We have no doubts that Priss is a replicant: we see Deckard read her file, then we see her showing off in front of JF Sebastian, and finally the matter of her death:

Priss, shot by Deckard, thrashes like a short circuted robot .

But, let us put aside the first two proofs -- files can be faked and it's possible Priss is just a very fit woman.

Could a mortally wounded human die thrashing around like this?

  • I don't have time to do an answer, but just look up the concept of "death throes".
    – Hypnosifl
    Jan 17, 2016 at 22:34
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    There's a third "proof" that Priss is a replicant: in at least one scene her eyes glow red with reflected light off the retinas. This was a specific sign intended by Ridley Scott to indicate a character is a replicant.
    – RobertF
    Jan 17, 2016 at 23:11
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    you mean yellow, not red :) s16.postimg.org/5lmcyoj1h/22_pris_eyes_glow.jpg
    – Yasskier
    Jan 17, 2016 at 23:40

2 Answers 2


It's very possible for this to happen to a regular person, even in Hollywood we've seen death scenes like this in war movies and such where they've had to be held down.

That being said, the way that it's used in this scene is to greatly emphasis the divide between humans and Replicants. It grows more apparent throughout the whole movie. This scene is quite surreal and horrifying because of the way the she shrieks loudly and thrashes around, it's certainly to make sure we're consciously aware that she's not human. The lighting is very harsh and flickers onto her, the sound design is very reminiscent of horror movies, her scream echoing, the strange choreography, all of which adds that notion.

  • Yes, I fully agree that is meant to show in capital letters "Priss is not human!!!11!" (if we had any doubts). It kinda reminds me the "death" scene of ED 209 from "Robocop" who also trashed on the floor after falling on the ground.
    – Yasskier
    Jan 17, 2016 at 22:13
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    You're taking liberties with the interpretation of the death scene. The biggest philosophical point of the film was to ask a question about the essence of humanity. She died in terror and rage trying to defend herself from a man who was trying to kill her - it was the death throes of a child-like serial killer who didn't understand why this was her fate. The scene is horrifying because, for all intents and purposes, that was a human dying in pain.
    – user51340
    Jan 18, 2016 at 5:53
  • @SeanBoddy No, I interpret it differenlty - she is not dying a "human death", she is dying the machine death... and yet then we can see that there is tenderness and love between Roy and her when he kissed her dead body. Roy dies a human death, Zhora dies a human death while working in dehumanising industry- Priss didn't, she died just like any other toy in JF's apartment. It is not a death of someone who tries to fight to the last moment - it is short circuit. But hey, its my interpretation.
    – Yasskier
    Jan 18, 2016 at 19:42
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    I think Pris' death with all the thrashing is shocking, but in my opinion the intent is not so much to stress she's inhuman (though her last moments indeed toy with this idea, having her hide disguised as a doll among J.F. Sebastian's creations), but instead to show her death as something horrible and paint Deckard in a less than flattering light. He shot her and it wasn't a clean death, instead there was pain, suffering and screaming. Something similar happens with Zhora's killing, though she looks more human than Pris.
    – Andres F.
    Oct 11, 2017 at 20:57
  • (BTW, upvoted because there is indeed something going on with her death, and I liked this answer's focus on visuals and meaning)
    – Andres F.
    Oct 11, 2017 at 20:59

It's Deckard's second shot from a standing position and downward angle to the centre of her chest on or just below the solar plexus that kills Pris. The first shot, from floor level in an upward trajectory, has an entry point that appears to be to the left hand side of her stomach just below the rib cage as her body is arched back. Whilst the first shot floored Pris, there is no categorical evidence that the wound is a mortal one. Pris is wounded and on her back but not dying and is not thrashing about as a direct consequence of the wound. Pris, who was already in a rage, is now in a full on screaming tantrum just like a frustrated little 3 and a half year old child.

So, yes, a human could react in a similar way to the first shot and is very likely to react in a similar way to the second shot.

Interestingly, Pris Stratton's in universe "birthday" or incept day is coming up: February 14th 2016. Roy's birthday was just over a week ago on January 8th.

enter image description here

  • 2
    I didn't notice that Priss was "born" on Valentine's day...
    – Yasskier
    Jan 17, 2016 at 23:01
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    Screen shot added for Yasskier...yeah St. Valentines Day. Well, she is your basic pleasure model...
    – Kerr Avon
    Jan 17, 2016 at 23:38

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