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Blade Runner: A Movie


Blade Runner: A Movie is a science fiction screenplay by William S. Burroughs. It was released in 1979.

In this trenchant science-fiction screen treatment, William S.Burroughs outlines the coming apocalypse in medical care, a Dante-esque horror show, brought to a boil by a mutated virus and right-wing politics, set in a future not nearly far enough away.

Not to be confused with Ridley Scott's movie Blade Runner. In fact, Scott's film -- a screen adaptation of Philip K.Dick's 1968 science fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? -- was retitled Blade Runner with a tip of the hat to William Burroughs (who, in turn, acknowledges Alan E.Nourse, "upon whose book The Blade Runner, characters and situations in this book [Burroughs'] are based"). To make things even more convoluted, subsequent editions of Dick's book have been reprinted under the name Blade Runner in order to tie-in with the motion picture.


In this futuristic screenplay vision of a strife-and-disease-plagued America in 1999, Burroughs finds the cure for a decaying civilization in the medicine practiced by underground physicians and surgeons. These heroic healers, in turn, are aided by 'blade runners,' teenagers who smuggle banned surgical instruments past the watchful eyes of fascistic police. The novel-cum-screenplay follows follows one of these runners during the course of a race riot and the transfer of instruments between embattled doctors. Above the drama in the streets of New York is a world 'taken over by hang-glider and autogyro gangs, mountaineers and steeplejacks. A sky boy steps off his penthouse into a parachute on guide wires that drop him to a street-level landing...Meanwhile, released animals and reptiles from the zoo and freed fish fro the aquarium have control of the rovers and subways. The prose flashes with Burrough's own brand of outrageousness and fantasy.

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