Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Laserdisc Collecting: Blade Runner (Japan, 1987, Warner Home Video)

There's been much talk of Blade Runner these past few weeks with the arrival of the sequel, some 35 years after Ridley Scott's signature film was first released, and it seems as good a time as any to present my Japanese laserdisc copy, originally released in 1987. The Japanese were treated to at least 5 distinct laserdisc editions of the film - three of which came with unique photo montage artwork, while the other two editions, the very first laserdisc release from 1985, and fifth edition, the 1992 Director's Cut, simply featured John Alvin's iconic artwork. Of the 3 editions that sport alternative artwork, the 1987 issue is the most lavish, borrowing the Criterion laserdisc's European Theatrical Cut and issued as a heavy two disc-set and housed in a beautiful gatefold sleeve brimming over with Japanese text (which lends a nice Asian connection to a film which takes place in a very Sino-flavored Los Angeles). I particularly like the photo montage on the front, it's stylish and refreshingly uncluttered and coherent, and making fine use of Syd Mead's futurist designs - the  Tyrell building rubbing shoulders against LA's toxic skies, and I like the solar flare effects of the spinners.

Inside gatefold - left side

Inside gatefold - right side

Inside gatefold - bottom right side - list of supplements

Of the supplemental material which has been ported over from the Criterion laser, I'm most intrigued by the Blade Runner Trivia Test which I'd like to take, but haven't been able to find it online !

One-sided insert

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