The Sacrilegious "Good Guy Deckard" Edit
Great Movies Made More Timeless Presents:
No Trapped Rachael Scene, More Sympathetic Replicants, No Voiceovers, No Unicorn Dreams, No Dates.
No Trapped Rachael Scene, More Sympathetic Replicants, No Voiceovers, No Unicorn Dreams, No Dates.
Original Release Date: 1982
Original Running Time: 117
Fanedit Release Date: August 2021
Fanedit Running Time: 113
Subtitles Available?: Yes
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In an alternate future, an I.T. Specialist is called out of retirement for one last job that will force him to question what it means to be human. Deckard used to decommission robots that looked like toasters when he started. His job grew considerably darker as the robots became closer to humans. Roy and the other replicants are portrayed more as victims rather than villains. Sebastian is a sympathetic ally for both Pris and Roy, rather than being "conned" into helping. Gaff gets slightly more character depth as well, with some help from some shots from the deleted scenes.
No V.O. - "Show, don't tell" philosophy (try to give more discovery of mysteries to the viewer) means no voiceover at all - not even the memory voiceover from Gaff as Deckard looks at the origami unicorn. The goal is to tell the story with the emotions of the characters instead of spoon-feeding info.
No Unicorn Dream - For me, the "Deckard is a replicant" question is more interesting as an open-ended question than the execution we got, so no unicorn dreams here. The audience today is much more aware of the tech and concepts of the movie than the average 80s viewer, so the movie keeps the original spirit but leaves more dots to connect for the modern viewer.
More Pollution - I love all the new higher Res releases of Blade Runner, but to me the better resolution removed a lot of the gitty pollution-like vibe to the world of Blade Runner. Here, the outside scenes are adjusted to feel dirtier, which also allowed me to insert upscaled footage of deleted scenes that hopefully stand out less.
No Dates - all references to the year dates are removed.
No "Trapped Rachael" Scene - I know I am going to get hate for this but there is one particualr part of this film which has not aged well. People like to say this movie is about replicants because of Roy Batty and crew, but simutaneously write off how utter fucked up Rachael's experience must be too, arguing that the scene is needed to show an aspect Deckards growth in regards how he treats replicants, how he fundamentally sees them.
As I began to rewatch the movie with the focus PURELY on the experience of Rachael... She seems trapped. Think about it. She had nowhere to go, she knows she will be endlessly hunted, she wasn't allowed to leave, after being tossed against the wall, she was told she must repeat the words of the one guy who knows she really is, the one she knows is breaking rules by NOT killing her, and she doesn't want to piss HIM off. The rest of the world wants her dead. He is still her only chance. Hell, he reminder her of all this quite blatantly.
For instance, he tells her she must repeat his words, after keeping her from leaving, after telling her she will always be on the run from others like her. She does not have many options. Then, the lines they say at then end are parallel of his earlier need for her to parrot back his words, like she is conditioned, like she understands the rules. She seems more trapped as I watch more, in many ways he is exploiting her lack of options to his benefit. As much as we want to say he is bad, he is also COOL in this movie, and as much as people want to say "That is not an excuse for assault... it’s an exploration for why it happens," this movie does not question whether is SHOULD happen at all, it acts as an excuse for his actions.
I bring all of this up because of this whole "Deckard-centric" idea of a "bad Deckard." I agree many that that the whole point of the film is make audiences empathize with the Replicants, and I argue that the more the audience views Deckard in a "bad guy" view, the less the audience has to identify with the way the replicants are treated by society as a whole. The Replicants should be sympathized with, that they are a metaphor for a marginalized society. But by viewing Deckard as a bad guy, and making him the focus of the movie, it allows the audience to say "hey, its just bad guys that hurt these replicants, not the society as a whole." However, from the replicants POV, it's society as a whole that is the problem, not just Deckard. The less we focus on Deckard as an outlier society and more of an avatar of it, the more the plight of the replicants is made aware (especially if the "love" aspect is removed). The development of Rachael through this whole thing, and her development of not knowing who she is and who she can trust is actually pretty deep, while not completely obvious.
If we change one thing, giving Rachael more autonomy in wanting to stay near the protection of Deckard as opposed being trapped, her character arc becomes much more empowering. They don't "fall in love," he just begins caring for and protecting her.
So we go into my edit with a new perspective. No personal backstory for Deckard, no ex-wife. It is implied that Deckard is, in essence, a retired IT specialist from back when replicants were easily distinguishable from humans. His job grew considerably darker as the replicants became closer to humans. He starts from a place of lying to himself about not seeing humanity in the Replicants. And I tried to change enough to feel like a new experience, but left as much in as possible to honor this great movie. This is not a "Bad Movies Made less Bad" edit, more of a "Great Movies Made More Timeless" edit.
Workprint intro used of the definition of Replicants, remove the lines "Specifications and quantities - information classified", and "Copyright 2016."
Removed the 2019 from the Los Angeles Title Card
Adjusted intro shots to create one long cut of the eye, merging the two separate shots together
Slowed the shot zooming into the office in the Tyrell Building.
Used the Deleted Scene Shot of Deckard reading the Newspaper (better shots of people at the bar IMO)
Used the Deleted Scene wider shot of Gaff approaching Deckard (shows the noodles better)
Removed Deckard's smirk when about to leave with Gaff.
Cropped Gaff out of the shot of Deckard eating noodles while heading to the station (irks me that Gaff's mouth is moving but there is no dialogue)
Initial shot of Bryant before Deckard enters his office removed
Dialogue with Bryant adjusted so the replicants did not kill a crew of a shuttle to return to earth. Removed "If you ain't cop you're little people" to imply Bryant has something obligating Deckard to him.
Added and adjusted the deleted scene to have Deckard walk by (but not talk to) an incapacitated Holden before his briefing with Bryant.
During the Bryant briefing, removed mention of killings by Replicants and removed and references to dates. Also removed telling Deckard about "Nexus 6," since they are just the next model of Nexus, and Deckard only sees profiles on what Leon and Roy look like, not the female replicants he will eventually kill, keeping the "Have you ever retired a human by mistake?" question more important.
Shot of Tyrell's office dimming is rotoscoped to keep the room dimming but shortening to remove the part where Deckard "fake removes" the machine from the briefcase. (something that bugged me ever since high quality version of this scene was released - I never noticed before but now I can't unsee it)
Deckard's questioning of Rachael is edited to feel like many more questions were asked.
Leon's apartment scene is adjusted, and shots from the deleted scenes were added: Deckard opens the drawer first, past the newspaper and matches and finds the photos, Leon walks by, Deckard checks under the mattress, then hears the buzzing neon from the bathroom (from deleted scene). Also, the deleted shot of the scale being put into the evidence bag is used, as the shot from the official versions makes the scale look heavy like a guitar pick, something that always bugged me)
Deleted Shot of Leon emerging from subway used before seeing Roy in the phonebooth instead of Truck on the street.
Hannibal scene trimmed so he doesn't mouth words without dialogue as Leon is poking around to his left.
Hannibal doesn't ask if Roy is Nexus 6, he knows.
Mention of Sebastian's first name are removed, so the connection to JF are only revealed when he rejoins with Pris.
Deckard doesn't offer Rachael a drink initially.
Shots of Deckard in his crappy kitchen with jello molds around removed when looking for a glass for a drink for Deckard.
Theatrical cut of scene of Deckard at piano without unicorn dream used.
Shots of excess curled photos on Deckard's piano removed.
Photo enhancement scene edited to visually be easier to understand and less outlandish.
Deleted scene of Deckard pulling scale off the fish of another customer's food added.
Scene with inspection of the scale trimmed to remove the serial number mention. The Fish lady reads the serial number herself and that lets her know who made it.
Hasan's snake shop no longer has a cop right outside (its a seedy area where this guy operates)
Deckard doesn't ask Zhora if the snake is real. Zhora doesn't try to strangle Deckard, she just runs.
Deckard chasing Zhora edited for more mystery.
Discussion with woman selling liquor to Deckard adjusted so she knows him and what he orders there without asking.
Date reference removed from fight with Leon.
Deckard and Rachael scene tightened for pacing. Deckard begins bonding with Rachael, nothing more. No forced affection scene.
Deleted scene of Bryant and Gaff in the briefing room added and adjusted to be reviewing audio of Deckards interaction with Zhora. This allows us to hear Gaff speak English so his last line in the movie isn't so odd that he speaks perfect English out of nowhere, and allows us to see his mutual contempt for Bryant.
Couple shots of J.F's long nose toy guy looking weirdly at Pris removed.
Removed Roy kissing Pris and JF interrupting them uncomfortably.
Removed ominous looks by Roy and Pris about JF, so that JF seems willing to assist, not forced to.
Slowed down the shot of the elevator slowing down.
Removed implications that Roy killed JF after killing Tyrell. JF just ran away.
Removed Roy's lines until after the grab's Deckard's hand through the wall.
Deckard spitting at Roy removed.
Gaff only tells Deckard "I guess you're done now" and walks away.
Deckard doesn't ask Rachael if she loves him like a Munchausen syndrome victim.
No Gaff V.O. while Deckard looks at the unicorn. It is up the the viewer to interpret what it means.