“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!
Brain Damage (1988)