Blade Runner at 25: Why the Sci-Fi F/X Are Still Unsurpassed
An interesting article by Adam Savage (MythBusters) on the sci-fi classic.
Twenty-five years ago, the Ridley Scott film Blade Runner became an instant science fiction classic. Set in a sodden, squalid Los Angeles of 2019, the neo-noir masterpiece influenced a generation of filmmakers and video-game designers. Long before I teamed up with Jamie Hyneman to form the MythBusters, I was a special-effects modelmaker, and Scott’s cyberpunk gem almost instantly became the most important film in the canon of movies I love.
I’m still such a big Blade Runner fan that I watch it at least once every 18 months. I also own pretty convincing replicas of the “blade runner blaster” wielded by Harrison Ford’s world-weary former cop Rick Deckard. The source material was a Steyr Mannlicher .222 target rifle magazine cover, with a Bulldog .44 carriage underneath. I can’t get enough of this prop. Now, I want a working one.
In Blade Runner’s dystopian near future, replicants, or genetically engineered humanoids, do the hard work on off-world colonies. After a bloody mutiny, the androids are forbidden from coming to Earth — on pain of death. So when six rogue replicants return home, they must be “retired” — hunted down and killed — and Ford’s Deckard, once a top replicant hunter, or “blade runner,” is pulled out of his own retirement to do the job.
I worked on Star Wars Episodes I and II, on the Matrix films, on AI and Terminator 3; yet 25 years later there are ways in which Blade Runner surpasses anything that’s been done since. Watching the theatrical release DVD at home with PM reminded me of Scott’s genius for creating stunning effects with simple technology.
Original link to Popular Mechanics is broken.