I was 8 when Blade Runner came out, so I missed the theater showings, and thanks to CBS and cable I got my first look in 1986, at the ripe old age of 12. I guess being such a young age when first exposed to its powerful visuals and grainy taste might have had something to do with the impact it had on me. At that first viewing it shot to the top of my list, and has remained there ever since. At 12 there was much of the film I didn't get, or understand, but I understood it moved me, the flavor of it stuck with me. It changed me somehow, touched me and shifted the way I saw the world forever.
The one thing I’m going to have to say at this point, however, is I’m the black sheep of the “Blade Runner Fan Cult”…. I seem to pretty much stand alone on this point. I think the voiceover that Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott despised so much is what made the film so powerful for me. You can’t have true film-noir without it. Well, ok, to be honest, noir, and neo-noir, or as the designers of Blade Runner like to call their style, future-noir, doesn’t HAVE to have voiceover’s, but to me that’s a classic part of this style of film.
Don’t get me wrong, the film can stand without the voiceover, but it’s that nod to the classic Black and white, dirty private dick in the fedora, crime drama of the 40’s to the 70’s that for me lifted in from great movie into something beyond just great. It’s the smoky rooms, and trash littered streets, the base and cold human nature. The violence, killing, blood and sex of the genre, the underbelly of the city, the ambiguously moraled lawman, who is really neither good, nor bad. This is the flavor of good noir, a classic voiceover adds icing to the cake.
In fact, about 8 years ago when I discover you couldn’t get a copy of the movie anymore with the voiceover, since only the original version had it, and it had been removed from all releases since, I hit EBay and shelled out $25 bucks for the original 1982 VHS. Still got it. The NON DIRECTORS CUT!!!! Still worth about the same after a quick Google search, it’s hard to find. The director’s cut (no voiceover) you can get for $6.99 or less. Hmmmm…. Maybe I’m not the only one who likes the voiceovers……
This movie is so deep and complex, I could go on and on, just about the styling if nothing else, but I won’t at this time. Just throwing some of my thoughts out there in the great wide web. Thanks for reading.