Robocop (1987) – Episode 112 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“I’d buy that for a dollar!” Despite 30 years of time passing, Robocop has satire that’s pretty on point. The innocuous entertainment. Tonally disproportionate news items. Commercials that hawk consumer products that do nothing for their customers. All of it speaks to the world we currently live in. Luckily, Paul Verhoeven manages to slip in some ultra-violence, amazing special effects and strong character work in between to make us a bit less depressed. Robocop may not be a horror film, but it speaks to many of the modern horrors we face today. Plus, that weird sewage mutant monster scene.

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 112 – Robocop (1987)

Our titular Robocop is Alex Murphy (Peter Weller), a good cop stuck in the decaying streets of Detroit. He loves his family and is a cop of extreme dutiful spirit. Even after the police force becomes controlled by the corporation Omni Consumer Products, Murphy still goes by the book to help people. Even at the cost of his life at the hands of Clarence Boddecker (Kurtwood Smith). Little does Murphy know that Clarence also works for OCP’s Dick Jones (Ronny Cox), a man who lives up to his name. Trying to spearhead his initiative on ED-209, a faulty robot defense system that he wants to ship out for the millions it will bring. Luckily, Murphy is reborn as a cyborg cop thanks to young OCP executive Bob Morton. Yet, our heroic cop is haunted by dreams of his former life and struggles to rekindle his humanity with the help of a young cop he met on his death day Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen).

To discuss Robocop, Thomas Mariani and Christopher G. Moore are in need of help. Doc Rotten is out and Adam Thomas & Mike Imboden are in to pick up the slack. The four discuss what makes this work for a horror show like ours. Sure, there’s plenty of science fiction and action. But the gore and psychologically disturbing nature of Murphy is pretty terrifying in general. They all praise the performances of this incredible cast, namely Peter Weller in that suit. There’s even a fair amount of talk about the Robocop franchise… and how it shouldn’t have been a franchise. The sequels, cartoons, TV shows and a remake couldn’t capture an ounce of what made Robocop what it was. A horrific yet incredibly smart genre exercise.

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Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

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Brain Damage (1988)




Twin Peaks Retrospective (1990-1992) – Episode 15 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“Through the darkness of futures past. The magician longs to see. One chants out between two worlds. ‘Fire walk with me.'” The world of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks was one of the more inventive examples of television in the early 90s. The titular Washington town had rich characters, surreal horrors and some damn fine coffee. However, in the 25 years since Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) first visited that sleepy town, has Twin Peaks stood the test of time? Or has it disappeared into The Black Lodge?

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 15 – Twin Peaks Retrospective

Twin Peaks was the surprise hit of the spring 1990 TV season. With a cast chock full of quirky characters and the major mystery of the death of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) at the heart of it’s premise, it helped revolutionize what serialized television could be. Part over the top soap opera, part crime procedural, part surrealist horror. Twin Peaks wasn’t like anything seen on television. Unfortunately, creators David Lynch and Mark Frost were forced by ABC to reveal their mystery early into the second season. Thus, we got a directionless tangent of episodes and an eventual cancellation on a cliffhanger. Lynch would return to the town of Twin Peaks with the feature film prequel Fire Walk With Me in 1992, which was met with diresion from critics and fans alike.

In celebration of Twin Peaks getting a mini-series revival for Showtime, Thomas Mariani and guest Christopher G. Moore are taking a look back at the influential series. Christopher describes his early love of the show during its heyday while Thomas came to the series much later. The two share mutual adoration for the balance of season one. And a mutual frustration over the wacky meandering of season two. Yet, there are plenty of clashing opinions, mainly over the resolve of Laura Palmer’s murder and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Journey with them into The Black Lodge to discuss the gum that will come back in style over some damn fine coffee, won’t you?

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We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1990s podcast hosts at tho