Sunday, March 26, 2017

Recent Blade Runner Fan Films & Homages

2019 is fast approaching, the year the influential science fiction film Blade Runner was set. I'm curious to see how the city of Los Angeles will pay tribute to the film. I hope that institutions like CSU-Fullerton and others who have access to some wonderful art and papers connected to the work of Phillip K. Dick will have some displays that year to mark the occasion. It would be nice to see a convention organize a celebration seriously.

Part of what I'd like to see is of course a film festival that shows all of the major cuts of Blade Runner, and the upcoming sequel Blade Runner 2049. Additionally, I think a solid case can be made to include screenings of the short-lived Total Recall 2070 TV series, which owes much more to Blade Runner than the Total Recall film it was named after.


We've seen an increase in the number of fan films made in homage to Blade Runner since at least 2011. To provide an initial resource for would-be film festival programmers, here's a few that have caught my eye that I'd consider.

Some are of better quality than others, and some miss many points of the world that Ridley Scott and the others envisioned while adapting Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? But even so, I think it may be worth looking at them to have conversations about what a more fully-realized vision will entail. Considering recent statements that in his mind, Blade Runner operates in the same world of Alien, this also opens up some distinct possibilities such as the Prometheus and Predator series or Kurt Russell's film Soldier.  

Speedrun: Blade Runner in 60 seconds certainly captures a good majority of the themes and memorable scenes of Blade Runner to bring everyone up to speed who hasn't seen it yet. #SpoilerAlert, naturally.

You might also do well to compare and contrast it to the 8-bit Cinema recap of Blade Runner if it had been a reasonably good game, compared to the actual Commodore 64 game that came out.

I would hope that an effort would be made to showcase some of the cutscenes from the Westwood Blade Runner game from 1996, with some of the designers discussing the thinking that went into it.

Among recent fan films is the subdued Tears in the Rain and the atmospheric Slice of Life.

2016 gave us the short film Rogue Investment using the Grand Theft Auto tools. Obviously, it's very rough, but I would give it a few points for trying to push the game engine about as far as it could be pushed to create a neo-noir Los Angeles. 

A 2015 trailer was released for "Blade Runner 2" which asked what might have happened after the events of Blade Runner with a reasonably complex story it was trying to tell:

2011 gave us XXIT which is notable for the successful low-budget approach for the time in recreating the Blade Runner universe, with a touch of the Terminator thrown into the mix.

2013's True Skin, set in Bangkok  also has my vote for consideration, and it has been in the process of getting adapted into a series by Amazon, apparently. 

In December 2016, LOVE magazine also did a video that was supposedly an homage to the interview with Rachel in Blade Runner, where a Voight-Kampff test is administered to someone who might reasonably be suspected of being your basic pleasure model like Pris, thanks to Victoria's Secret model Cami Morrone. I personally prefer Sean Young's approach, but there you have it:

Are there any short films I've missed that should be a part of a Blade Runner mini-film festival? Let me know in the comments.

No comments: