Robocop: The revenge story of a cop turned VCR against all of Detroit.

It’s a film that if you wrote the plot points on paper, it doesn’t seem to work. Murdered cop in the future gets turned into a crime fighting cyborg and seeks revenge on those that wronged him. If you never have seen it, it sounds fucking stupid. The director also though so when he chunked it in the fucking trash. Peter Weller said it was the worst moment in his life since the suit made him sweat “bucketloads” and took 10 hours to get into. They almost pulled the plug on the film until they brought in a professional mime to strip the suit and get him to move like a cop turned toaster. In the end they pulled it off. Not only did they manage to make one of the most dystopian corporate satires come to life, but they created one of, if not THE, most violent action movies ever filmed in its time.


Eric's bullshit pushed Red to the edge.

If you just woke up from your 34 year coma, or missed it on TV for the 100th time, the plot is this. In the nearish future, Officer Alex Murphy transfers to not just Detroit, but the bad part of Detroit. Crime has skyrocketed and dead cops stories are as frequent as weather reports. The apathy of this is compounded by the mega corp Omni Consumer Products or OCP winning a bid to privatize the police. This sucks for Murphy since a run-in with Detroit’s most ruthless gang run by Clarence Boddicker has turned him into ground beef. OCP now has corporate rights to said ground beef and is now prime candidate for the Robocop program. It essentially turns cops into justice dispensing toasters. This is at odds with Dick Jones and his ED-209 program and doesn’t look too kindly at someone upending his cushy corporate turf. Through extreme violence and stark corporate satire, Murphy pushes through his programming to get revenge on Boddicker, his gang, and Dick Jones while getting an inkling of his humanity back. It works. It works really fucking well, but I really want to talk about bad guys though. I want to talk about Clarence Boddicker.


When we talk about movie villains, they come in a lot of strains. A well written bad guy can be misunderstood or sympathetic. Case in point like Magneto, Gollum, Frankenstein, and those white collar guys in Cabin in the Woods. We have straight up assholes that you love to hate. These are similar to Nurse Ratched, Biff Tannon, Commodus from Gladiator, and probably the entire prison staff in Shawshank. Then there are the most ruthless motherfuckers that exist in this world to make you have a bad day. We have Tommy DeVito from Goodfellas, Thulsa Doom, Chigurh from No Country, Micheal Myers, King Edward from Braveheart, and the Terminators. But for me the best and most memorable villains have this sort of fucked up charm, where you secretly want to see what it would be like if they won even if they are some of the most monstrous pricks in the world. Here sit the Joker (TDK and Joker), Barnes from Platoon, Hans Gruber, Keyser Soze, and Clarence Boddicker.

"Murphy. Play Too Live Cr......Murphy? Murphy?!"

Before Kurkwood Smith was forever disappointed by his dumbass son on That 70’s Show, he portrayed one of the most ruthless pricks in action cinema. You are introduced to Boddicker with his first scene losing his shit over money, kicking a subordinate for questioning him, and throwing a dude out of the van onto a cop car. From this part on, it only gets worse. Being directly responsible for the torture and murder of Officer Murphy, he continues his rampage across Detroit with this sort of ruthless swagger. He’s the one with the biggest dick in the room and won’t let you forget it. Every scene he comes out in, you don’t know what the fuck he’s going to do, except know with certainty it will be some sort of shade of fucked up. There was also a really good reason why the director made him wear those glasses. Those were the same style nazi hall of famer Heinrich Himmler wore. There’s a case to be made for Dick Jones, OCP, Boddicker’s gang of psychopaths, or the entire fucked up city of Detroit to share equal importance as a foil to Robocop, but Boddicker steals the show. Bitches leave.

They are going to need a fucking bucket for him when they are done with this scene.

Robocop is also one of the most violent movies ever made. Twelve minutes in, a corporate lackey is brutally blown away by a canon sporting robotic monstrosity called ED-209. A cop is dismembered and tortured with shotguns by Boddicker’s gang. Blood explosively sprays from bodies after getting shot. A man after getting turned into the Toxic Crusader after a mishap with toxic waste gets splattered on a windshield in a gory, wet display. The violence in Robocop is almost a hyperbolic response to what can be filmed in an action film. It was so much that the MPAA rated it X due to the sheer amount of violence. Just know that the dial was turned down before final release when you watch Boddicker dump a carton of blood from Robocops stab in the neck.

The sum of the film’s parts make it easily one of the best action movies made, but the smaller touches put it over the top. The satirical commercials and cynical news reports help sell this vision of a corporate nightmare landscape where profit rules all. The small touches in plot like Murphy off-screen signing a waiver giving rights for his body to be used by OCP, or the frustrated cops threatening strike, or the apathy of characters in the violent world around them really take all the pieces and glue them together to make this fascinating fucked up world. It’s a fucked up snow globe that we get to look into, and for a movie depicting the most violent VCR on screen, it’s one of the best views you will ever get in an action movie.