|"SANTINI II" - the original Airwolf Fan Movie parody from 1993, produced by British Airwolf fan, Tristan P. Barratt|
and his pals Saxon J. Bullock and David R. Simpson on a shoe-string budget.
Produced and Directed by veteran British Airwolf fan, TRISTAN P. BARRATT and his friends, this tongue-in-cheek fan movie parody was created with an ADF pod full of knowing nods and winks that only a true fan of the high-flying, mid-80s TV series would know and understand.
|Comedy duo TRISTAN P. BARRATT and|
SAXON J. BULLOCK take off Hawke and Santini in their
1993 Airwolf Fan Movie parody... long before YouTube.
PARODY PREMISEHawke, Dom, Archangel and The Lady enjoyed an all-new television movie from Tri-Bar Productions, a little-known Cornish production house back in 1993. Unfortunately, the fledgling production company were not able to acquire the services of the original actors and production crew at the time, but they did find a wealth of undiscovered talent in three, little-known, English acting talent including: Tristan P. Barratt, Saxon J. Bullock (sorry to say, he's no relation to Sandra) and David R. Simpson.
|Dominic Santini in the|
Tri-bar comedy universe
Barratt and Bullock were also the creative team behind this 'The New AIRWOLF: The Next Generation' production which took the direction of a humorous and (some thought) stylish parody from start to finish.
"In 1984, I watched a TV show burst onto our screens that was to change my life. From that moment on I knew it was fate that, I too would fly The Lady through the skies," Tristan said at the time.
LOFTY PRODUCTION AMBITIONSThe plot revolved around the cloning of sidekick, Dominic Santini to produce an evil twin, who’s sole aim in life was to acquire the Airwolf helicopter and deliver it to the Iraqis — for the money!
|Evil twin of Airwolf character,|
“We knew we didn’t have the budget, in fact any budget at all, but I wanted to produce something which was true in style and tone to the original,” said Tristan, “so it was a parodic adventure the whole way.”
It's basically some friends out being truly silly and daft at the show's expense, ad-libbing the outlandish script at times and generally just having a laugh with it all.
LOCATION FILMINGThe glamorous and exotic locations required in the original Barratt-penned teleplay included Cuba, California, Washington DC, Bosnia and Russia had to be cut back slightly; actually by a lot in the end. So much so in fact that the entire team had to move lock, stock and JetRanger Tyler camera-mount to the beaches of sunny Cornwall on the South West coast of England for the main 1st Unit location shooting.
|All action in the glamorous|
Cornish locations in England
Unfortunately, this fell through as well, as on the first day of filming their budget was slashed further by Apocalypse and they had to resort to old Airwolf die-cast models, plus a bit of finger power! Their costume designer, John-Pee-air got a theatre gig in Scotland somewhere and his original lavish Airwolf costumes were cut back too; so far in fact that they ended up being shorts and a T-shirt. Time to get the Airwolf pyjamas out and show a bit of the good old English, WWII 'make do'.
|The back-up costume, in case their|
flight suits split - a rare, original
Airwolf Pyjama top!
EMMA-AWARD WINNING PERFORMANCESOver-acting was the name of the game, and Tristan Barratt took off Jan-Michael Vincent’s back-teeth clenching-Hawke to a tee; David Simpson did an admirable deputy director-of-a-job as Archangel, despite having no acting experience then – or since.
But it was the hammy Saxon Bullock who acted them all off the small screen, doing a superbly daft job as the wise-cracking Santini, as well as his evil doppelgänger.
HUMOROUS DRAMAFrom the opening title sequence where Bullock does his own variations of Ernest Borgnine running with the water canteen released from the port storage bin on the sand dune, followed by the thumb’s-up at the door is comedy genius. These are just some of the ADF pod-full of subtle, and not so subtle in-jokes for the Airwolf fans.
Attention to detail was obviously paramount, and could only come from a true fan of the show. Tristan Barratt, in fact, was a prominent long-term member of the original 'Wolf Pack', the Airwolf Appreciation Association, run by future Airwolf Themes' producer, Mark J.Cairns during the late 1980s ~ early 1990s.
PRODUCTION VALUES AND NEW, UPSCALED HD RESTORATION PRINT
|The original 'SANTINI II' VHS video cover|
The VHS existing print (only exists in very low resolution 240p) was uploaded in the early days of YouTube back in 2006, so the new upscaled print looks better than before (unfortunately the original VHS master was no longer available thus a proper Audio restoration wasn't really feasible). It's very interesting to compare visuals of the old and new prints and how the new 2016 version has evolved a better flow to some of the Aerial sequences especially with some careful re-editing.
PIONEER OF AMATEUR FAN MOVIE COMEDY IN PRE-INTERNET ERA
|Stradivarius mouth piano|
serenading uhhh, ducks and swans
It can safely be said that he was the true, original creator of the Airwolf fan movie and tribute parody scene, long before YouTube, mash-ups, or the Internet (in its current form) even existed. He could almost be described as the Dr Moffet of TV fan movies.
"In 1984, I watched a TV show burst onto our screens that was to change my life. From that moment on I knew it was fate that, I too would fly The Lady through the skies," Tristan said.
SO WHAT WAS THE POINT?The sheer devotion that was lavished on the production, budget restrictions and experience aside, coupled with the off-the-wall script and sometimes psychedelic colours and visuals (thanks to late 1980s video effects generator) makes for enjoyable fan entertainment that should draw a laugh or two from the viewer, and really, THIS is what being a fan of a TV show is all about – getting out there and using it as a catalyst for one's own creativity and doing something worthwhile and creative around ones love for it. Whether you'll think it's just plain ridiculous and juvenile, or you chuckle throughout at the knowing humour, it was just a bit of fun by some fans back in the day.
"Santini II... the high-budget, special effect-laden rip-off, err sorry “tribute” was the result. After two years of hard work, sweat, toil and sleepless nights (and visions of Archangel ripping his glasses off at the wrong time!), I completed what can only be described as the 'biggest rip-off since the last rip-off'," Tristan concluded.
WATCH THE AIRWOLF FAN MOVIE NOW:
Debuting on the all-new Airwolf Fan Movies channel on YouTube, this new upscale restoration is available now (HD / 4k resolution) on YouTube. A new SUBTITLES track will be added soon.
This is a Parody video thus all intellectual property Copyrights go to NBC Universal as far as the original Airwolf footage, and to their respective music sources.
(Extracts from Airwolf Appreciation Association Magazine - ISSUE 25 © Mark J.Cairns 1994).