For all your cult film, tv, cartoon, comic and video game needs

Nein Kampff: Why Blade Runner is so overrated

Over the course of the history of the internet, now and then, someone has raised their head above the parapet and voiced the dangerous opinion that Blade Runner is an overrated film.  This is followed by a tirade of abuse, accusing the naysayer of not understanding the true depths of Ridley Scott’s famous film and having an aversion to proper sci-fi (not true).  It seems it’s not possible that someone got to the point of not caring if Deckard was a Replicant. And yes I’ve seen the Special Edition. -all 2048 Special Editions. In fact, I’m sure Ridley Scott’s twice monthly prostate examination involves cutting a new Special Edition of Blade Runner. Supposedly all the editions are better than the original. The salient point, I am told, is whether there is a voice over.

Even people that like Blade Runner agree the theatrical release is crap. This idea that the original version of the film is balls and whatever definitive edition available at the time is a masterpiece has been so hammered into popular culture I wonder if anyone realises that it makes no sense at all.

We all know the person who tells you that the book version of a movie was better is the worst kind of shit, but this is one of those occasions where you must look to the source material to realise why Blade Runner is such a well-loved bad film.

Do androids dream of Electric Sheep? has a massive focus on animals, hence the novel’s name. In a world where animals are dying out and being able to buy Replicant animals is both a social symbol and a great source of happiness. For Deckard, that is his main driver in hunting androids, for the money to buy something that makes him feel human and helps him forget his failing marriage. This gives us so much more empathy for his character while being a far better exploration of the fundamental ideas.

There’s also the omitted context of Mercerism, the dominant religion. Again, although not integral to the plot, it gives us a huge understanding of the confused and despairing world and how people feel in it. It creates dystopian sci-fi with ideas rather than visuals and music, making it far bigger than the film.

But Blade Runner is not so much an adaptation as a film inspired by the novel. This means that the movie throws its themes in the air and then films them falling in slow motion rather than weaving them into the story. There are pictures of glaciers on geography teacher’s walls that move quicker than the plot.

Yes it’s well filmed and the visual style and epic futuristic cityscapes were unrivalled at the time, and despite technology having advanced, tropes such as huge projected billboards are mimicked today in everything from Disney to Anime.

But for all their technical prowess the series of encounters of Deckard hunting down and ‘retiring’ Replicants drag like Christmas at the in-laws.  The Replicants have hardly any background, the action is repetitive, and the action is repetitive. The scenes that should be most exciting fall flat while the ones that shine are the more delicate moments of Deckard alone in his apartment. Did I mention the action is repetitive?

I will conclude this article in the manner of Deckard as played by Harrison Ford. Mumble grumble murmur, whisper maunder, mutter, mutter Roy Batty on the roof.

Related Posts
Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (1999)

Based on Marilyn Sadler and Roger Bollen's book of the same name, Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century was directed by Kenneth Johnson and set in the year 2049. It Read more


Originally running between 1977-1979 for 108 episodes, Yatterman succeeded Time Bokan and followed what happened after fragments of a mysterious stone known as the Skull Stone are scattered across the Read more

Yakuza Apocalypse (2015)

Internationally renowned director Takashi Miike (ICHI THE KILLER, AUDITION, 13 ASSASSINS, HARA-KIRI: DEATH OF A SAMURAI 3D,ACE ATTORNEY, FOR LOVE’S SAKE, LESSON OF THE EVIL) is back with the action fantasy Read more

Welcome to Paradox

Debuting in 1998 and running for thirteen episodes, Welcome to Paradox was an anthology show where all the stories took place in the fictional future city of Betaville although the Read more

The Wizard

Created by Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz and Paul B. Radin, The Wizard starred David Rappaport as Simon McKay - a genius inventor with dwarfism. It debuted on 9th September 1986 Read more

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)

Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, The Wind Rises) brings you a powerful and sweeping epic that redefines the limits of animated storytelling and marks a triumphant highpoint within an extraordinary Read more

The Shanghai 13 (1984)

The Shanghai 13 is from Chang Cheh (Five Deadly Venoms, One Armed Swordsman), and follows a tale of patriots vs. traitors in 1930's Shanghai features Shaw Brothers veterans David Chiang Read more

The Rise of Skywalker – One 40 Something’s ‘Obsessed Fanboy’ pre-release thoughts…

No one likes an 'I told you so', so let's get the unpleasant bit out of the way. I told you so. Back in Feb 2018, whilst I was still Read more

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

Banished from normal housing for the crime of adopting stray cats, Sorata Kanda’s life has gone to the dogs and he’s been impounded in Sakura Hall, a notorious den of Read more

The Maze (1953)

Directed by William Cameron Menzies, The Maze was 3-D horror film that deals with teratology and prenatal phylogenetic evolution. It begins when Scotsman Gerald MacTeam (Richard Carlson) abruptly ends his Read more

The legacy of Santa Claus: The Movie

Santa Claus: The Movie was supposed to be the holiday hit of 1985. Such was the confidence that father and son producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind had managed to get Read more

The Herculoids

Somewhere out in space live The Herculoids! Zok, the laser-ray dragon! Igoo, the giant rock ape! Tundro, the tremendous! Gloop and Gleep, the formless, fearless wonders! With Zandor, their leader, Read more

The Fugitives

Created by Eileen Gallagher and directed by Jane Prowse, The Fugitives was a seven part show from 2005 that follows fourteen-year-old Jay Keaton (Alex Roe). A teenager with a high Read more

The Face of Another (1966)

Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara and based on the novel of the same name by Kōbō Abe, The Face of Another follows an engineer named Mr. Okuyama (Tatsuya Nakadai), whose face Read more

The Degrassi Legacy and why it matters

In a time when the world was over exposed to glamorised American teenage dramas where teens were being played by thirty years olds a dramatic shift happened. The seeds of Read more

The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)

Directed by Coleman Francis, The Beast of Yucca Flats follows a Soviet scientist named Joseph Jaworsky (Tor Johnson), who defects and flees to a Nevada Test Site called Yucca Flats. Before Read more

The Adventures of Spunky and Tadpole

Written and directed by Art Moore, The Adventures of Spunky and Tadpole ran for 150 episodes between 1958 and 1961. The show followed a little boy named Spunky (voiced by Read more

TAG (2015)

No men in sight, only women… and something unthinkable is killing girls! Internationally acclaimed director Sion Sono (LOVE EXPOSURE, COLD FISH,WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL?, TOKYO TRIBE) is back Read more

Star Trek: Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor (#1-4)

Space, the final frontier... and on that frontier and beyond, humans and aliens alike need medical care. Enter Leonard McCoy, Doctor of Space Medicine, late of the U.S.S. Enterprise. This Read more

Ronin Warriors

Created by Hajime Yatate, Ronin Warriors (aka Legendary Armor Samurai Troopers aka Yoroiden Samurai Troopers) takes place in a world where after a thousand years Talpa (voiced by Shigezō Sasaoka Read more

Stephen Pryde-Jarman is a Cult TV and Film journalist, award winning short story writer, playwright and screenwriter. A natural hoarder, second hand shopping fulfils his basic human need for hunter-gathering; but rummaging through a charity shop’s bric-a-brac shelf also brought him the inspiration for his novel Rubble Girl having seen a picture of a Blitz survivor sat amongst the rubble of her house with a cup and saucer. Rubble Girl has been described as " thought-provoking" and "fast paced ... with plenty of twists and turns." Amazon.

%d bloggers like this: