapel, the place they keep the wild children. Jessica decides to go with him.

So I’m going to test him.

There they have to fight a band of Lost Boys/Lord of the Flies type guys-who Logan’s manages to outsmart. Logan finds the runner and lets her go, showing that he is on Jessica’s side. This does exactly what he hopes it would, completely convinces her that he is serious.

Unbeknownst to them, Francis has been following Logan to help him, but saw that his time is up and that he let the woman go. Now he is prepared to end him.

But aren’t any more!

Logan remembers that the runner he killed the other day had just been given a face change, in order to help him be harder to track. He decides that is his next stop, accompanied by Jessica.

They get there, where the Doctor’s assistant is played by Farrah Fawcett!

That’s how you know you are in the ’70s! They prepare for the face change, but then the Doctor gets a phone call. The phone call is from the others in the sanctuary group and when he comes back, to operate, he turns his machine on all crazy as Logan finds himself in a real jam.

But of course Logan defeats the doctor and afterwards, he and Jessica run some more, and she takes him to where her people meet. They decide to help him, but he reveals the location on his walkie-talkie and the sandmen come and decimate everyone. Logan realizes his mistake and he and Jessica try to flee.

They run out and think they find sanctuary, but instead run into a frozen ice lair with a crazy robot named Box that freezes escapees and turns them into food for the city.

Yeah I know what you are thinking:

Yes, this came after Soylent Green so it is borrowing a lot of elements.

They manage to escape and find a beautiful outside. Sun? Fresh air? No dome? Also their life clocks have been renewed and reset to white.

They find the old buildings of Washington D.C. and in one is an old man with a ton of cats.

Boom, life goal right there. That’s who I want to be.

You know, minus the dystopian future, war, empty world, people dying when they reach 30, etc.

But things don’t stay that way as Francis comes and Logan has to fight him.

They decide after that to go back and help the others, taking the old man with them as proof.

Logan: NO! Don’t go in there! You don’t have to die! No one has to die at 30! You could live! LIVE! Live, and grow old! I’ve seen it! She’s seen it! [shows the crystal on his palm] Well, look! LOOK! LOOK, IT’S CLEAR!

[crowd laughs]

Computer: Last day, Capricorn 29’s. Year of the City: 2274. Carousel begins.

Jessica: No! Don’t! Don’t go! Listen to him! He’s telling the truth!

[more laughter]

Jessica: We’ve been outside! There’s another world outside! We’ve seen it!

[Sandmen grab them]

Logan: Life clocks are a lie! Carousel is a lie! THERE IS NO RENEWAL!

So I really enjoyed it! There are a lot of elements borrowed from other films-but a whole lot more films borrow from it, so it evens out.

And the facebook banner!

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more dystopian futures, go to Take Your Stinking Paws Off Me, you D*** Dirty Ape!: Planet of the Apes (1968)

For more on cats, go to Cats, Books, & Tea

Book Club Picks: The Illustrated Man

Thirteen weeks after a Friday the 13th, we have another

Don’t worry I got you covered with my new post.

So as you all know I started a book club last year. I have fallen behind with my posts, but I am now right on track!

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want.

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

I don’t remember when I first read this book, but I know it was after Fahrenheit 451Out of all his short story collections; this is my ultimate favorite. The stories range from funny, thoughtful, and downright creepy. It is an incredible collection and once you start, you just can’t stop. I’ve talked about this book before, but here we go again:

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

Since I have posted on this before, I am only going to discuss the stories we went over in our book club.

The Illustrated Man starts with an average joe taking a walking tour in the summer of Wisconsin. As he stops for the night he is come upon by an illustrated man.

This man used to work for the circus, but back in 1900 he broke his leg. Looking for a way to make money while he rested, he went to a tattoo artist who covered him from neck to belt. What he didn’t know was that this tattoo artist was a witch.

Yes, she infused his illustrations with magic making them be alive and always moving telling their story.

However, there is one blank spot on his back. If you are a woman, you see your whole life from birth to old age. If you are a man, you see how you die.

The illustrated man warns his companion not to look, but he doesn’t listen and has to see them…

Illustration I: The Veldt

The Lion King

This is what the DCOM Smart House is loosely based on.

The live in the future in a smart house that does everything for them. They even can change the pictures on the walls to be anything they want them to be. The children constantly want it to be a veldt with lions.

The parents try to discipline their children and get them to do more but all they want to do is sit around and have the machines do everything for them. The parents determine it is time to turn off the house and go back to how things are supposed to be. Will the parents be able to change their kids? Or will the kids make sure their parents can never boss them around again?

“The lions look real, don’t they?…I don’t suppose there’s any way—–‘

‘What?’

‘—that they could become real?”

No one else really enjoyed this story as they felt it was too sad. I like it as it is a great blend of creepy and thrilling. It shows you why you should not spoil your children-and a big wake up to having your kid just sit in front of a tablet, phone, or TV. I love it, and think you should check it out.

Illustration III: The Other Foot

HateTwilightZone

Mars has been colonized only by African Americans. Now they hear that European Americans are traveling to Mars and decide to institute a Jim Crow law for them. Will they decide to make them pay for past wrongs, or will they all be able to start a new life in equality?

“This is the other shoe, Mayor, the other foot…”

We all loved this story. It has such a great message and a fantastic ending!

Illustration V: The Man

Bethphage-Jesus-enter-Jerusalem

A crew arrive on a planet ready to have glory and fame, but find the people uninterested as the person who came before them brought extreme happiness and bliss. One crewman believes him to be Jesus and wants to learn from the people. The Captain, however, is set on getting his glory and will stop this man any way he can.

“Leave these people alone. They’ve got something good and decent, and you come and foul up the nest and sneer at it. Well, I’ve talked to them too. I’ve gone through the city and seen their faces, and they’ve got something you’ll never have–a little simple faith, and they’ll move mountains with it. You, you’re boiled because someone stole your act, got here ahead and made you unimportant.”

The member who chose the book, this is her favorite story. She loves how it plays out and how the character’s testimony was so strong it helped the one man believe and have faith. She compared it to Christianity and Jesus. We all enjoyed this story as well. 

Illustration VI: The Long Rain

rainbreakfastattiffaneyscat

We have colonized Venus, but it is a horrible place of endless rain. Sun domes were built to help us stay sane and in health, and this story follows a group of astronauts as they hope to make it to the dome, but will they?

“Drops fell and touched other drops and they became streams that trickled over his body, and while these moved down his flesh, the small growths of the forest took root in his clothing.”

We all enjoyed this story as well. One member posed a very interesting question: Does the sundome exist or is it just a mirage?

Illustration VII: The Fire Balloons

finishtherace

A group of priests go to Mars to start a church and help bring peace and morals to a crazed group of colonists. One priest makes it his mission to try and bring Christ to the Martians.

“We feel absurd here—even I; for it is something new, this business of converting the creatures of another world.”

One member just loved this story. He felt that it was a perfect illustration for missionary work and just loved how the one priest had such a fire and desire to be there for the fire balloons and try and show them God’s love.

Illustration IX: The Last Night of the World

TheEnd_Title_2

A married couple realize that today is the last day on Earth. How would you spend your time if you had such an inclination?

“What would you do if you knew this was the last night in the world?”

One member just loved this story. She felt that if it was her last night on Earth she would spend it the exact same way.

Illustration X: The Exiles

fahrenheit451firemontagguy

On Earth, countless literature from Edgar Allen Poe to William Shakespeare to Charles Dickens have been banned on Earth. They remain alive on Mars as their last books are still undamaged there. But when humans decide to completely destroy every page, these characters and their creators decide to wage a war on them. Will they win?

“His last book gone. Someone on Earth just now burned it.’

‘God rest him. Nothing of him left now. For what are we but books, and when those are gone, nothing’s to be seen.”

I love this one. Books fighting back, trying to survive in a world that feels they aren’t needed, a great story.

Illustration XVII: Zero Hour

Miscommunication is always funny as a kid. Not so much later on in life.

Kids are playing that aliens are coming, an invasion in which they will rule and the grow ups will be gone. But what if it isn’t a game?

“Mom, I’ll be sure you won’t be hurt much, really!”

All agreed super creepy, but a very good read.

Illustration XVIII: The Rocket

From the film Stargate.

From the film Stargate.

Fiorello Bodoni has saved $3000 to send a family member into space, but only one can go. Which one?

“We will remember it for always, Papa. We will never forget.”

We all loved this story. Just the love this family has and how much they care about each other. A fantastic read!

For more book club picks, go to Book Club Picks: The Masterpiece

For more books by Ray Bradbury, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For more on The Illustrated Man, go toEach Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

Each Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

Day 19) S is for Short Stories: Choose a collection of Short Stories

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The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

I don’t remember when I first read this book, but I know it was after Fahrenheit 451Out of all his short story collections; this is my ultimate favorite. The stories range from funny, thoughtful, and downright creepy. It is an incredible collection and once you start, you just can’t stop.

bookshotdate

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

The Illustrated Man starts with an average joe taking a walking tour in the summer of Wisconsin. As he stops for the night he is come upon by an illustrated man.

This man used to work for the circus, but back in 1900 he broke his leg. Looking for a way to make money while he rested, he went to a tattoo artist who covered him from neck to belt. What he didn’t know was that this tattoo artist was a witch.

crucible_the_1996_685x385

Yes, she infused his illustrations with magic making them be alive and always moving telling their story.

keanu Whoa

However, there is one blank spot on his back. If you are a woman, you see your whole life from birth to old age. If you are a man, you see how you die.

OMG gasp

The illustrated man warns his companion not to look, but he doesn’t listen and has to see them…

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Illustration I: The Veldt

The Lion King

This is what the DCOM Smart House is loosely based on.

The live in the future in a smart house that does everything for them. They even can change the pictures on the walls to be anything they want them to be. The children constantly want it to be a veldt with lions.

The parents try to discipline their children and get them to do more but all they want to do is sit around and have the machines do everything for them. The parents determine it is time to turn off the house and go back to how things are supposed to be. Will the parents be able to change their kids? Or will the kids make sure their parents can never boss them around again?

“The lions look real, don’t they?…I don’t suppose there’s any way—–‘

‘What?’

‘—that they could become real?”

Illustration II: Kaleidoscope

Space Mountain

The crew of a space ship has been torn apart, and this records their last thoughts as they hurl toward Earth.

“It was so very odd. Space, thousands of miles of space, and these voices vibrating in the center of it.”

Illustration III: The Other Foot

HateTwilightZone

Mars has been colonized only by African Americans. Now they hear that European Americans are traveling to Mars and decide to institute a Jim Crow law for them. Will they decide to make them pay for past wrongs, or will they all be able to start a new life in equality?

“This is the other shoe, Mayor, the other foot…”

Illustration IV: The Highway

supernatural impala

A husband and wife live by a highway in rural Mexico, where people stop all the time. Something seems to be more pressing than usual, but what?

“Oh, please hurry!’ one of the girls cried. She sounded very high and afraid.”

Illustration V: The Man

Bethphage-Jesus-enter-Jerusalem

A crew arrive on a planet ready to have glory and fame, but find the people uninterested as the person who came before them brought extreme happiness and bliss. One crewman believes him to be Jesus and wants to learn from the people. The Captain, however, is set on getting his glory and will stop this man any way he can.

“Leave these people alone. They’ve got something good and decent, and you come and foul up the nest and sneer at it. Well, I’ve talked to them too. I’ve gone through the city and seen their faces, and they’ve got something you’ll never have–a little simple faith, and they’ll move mountains with it. You, you’re boiled because someone stole your act, got here ahead and made you unimportant.”

Illustration VI: The Long Rain

rainbreakfastattiffaneyscat

We have colonized Venus, but it is a horrible place of endless rain. Sun domes were built to help us stay sane and in health, and this story follows a group of astronauts as they hope to make it to the dome, but will they?

“Drops fell and touched other drops and they became streams that trickled over his body, and while these moved down his flesh, the small growths of the forest took root in his clothing.”

Illustration VII: The Rocket Man

startrek

Astronauts are hard to come by and a hard life, so those that are astronauts are paid a lot, but gone for months. This story is the relationship of the mother and son as they deal with the father/husband’s absence.

“Doug…I want you to promise me something.’

‘What?’

‘Don’t ever be a Rocket Man.”

Illustration VII: The Fire Balloons

finishtherace

A group of priests go to Mars to start a church and help bring peace and morals to a crazed group of colonists. One priest makes it his mission to try and bring Christ to the Martians.

“We feel absurd here—even I; for it is something new, this business of converting the creatures of another world.”

Illustration IX: The Last Night of the World

TheEnd_Title_2

A married couple realize that today is the last day on Earth. How would you spend your time if you had such an inclination?

“What would you do if you knew this was the last night in the world?”

Illustration X: The Exiles

fahrenheit451firemontagguy

On Earth, countless literature from Edgar Allen Poe to William Shakespeare to Charles Dickens have been banned on Earth. They remain alive on Mars as their last books are still undamaged there. But when humans decide to completely destroy every page, these characters and their creators decide to wage a war on them. Will they win?

“His last book gone. Someone on Earth just now burned it.’

‘God rest him. Nothing of him left now. For what are we but books, and when those are gone, nothing’s to be seen.”

Illustration XI: No Particular Night or Morning

nightmare before christmas nothing turn out like it should

Two friends are traveling in a spaceship, as one determines that nothing exists that he cannot touch. Is he right and there is nothing in space but emptiness?

“So I began to find gaps between everything. I doubted I was married or had a child or ever had a job in my life…I couldn’t prove anything.”

Illustration XII: The Fox and the Forest

dangerous crossingphoneringsscared

In the future, the world is an ugly one full of war and life in a factory creating more weapons of war. The one bright spot is the ability to travel back in time. A couple, William and Susan Travis, decide to run for their lives by remaining in 1930s Mexico. But will their plan work, or will they be captured and sent back?

“Save me, hide me, help me! Color my hair, my eyes; clothe me in strange clothes. I need your help. I’m from the year 2155!”

Illustration XIII: The Visitor

wolfman dead bodies lots cart

Mars is a place where those with deadly diseases go and live out the remainders of their days. One day a young boy comes with the ability to create any image or bring back any memory. He plans to use it and rule over the others; but will they be willing to share or will they take him for what they want?

“Come on. Don’t you realize what’ll happen once they discover your talent? They’ll fight over you. They’ll kill each other–kill you–for the right to own you.”

Illustration XIV: The Concrete Mixer

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Mars goes to invade Earth, but instead finds the people welcoming them. One Martin, Ettil, never wanted to travel to Earth. He finds that although the Earthlings hope to exploit Martians, the Earth ways will also mark death for the Martians.

“Don’t you feel it?’ he whispered…Something’s going to happen to us. They have some plan. Something subtle and horrible. They’re going to do something to us-I know.”

Illustration XV: Marionettes, Inc.

bodysnatch3

A man is tired of his clingy wife and pays for a cyborg double to take his place so he can go off and have fun. But what if the puppet is no longer satisfied at being controlled and wants to control the strings?

“Your wife is rather nice,’ said Braling Two. ‘I’ve grown rather fond of her.”

Illustration XVI: The City

Metropolis city

A group of astronauts land on an uncharted planet and find an empty city. But they soon realize this city is not as empty as it looks, as it has been waiting to unleash what it was made for.

“I am no longer your captain,’ he said. ‘Nor am I a man.’

The men moved back.

‘I am the city,’ he said, and smiled.”

Illustration XVII: Zero Hour

Miscommunication is always funny as a kid. Not so much later on in life.

Kids are playing that aliens are coming, an invasion in which they will rule and the grow ups will be gone. But what if it isn’t a game?

“Mom, I’ll be sure you won’t be hurt much, really!”

Illustration XVIII: The Rocket

From the film Stargate.

From the film Stargate.

Fiorello Bodoni has saved $3000 to send a family member into space, but only one can go. Which one?

“We will remember it for always, Papa. We will never forget.”

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

In the end the last image is shown, our narrator’s death by the illustrated man. He runs for town, but will he make it?

Along came a spider morgan freeman running

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But the good kind of trauma.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to She Struck Him as a Fixer-Upper, a Block of Clay Ready for Pygmalion’s Chisel: The Overnight Socialite

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For more on Ray Bradbury, go to It’s A Fan World After All

For more on aliens, go to I Can Make You all Go Away! Any Time I Want To!: Charlie X, Star Trek (1966)

For more bible verses, go to So You’re the Little Woman Who Wrote the Book that Made this Great War: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

christmas-flowers-banner

In The Exiles, they mention how no one believes in Santa Claus and he has become a shadow of the man he was, a skeleton in red. No more Christmas, no more.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

This reminds me of the song I Believe in Santa Claus. This was written by Maury Laws and Jules Bass and used for the Christmas Special, The Year Without a Santa Claus.

Yeah without a Santa Clause

I never believed in Santa Claus, but I like this song as it reminds you that no matter what happens you must hold on to the spirit of Christmas.

DEc

No matter what, always believe in its goodness and love.

300px-Nativity_tree2011christmas

This song was performed by Mickey Rooney and Ron Marshall

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For more on The Year Without a Santa Claus, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen

For more Christmas Carols, go to A Quest of Swords and Wizards: The Crown Conspiracy