So, just over a week ago it was my Birthday, and not just any Birthday. It was my 30th. The Big Three-Oh. Being a Sci-Fi Geek (and an Old School Sci-Fi Geek at that) that Milestone meant just one thing to me: Lastday. Time to Renew, or time to run.
‘Logan’s Run’ is my 2nd favorite movie of all-time (my first is Labyrinth). I saw it as a kid and fell in love with it. Credit to my parents for allowing me to watch it; many would not even though it is PG-rated. It was made in 1976 and things were different; they had less qualms about nudity, after all, it was just after the sex-positive 60s. I can honestly say the nudity didn’t bother me (we all have bodies, what the hell is the problem?) but the suicide-culture did, then again it is supposed to.
In Logan’s Run life ends at 30.
That being the case you may wonder at me choosing it as the theme for my 30th Birthday party. Meanwhile I’m wondering “Why doesn’t everyone do this?” Sure, Logan’s Run is a cautionary tale but it has an ultimately uplifting message: Life doesn’t end at 30, grab it by both hands a LIIIIIIVE!
Also the costumes are ridiculously simple meaning you can persuade a good deal of your guests to play along, as I did.
16-23 Years – Green Clothes
23-29 Years – Red Clothes
30+ Uh oh…
Alt: Sandman – Black with grey stripe on chest (duct tape!)
I handed out accessories on the day: Life Clocks (aka flat-backed diamante crystals of age-appropriate colour stuck to the hand with Spirit Gum) and Ankh necklaces.
My costume was the Renewal outfit, worn by participants of carousel where those who have reached their Lastday go to Renew. It is red trousers (Primark) and a white top. I used body paints to paint the flames, transitioning the outfit from Red to White (white is the colour of a newborns life clock, so it symbolizes new life). The head scarf is just a white Hijab and a fitted head cap underneath in case it slipped. Then there’s a customized craft mask which had a gap at the mouth I had to cover over with strips of paper, cut holes in the appropriate places and paint white. The most difficult part was the Life Clock which is a flashing/pulsing LED. I had a bit of trouble with it because it required more voltage than I realized but one of those square-batteries did the trick. Keeping the wires in contact all day proved a bit difficult though. Technical problems aside, I ran a wire down my sleeve to the pocket of the red trousers, where the battery sat. The LED was attached with pink plaster tape, which did quite a good job. Good enough on a budget anyway!
I also made a spare costume: Box, a silver robot, made out of a foil-covered cardboard box with holes for the arms and a craft mask painted silver. It was a bit of a joke;t here is a robot called Box in the movie whose costume is only marginally superior.
For decoration I made the Arcade Hand from the movie out of silver cardboard. Okay, not identical but close enough, and with a flat back so I could white tack it to the wall. I also copied the ANKH: SANCTUARY text onto a piece of black paper with blue pastel and stuck that to the door.
I’m not a baker but I wanted a Birthday cake shaped like the Carousel, by which I mean the geometric red flower symbol seen at the center during the carousel scene. So: to the kitchen! As I said, I am not a baker by any means so it won’t surprise you to learn my first attempt was epic failure! I bought a Bundt tin which I thought would mold it for me, but it got stuck to the tin and the molded part broke off. That and I wanted the cake to be red, but it turns out adding red food colouring to sponge cake mix does not turn it red, it turns it brown. I glazed it with red icing thinking maybe I could save it but it just kinda looked like a big, red, dohnut. Oh well, spare cake is not bad, right?
The second attempt went better and this cake was removed from the tin without too much damage, but the molding was very… subtle. However this gave me a guide to carve it to the design I wanted and make it symmetrical, so that’s what I did. As the cake was a ring I plugged the middle with a smaller cake I’d made for just such a purpose which fitted perfectly! But I still had brown cake so it required I paint it red with red icing. Boy it takes a lot of food colouring to get a pure, bright red. But I got there!
Then I had a moment of inspiration. I realized that my doughnut cake had a hole in the middle (DUH! I know), but that was exactly the thing for a 2-tier cake. So I got a drinking glass from the cupboard, stood it in the middle of the doughnut-cake and balanced my new cake on the top. Now it looked awesome! As an extra detail I made little people out of paper, dressed in the renewal outfit and stuck them to the glass so I would look like they were floating up. Perfect! I had a much more impressive cake than I had imagined and could pretend it was all deliberate.
So, people came, food, drink, bubble gun etc. (my Parents found it pretty funny our idea of drinks was Fanta and squash. We did have booze available but most of it went undrunk as basically we’re Geeks, 90% non-drinkers). The climax was using my projector as a home cinema to play Logan’s Run.
The majority of my friends had never seen Logan’s Run so it was a real pleasure to introduce it to them. It is old but it really was well-crafted and deservedly sits in my list of favorites. Everyone really enjoyed watching it. If you haven’t seen it, do. I’ll probably write a review of it.
Some stayed late to watch the premier episode of the TV series which has only recently been released to DVD. I have been trying to get hold of episodes of this for years and it’s fantastic to finally have the whole thing and in such good quality. By the way there’s rumored to be a re-make in the works!
To conclude: My Logan’s Run Birthday Party was a dream come true. I is something I’d always wanted to do for my 30th. Who wants to pre-book for my LOTR themed 111th Birthday?