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Skin-Jobs, Fembots and Existential Unicorns

Bladerunner
courtesy of Warner Brothers

Greetings and salutations
* film nerds and nerdettes …

Ever had one of those sneaking late-night suspicions that (maybe, just maybe) the person lying in bed next to you snoring like a pig modem isn’t really human at all but rather a lethal android sent to Earth to destroy your soul? Would it be paranoid of me to say I have?

Don’t get me wrong, Poppa H can dig on an occasional Fembot every now and then as I like to see girls of that caliber, I mean both the barrel size of their guns and the high quality of their character * but I’ve never dated a bird with a built-in USB port who transmits 100 watts of static electricity through her tongue and nipples before. I mean, I love punk rock fashion and all but the last time I saw someone spray paint their eyes black with an airbrush, I was interviewing Adam Ant in that mental institution in Saigon … what gives earthlings? Am I just getting old? Could anyone ever really fall in love with someone (or something) that’s less than human? 

I suppose we could start by asking whoever’s banging Martha Stewart, Alex Rodriguez or one of the Olsen Twins but I have a better idea. How about we all ‘live the question’ down at the Embarcadero Theater by checking out a limited engagement of the profound sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner: The Final Cut? Who knows, after the screening you may find you’re sleeping with a robot too.

Bladerunner
courtesy of Warner Brothers

Blade Runner: The Final Cut

The only Philip K. Dick film adaptation that (greatly) improves on the original work, Blade Runner is a trailblazing, mind-blowing, future-shock meditation on what it means to be human in the 21st century that will stick to your psyche until you are retired by God. How do I know? I’m living proof chulo, I saw it when I was a kid and still think about that god damned origami unicorn … You will too.

Now is the best time ever to check The Final Cut out: on the big screen. With the help of director Ridley Scott, Blade Runner has finally (and I stress finally) evolved into the masterwork he envisioned before the suits at Warner Brothers fucked it up. Gone is the painful gumshoe voice over narration and the non sequitor, Magnificent Ambersons-esque happy ending. What’s left is a visually stunning post-modern magnum opus about man’s futile quest for immortality. Did I mention there’s also some steamy human-on-android sex action? There is some of that, you sick freaks …

Bladerunner
courtesy of Warner Brothers

The plot: It’s 2019 and Los Angeles has gone to Mad Max hell in a stainless steel Sony hand basket. Gumshoe Rick Deckard, Harrison Ford, is a Blade Runner hired to hunt down four android replicants that were built to be smarter and stronger than humans—more human than human. Problem is the androids were made too well. Knowing they were programmed to live only four-years, they feel existential pain. They are emotionally complex and are dying for more time on the clock so off they go to see the Wizard (their maker) to hit him with a double-fisted offer he can’t refuse. And so it begins …

I won’t give away the killer plot twists, but savvy viewers will look to clues in the form of origami figures and a mythic animal to bring the house of cards down on all us mortals. In the end, what does all this existentialism really mean? Tough question, The Dude is no philosopher, but if you must ask, I say lights that burn twice as bright, burn half as long. So all of you prodigal sons and daughters out there burning so very brightly – revel in your time without guilt. Even if you’ve done questionable things, you’ve also done extraordinary things. Your sins are nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn't allow you into heaven for …* Now, that’s what I call a happy ending.

Bladerunner
courtesy of Warner Brothers

As for my sleeping Fembot, the android jury’s still out, though I think I just smelled WD-40 on her breath. Uh oh …  Until next week, this is Indie Skywalker signing off, be bad and get into trouble baby …* MRF

Episode 42 Footnotes
•    “Greetings and salutations.” – Heathers (1991): Christian Slater doing his best Nicholson impersonation to a monacle-lovin’ Winona Ryder
•    “I like to see girls of that caliber, I mean both the barrel size of their guns and the high quality of their character” - Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (1997):  Dr. Evil drops a homonym on his future sex slave Frau Farbissina. 
•    “Lights that burn twice as bright aren’t built to last…you are the prodigal son who burned so very, very brightly so revel in your time…Even if you’ve done questionable things, you’ve also done extraordinary things.  Your sins are nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn't put you in heaven for." – Blade Runner (1982): Rutger Hauer meets his maker and gets the existential runaround over a game of chess.
•     “Let’s get into trouble baby.” – Tapeheads (1988): Soul Train host Don Cornelius (as Hollywood Producer Mo Fuzz) to upstart filmmakers Tim Robbins and John Cusack.