[watch] The Third Replicant: ‘BLADE RUNNER’ as Film Noir


Ridley Scott’s BLADE RUNNER is the blueprint for sci-fi noir: the hardboiled detective-type, the femme fatale, the shadowy city streets, the themes of seduction, deception, and betrayal, the replicants and flying cars – BLADE RUNNER is pretty much the reason, quite frankly, that sci-fi noir even exists, and it is certainly the pinnacle of the sub-genre, successfully adapting and subverting the conventions and clichés of its parent classifications and blending them into a new set of cinematic standards.

But have you ever wondered what BLADE RUNNER would have looked like as an actual noir? If not, no need to now, because YouTuber Chet Desmond has done it for you with this beautifully edited, black-and-white trailer that captures the noir atmosphere perfectly, down to the era-appropriate music.

It really is a well-edited video, the kind that would make you think this Desmond character must have a score of great stuff on his channel, but here’s where things get a little mysterious. See, this is the only video on Desmond’s channel, and it was posted more than two years ago. Just this little cherry of a trailer and nothing more, like Desmond vanished off the face of the internet. But then the plot thickens even further if you’re a die-hard TWIN PEAKS fan like me, because you recognize the name “Chet Desmond:” he’s the FBI agent played by Chris Isaak in FIRE WALK WITH ME who investigates the murder of Teresa Banks and – wait for it – disappears. Does that strike anyone else as a little odd? It should. Is the person behind the moniker another essayist of renown blowing off some steam on the side? Possibly. Am I reading way too much into this? Most likely.

Whoever he is, Desmond’s video repaints BLADE RUNNER as a thrilling whodunit in an old school style and highlights the elements of film noir that Scott forged with the tenets of science-fiction into without argument one of the greatest films in any genre.

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist