The year was 1987 and I had become my dad’s little movie buddy. We saw Aliens, Stand by Me, Cobra and Platoon, to name a few – but the film that traumautized me more than anything was Paul Verhoven’s RoboCop. The movie is hokey and cheesy and full of all kinds of bad 80s action, but the scene at the beginning of the movie, in the abandoned warehouse, where Murphy (Peter Weller) is tortured and shot, was shockingly real and graphic. It’s one thing to be killed in a movie, but it’s another entirely different proposition to be tortured and have your arm grotesquely blown off. The glee and joy in which Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) and his thugs torture Murphy sent chills down my 12 year-old spine. Knowing Verhoven movies as I do now, this doesn’t surprise me. Verhoven, like Brian De Palma (The Untouchables), seems to revel in sex, nudity, and bloody, graphic violence, particularly against women. It’s just icky and serves no purpose.
My point? Simple. RoboCop is one movie, depending on the direction the filmmakers take, that’s ripe for remaking. Instead of being a grim, grusome, campy piece of 80s trivia, this movie, done right, could become a new franchise and something, ironically, fresh and exciting. On the other hand, considering the colossoal failure of Len Wiseman’s Total Recall, a RoboCop reboot might be a foreordained box-office bomb. Considering the fanboy backlash over the costume, something akin to Halo’s Master Chief and any neon-suited person from Tron: Legacy making a baby in Batman’s batsuit, the latter is probably more likely.
Check out the poster in the top left corner and the RoboCop suit photo below. RoboCop is directed by Jose Padilha and hits theaters on August 9, 2013.