ROBOCOP-United States-102 Mins. 1987

Peter Weller as Alex Murphy

 Directed by Paul Verhoeven Written by Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner     Robocop is one of the coolest films to come out of the 1980’s. It has everything a sci-fi fan could possibly love, and although technically not a horror film, there is enough blood, guts and dismembered limbs to make the splatter fans happy, especially if they catch the unrated director’s cut of the film. Also, for those of you who wonder why Eric was so scared of his dad on That ’70’s Show you need look no further than right here. Before he was Red, Eric’s grouch of a dad, Kurtwood Smith was bad guy Clarence Boddicker and he was one bad mother-SHUT YOUR MOUTH!-but I’m talkin’ ’bout Eric’s dad-WELL WE CAN”T DIG IT! You will forgive the lame ‘70’s blaxploitation reference, I hope.     It is one hell of a dystopian society in what is now called Old Detroit. Crime is rampant, the cops are outnumbered and outgunned and there’s no end in sight. That is until OCP-Omni Consumer Products, steps in with their idea of building a cop that will be the future of law enforcement, Robocop. There’s just one little catch. They need a volunteer, and that’s where Alex Murphy, freshly transferred police officer from another precinct, comes into the picture, the poor schmuck. You see, you have to be dead to volunteer for the Robocop program. So, after our boy Alex is literally shot to pieces by bad boy Boddicker and his band of baddies he is all set to step up and be all that he can be for OCP. First order of business: track down the miserable varmints that killed him in the first place, Clarence Boddicker and his band of miscreants.

Nearly every scene in this film is wrought with violence. Even the quietest moments in the film have a tension to them that forewarn us that something nasty is about to happen. Even the nightclub scene is filled with shaking fists and in your face camera angles. There’s enough blood in this movie to fill 10 films.  I loved this film when it first came out and I have never tired of it. It is one of the best films that is the representation of a dystopian society and should easily be considered a classic of the sci-fi genre. In fact, this film is so damn good it can almost make you forgive Paul Verhoeven for Showgirls. You will note that I said ‘almost.”


The entrance to the OCP building in the movie is actually the front entrance of Dallas City Hall with extensive matte work (by Rocco Gioffre) above to make the building appear to be a giant skyscraper.

Writers and producers were concerned that cops would be offended by their portrayal on the movie. On the contrary, they loved it. They especially enjoyed the scene where RoboCop throws one of the thugs through a building while reading him his rights.
RoboCop’s first Directive, “Serve the Public Trust,” was inspired by a fortune cookie.
For a while, Michael Ironside was attached to the role of RoboCop, but they had to give up on the idea when they realized that the actor would have to have a much smaller frame to fit into the costume envisaged.

10 thoughts on “ROBOCOP

  1. Great film……an action flick of the highest order (i dislike action flicks) and a real tragedy as well. Weller was wonderful and Fassbender would be just sensational in the remake.
    “You have 10 seconds to comply!”

  2. I was never much into the Robocop movies, I guess I was to distracted with life at the time of their prominence. I may give it a look here in the near future no promises though. Great review, I just love the way you write them up.

    • They’re supposed to doing a remake due for release in 2013. I understand they are in talks with Michael Fassbender to play the lead role and that has got me totally psyched. Fassbender is an awesome actor.

  3. Okay, my original comment did not go through, so I’ll write it again. You are a very good writer, John, I loved the 70s blaxploitation reference, I can dig it! Dystopian is the perfect way to describe this movie, Paul Verhoeven’s vision of the future is like something out of a nightmare. I would rank it right alongside one of my all-time favorite sci-fi movies Blade Runner (1982). For me, that’s the alpha and omega of dystopian sci-fi cinema. I saw Robocop the very first weekend it was released in July ’87 and was elated when the unrated cut FINALLY became available. This is an excellent movie and I’m pleased to know that other enjoy it as much as myself.

  4. Excellent review, John, loved the 70s blaxploitation reference to Shaft, I can dig it! Dystopian is a great word to describe Paul Verhoeven’s vision of the future. It ranks right alongside one of my all-time favorite sci-fi flicks, Blade Runner (1982), the alpha and omega of dystopian sci-fi cinema. I saw it the first weekend it came out and was elated when the unrated cut FINALLY became available. You are a good writer, John, I enjoyed reading this review.

  5. Peter Weller is gorgeous! I happened to love that movie. But, I LOVE sci/fi and dsytopia movies in general. Just wrote one and need a friend to read it for feed back. Hmmm, I wonder who i should ask?

    • Did you see Weller in season 5 of Dexter? Not so gorgeous. As for needing a friend to read your story, you could always give me first crack at it.

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