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- Alas, Poor Villain: One of the most memorable in movie history.
- Broken Base: And how! The different cuts, Deckard's true nature, the unicorn etc.
- Cult Classic: Has become so ubiquitous in pop culture that it's hard to picture now, but at one time, the film was very much this. It's also the very reason it got a sequel 35 years after it came out.
- Death of the Author: One of the reasons Deckard's being a replicant or not is still hotly debated. (Also, a film has multiple authors, and in this case they disagree with each other.)
- Draco in Leather Pants: Roy Batty is an Anti-Villain with sympathetic motivations, but he's still a ruthless murderer who's willing to resort to Cold-Blooded Torture. His villainous traits tend to get overlooked by fans, but his moving Final Speech doesn't bring back the people he's killed.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Gaff. In the Westwood Studio's video game, he's something of a Stealth Mentor.
- Evil Is Sexy: Most of the antagonists are depicted as almost flawless beings, superior in both mind and body to normal humans (who for the most part are portrayed as grizzled and beaten down). This is especially true of Roy, who as the Übermensch is built like a Greek god. Both of the female replicants are also quite easy on the eyes and none of them are above using sexual persuasion as a tool to get what they want (both Priss and Roy come onto Sebastian in an attempt to persuade him to help them, and Zhora is designed for political assassinations which probably involve the promise of sex as a way of getting closer to the target and she shamelessly uses her own nude body as a distraction when Deckard comes for her).
- Funny Aneurysm Moment: Take note of the dirigible with ads all over it. In the following decade, every single company advertised on it either went out of business or -- as was the case with Atari and Coca -- experienced financial hardships. See Product Placement on the main page for a more complete list of companies who got their logos into the film, and their fates.
- Genre Turning Point: The film's unique and widely praised visualization of the future was not only widely copied by other films (sci-fi and otherwise), it either influenced or anticipated the way large cities would look, particularly at night, in the early 21st century.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Edward James Olmos talking about "skin jobs".
- Jerkass Woobie: All of the Replicants. They’re escaped slaves who want to live in piece, but Roy and Leon are ruthless killers, and Pris is a callous manipulator. How sympathetic they are varies from scene to scene.
- Narm: To some, that unicorn from Deckard's dream sequence.
- Older Than They Think: The title originated from the 1974 novel by Alan E. Nourse called The Bladerunner which was given a screenplay treatment by William S. Burroughs himself. The screenwriters adapted the title Blade Runner for their film because Ridley Scott wanted a new take on science fiction lore (hence renaming androids as replicants). In the original context, blade runner meant a black market guy who sold drugs in a futuristic dystopia where medical care had become expensive, and was entirely different from cop who retires replicants.
- The Problem with Licensed Games: Averted. Westwood Studios released a lovingly faithful Adventure Game based on this movie in 1997. Let's Play: Here. The game featured randomized plot points and the player's actions could lead the game towards thirteen different alternate endings.
- The 1985 game for the 8-bit home computers, on the other hand, was nothing special. Though, for rights reasons, that's technically an adaptation of the Vangelis sound track.
- Seinfeld Is Unfunny:
- Giant buildings, neon lights, multicultural cities, film noir aesthetics, and lots and lots of rain? Meh, we've seen it all before. The film's visuals and themes proved to be such an influence on Cyberpunk and grittier science fiction works that it's virtually impossible for them not to reference the film in some form or another, and as a consequence, the impact can be somewhat lost on audiences who have already seen the many imitators and their intellectual androids, ugly dystopias, and drunken future cops. Similarly, the philosophical questions about androids and their relationships with humans have been tackled in so many works and so thoroughly (even before and around the time of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?s publication) that the movie can feel empty in comparison.
- Also unlike other science-fiction before it (Metropolis) and after it (The Matrix) which pivots on The Hero's Journey and The Chosen One motifs, Blade Runner is essentially a simple genre movie with a cop (Rick Deckard) hunting down a series of bad guys (Roy Batty and his Replicants). The plot by itself is not too complicated, and most of the film works on characterization and mood than the overly baroque plots and schemes later works like Equilibrium and others trafficked in. Philip K. Dick himself Lampshaded this during pre-production when he noted that the screenplay drafts he read disappointed him for how much it flattened and simplified his original book, but he was far more impressed with the visual design (that he saw during a set visit and was shown an earlier render of the famous opening) which he felt captured the spirit of his ideas.
- Special Effects Failure:
- The skies above Batty when he releases the dove were supposed to be grimly grey, causing an unintended Cue the Sun moment. This was changed in the 2007 "Final Cut". Crew members stated in a behind-the-scenes documentary that this error occurred because they couldn't get the dove to fly in the rain. The water soaked the bird's feathers and made it too heavy to take off, so they eventually had to resort to filming the scene without the rain.
- In many scenes featuring a Spinner (flying car), the cables lifting the car up are clearly visible. Like the dove, these are fixed in the Final Cut.
- True Art Is Angsty:
- Played straight with the film's look and themes. The inevitability of death and mortality are both a major focus of the story, as is self-doubt and a feeling of entrapment, plus a good deal of existential angst over what it means to be human. Further emphasized by the Miltonian antagonist Roy Batty, Deckard's apparent alcoholism and depression, and the deliberately and artistically dark neo-noir aesthetic to highlight these themes.
- Goes full well for the 1997 video game as well. Ray is subject to mind games from multiple factions, making him question his own identity and humanity. In one of the endings Clovis laments that he spent his final days fighting and killing in a futile attempt to find a way to extend his own life and the lives of his fellow replicants instead of cherishing the time he had left with his friends.
- Uncanny Valley: Sebastian's toys are played by little people in prosthetics, and make some very inhuman, jerky movements. The replicants avert this trope as they are so human, physically and emotionally, but the scene where Pris disguises herself as one of the toys has her wearing some pretty Uncanny Valley Makeup.
- Unfortunate Implications: Fantastic Racism aside, there's also Deckard's rather politically incorrect love scene with Rachael.
- Vindicated by History: Upon its initial release, the film was met with mixed reviews and an underwhelming box office performance (it did decently and made back its budget, but it was in no way the hit that The Ladd Company assumed it would be; it also had the bad luck of coming out the week after the much anticipated E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial hit theaters). In the ensuing years, it became a Cult Classic in its director's cut, and is now generally considered one of the greatest science fiction films of all time.
- Visual Effects of Awesome: The designs and the city will still blow you away, they literally changed sci-fi films.