“Dead or Alive, You’re Coming With Me” Robocop (1987)
“Holy shit, that’s right! Miguel Ferrer and Ray Wise are in this! Twin Peaks team up? Fuck yes!”
A week after revisiting Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop on the big screen, and my head is still buzzing. I hadn’t seen the tin-plated law enforcer strut his stuff in almost nine years, and was amazed at how well the hold film had stood the test of time. Straying away from ropey 80’s cgi and using a shitload of fake blood set to blow really paid off, eh? High-impact, pulsing explosions of red spark a visceral reaction you just don’t get from low quality computerized gunshot wounds…Machete anyone? What? You hated it too? Yeah, Don Johnson and his paper bag full of dildos* couldn’t save that shit.
Even the stop motion robot Ed-209 didn’t look that shaky. Right up until the minute he blasts the hell out that poor OCP employee, I still found him cute and rather charming. Loved the hell out the clunky article attempting to navigate the treacherous terrain of stairs built for humans with his outsize robot trotters. Hilarious. Ending up like a turtle knocked upside down. Christ though, I had forgotten how bad the death of the OCP volunteer actually was…bloodpacks bursting without mercy over a scale model of planned utopia Delta City.
Similarly, I had also forgotten the brutality of the torture inflicted on Murphy by Clarence Broddicker and his cronies. Full scale claret-soaked assault on the senses. That many of those present in the auditorium pissed themselves laughing throughout the entire scene disturbed me. Heartless bastards.
However, this was nowhere near as disturbing as the introduction before the movie by someone who quite possibly had never seen Robocop. With the exception of maybe a quick once over pre-start time. Pointless asides along the lines of “ew! He ate baby food” etc do nowt to hide the fact that there was little of substance to the pre-movie ‘commentary’, and a blatant disregard of quite possibly every major theme, and the whole fucking point.
Yes, while I’m not questioning or doubting the intelligence of the introductee, I just feel that rather than focus on how empty the streets look, and make misjudged comments regarding race, they should have just said one thing and one thing only:
“Robocop – what is it that makes us human?”
And maybe extend that one, pivotal point into the realms of does the memory/soul remain when the body has been destroyed? Can our humanity ever be restored after an attempt to eradicate it? Ah fuck it. What do I know? Maybe I just took the deepest meaning possible on my first viewing and just ran with the metal bastard.
*I’m sure an incident involving Don Johnson being found with a bag full of dildos happened a long time ago, I just can’t find any proof.