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.