Airwolf Parody upscaled HD restoration re-release of 'SANTINI II' fan movie comedy from 1993

"SANTINI II" - the original Airwolf Fan Movie parody from 1993, produced by British Airwolf fan ,Tristan P. Barratt and his pals Saxon J. Bulloch and David R. Simpson on a shoe-string budget.
"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.
'SANTINI II' was the very first ever Airwolf fan movie, created in the VHS analogue era, pre-Internet, pre-YouTube over a two year period from 1991-1993 with a free, underground release later that year.

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.
A fan film by a fan for the fans!


Hawke, 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.


The 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!

Comedy evil twin of Airwolf character, Dominic Santini, played by Saxon J. Bulloch
Evil twin of Airwolf character,
Dominic Santini
Budget restrictions imposed by their backers, Apocalypse (a very small 1990s sub-division of Universally Studios, Cornwall – allegedly) meant the entire production was filmed on a shoe-stringfellow, paper-round finances.

“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.


The 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
The shortage of funds also affected how much Avgas was available for the aerial flying sequences, meaning most were cut to just a short flight, so short in fact that the new Airwolf helicopter originally commissioned for the production couldn’t, in the end be built, thus Tri-Bar Productions had to resort to radio-controlled scale models for the stunts.

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 Pyjamas top!
The back-up costume, in case their
flight suits split - a rare, original
Airwolf Pyjama top!


Over-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.


From 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.


The original 'SANTINI II' VHS video cover photocopied for some fans
The original 'SANTINI II' VHS video cover
The production equipment used at the time wasn’t Panavision standard or even broadcast quality by any means (was shot on VHS), however this new, 2016 upscaled HD print has been restored (where possible) and enhanced from the original VHS tapes (4:3 aspect ratio), plus the addition of the spectacular new HD 2nd Unit stock elements for the Aerial sequences, plus extra foley and music added (whilst not affecting the original analogue-era video created at the time), preserves the anarchic fan comedy for the modern internet generation of Airwolf fans.

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.


Stradivarius mouth piano
serenading uhhh, ducks and swans 
Tristan Barratt was a pioneer along with his Cornish pals in the Tri-bar team, giving the original Wolf Pack fans a deliciously daft taste from the world of Airwolf, years after the show ended.

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.


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.


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).