Richard Driscoll, widely acknowledged as the worst film-maker in Britain (and consequently someone whose films I thoroughly urge you to buy and watch) was sentenced to three years in prison for fraud on 1st July 2013. If you would like to be reminded of the details of the case, you can’t do better than this fantastic article in the Telegraph
Presumably he was released early for good behaviour as he is back online and back in the film-making business. Or, if he is still inside, then he has an accomplice on the outside handling his website and social media. Tricky Dicky’s ‘next’ ‘production’ is an absolutely shameless rip-off of Blade Runner
entitled Blade Hunter
, which you can read all about at http://bhmovie.club
– here’s the synopsis:
The year is 2069, the place is San Angeles. A city made up of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Brought together after the nuclear explosion of 2021 where a nuclear reactor belonging to the Tenebre Corporation exploded after the death of its founder Dr Christopher Tenebre. After an investigation it was found out that the explosion was the work of synthetics, better known as Androids out to destroy North America and position themselves as the true leaders of the New World and distance themselves from the Off World colonies. With the city in ruin and the whole west coast covered in a dystopian red mist a group of ex-police officers are formed to hunt down these synthetics and eradicate them. These officers are called Blade Hunters. Enforcers for the Tenebre Corporation. McMillan is one of those men. A rough tough officer originally from Chicago who has been assigned to track down a group of these synthetics who have formed a modern day cult similar to the Golden Dawn of the 19 hundreds, once run by the occultist Aleister Crowley.
Lying in bed after a serious accident is the writer of the graphic novel, that is Blade Hunter. Over the next few days the images and thoughts of Carney delve deeper into his Blade Hunter world that he has created as he lies on the edge of death.
You don’t need me to tell you that this rips off Blade Runner
in numerous ways (apart from at the end when it all gets a bit bizarre!), or that the logo on the poster is literally the Blade Runner
logo – the famous silhouette of Harrison Ford – with a couple of letters changed. That fabulous film poster is a Blade Runner
-inspired digital painting by a brilliant artist named Chris Ostrowski
. I wonder whether he has been paid for its use as a film poster design, or is even aware that it’s being used in this way. [Edit. I checked with Chris Ostrowski and no, he knew nothing about this. - MJS]
So who is going to star in this blockbuster? The credit block in the poster lists Michael Madsen, Steven Craine (Driscoll’s acting name), Bai Ling, Lysette Anthony, Patrick Bergin, Oliver Tobias, Dudley Sutton, Sylvester McCoy, Robin Askwith with Daryl Hannah and David Carradine. Driscoll has worked with, or claimed to be working with, all of these actors in the past. It may be that they know they’re attached to Blade Hunter
, it may be that Driscoll is planning to use stock footage of them from previous projects, or he may just be fantasising again.
The alert among you will have noticed that David Carradine is dead. This was not a problem for Driscoll when he made Eldorado
as he simply lifted footage of Carradine from someone else’s film (and told the taxman he had paid the star £400,000 for 13 days’ work – two weeks after his death). A tweet on the Blade Hunter
Twitter account reveals how Driscoll plans to get around Carradine’s noncorporeality this time, although realistically it’s more likely he’ll just lift some old footage and tweak it in post.
There is one other name in the credit block, editor Richard Colton. He doesn’t appear to have worked with Driscoll before but he has edited several recent British films including Kill Keith, Strippers vs Werewolves, UFO
and Paul Tanter’s White Collar Hooligan
trilogy. Interestingly, the credit block on the lobby-card-style images of the actors (example below) includes another name, DOP Mike Muschamp. He is currently working in Malaysia but has been linked in the past with unmade Driscoll titles including When the Devil Rides Out
and Grindhouse 2wo
Now interestingly, this is not the first time that Richard Driscoll has tried to make this particular film. Here's a product listing from the Hollywood Reporter's special issue for the American Film Market in February 2002:
('Voss Anderson' is of course a typo for Vass Anderson.) In the noughties Driscoll had a 'studio' just outside Brighton and certainly began production on Blade Hunter
, as well as a number of other projects. One of my correspondents told me:
"We basically lived together near Brighton for over nearly four months with the aim to build a studio. Richard hired a big industrial compound with a little adjacent forest with space for one biggish and two small studios and we had post production facilities on the site. Everything was obviously very improvised, but geared to produce a slate of cheap low budget crappy films. At any time between 15-30 people worked on building the studio or preparing the production. We already were very much into the prep of a science fiction film, which had uncanny resemblence with Bladerunner. There were detailed plans and models for the set, which wasn't small."
Here's a few technical matters, just for the record. The domain bhmovie.club was registered on 14th October through a domain registration company in Middlesex. The registrant name is ‘gideon quin’, one of Driscoll’s common aliases, and the address is Higher Nanpean Farm in Cornwall. Driscoll doesn’t live there any more – he sold the place in 2012. Presumably he hasn’t updated his contact details on his account with the domain registration company. He also registered rylett.info with them on 26th July.
Twitter account launched on 28th October, since which time he has tweeted 52 times, almost all of which were basically this. A few have been favourited or retweeted by individuals. The account has 583 followers and follows 2,286 other twitter users.
There is also a Facebook page
which has had 30 likes. Most of the posts are simply sharing other movie, actor or sci-fi pages, including (because Driscoll’s not coy about acknowledging his ‘inspirations’) the pages for ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’, ‘Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human’ (an absolutely awful official sequel to the PKD book which I reviewed for SFX
many years ago), ‘Blade Runner sequel’, ‘Blade Runner fans’, ‘KippleZone; (a Blade Runner fan fiction site), ‘Blade Runner 2: Do Androids Dream’, ‘Blade Runner Lovers’ (a clothing site) and of course ‘Blade Runner’ itself. The Facebook page gives a putative release date of ‘August 2016’ (yeah, right) and a contact email of BHmovie2015@gmail.com
More to come, including the promised Indiegogo campaign for Blade Hunter
and whether you should invest in it.
It's good to have Richard Driscoll back on the film-making scene. It's not been the same without him.