Blade Runner (1982)
The year is 2019 and the Tyrell Corporation has made great strides in the manufacturing of androids. The Nexus 6 Replicant is in almost every way identical to a human being but physically superior and having an intelligence level that rivals their human counterparts. They are the most advanced androids with a life-span of only four years and were created as slave labor for the off-world colonies. When a small group of combat Replicants mutiny at one such colony, all androids are declared illegal on Earth. A special unit of human police officers known as Blade Runners are the solution to what the humans perceive is a dangerous threat. Their orders are to shoot to kill — or ‘retire ’ — any Replicants found on the planet.
In this ‘future noir’ film, Harrison Ford is Richard Deckard, an ex-Blade Runner forced back into service to hunt down and ‘retire’ six fugitive Nexus 6 Replicants hiding somewhere in 21st century Los Angeles. At the Tyrell Corporation, Deckard meets a beautiful woman named Rachel (Sean Young) whom he discovers is a new type of Replicant. She is an experiment that is implanted with false memories causing her to believe that she is human. The Pygmalion-esque relationship that ensues is that of a classic hard-boiled cop falling for the femme fatale. This only causes complications as Deckard hunts down the fugitive androids one by one, ever being shadowed by a fellow police officer whose motives are shrouded in mystery.
There are obvious Satanic elements and concepts in this dark, sci-fi thriller — from the trapezoidal ziggurat of the Tyrell Corporation, to the reclusive bioengineer who creates his own robotic friends, to the “more human than human” Replicants, and Deckard’s “forbidden” desire for Rachel. Most outstanding is the charismatic and extremely intelligent leader of the renegade androids, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), who is nothing less than a biomechanical Lucifer. He has a very inquisitive mind and a strong desire for knowledge. Most important to him is his vital existence. He confronts his human creator Elrond Tyrell in the hopes that the lifespan of himself and his companions could be extended. Intent on being his own master, Batty fights tooth and claw for his cherished life and seeks freedom from slavery. His passion for life is so strong that he truly seems to be more human than the cold-blooded Blade Runner who is intent on denying him the chance to live.
Blade Runner is truly a Satanic gem and a great cinematic masterpiece. The special effects rival any CGI and the musical score by Vangelis is superb. Based on Philip Dick’s great novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” this dark, suspenseful, and thought-provoking film subtly raises questions about the value of our vital existence, what it means to be human, and challenges our perceptions and definitions of what is a living being and what is not. I also saw a reflection of our society’s dependence on technology, and the fears and ethical issues that surround the concept of the manufacturing of androids.
In his “Devil’s Notebook,” Dr. LaVey wrote of the benefits and merits of the development and production of Artificial Human Companions. It was a goal he felt that we Satanists should try to achieve. With the advent of the Real Doll and new advancements in robot evolution, the world slowly moves closer to such a goal. Perhaps we will see Satanists at the forefront of such a revolutionary industry. In this movie, we see a Satanic vision realized, even if it’s only on celluloid for the moment.
[- Michael K. Silva]