There is a section in “Burning Down the House” by the Talking Heads that pretty much sums up Robocop: “My house/S’out of the ordinary/That’s might/Don’t want to hurt nobody/Some things sure can sweep me off my feet/Burning down the house!”
Now this isn’t to say that the film burnt down my house…more like singed my couch. Perhaps charred my coffee table a bit, but not a full on burn. Perchance it is because I went into the first of this 80s film series with high expectations. You see, I had never seen “Robocop One,” as some call it. I didn’t realize this until I was tooling through Comcast’s On Demand Free Movies and discovered they had the entire series available.
With a sudden spark of childish excitement I, of course, read the summary. I was in the mood for some nostalgia and only then did I realize that I, a connoisseur of Bad films, had not seen it. “What?” I said to myself pondering the unquestionable, “After all these years, I had the nerve to lie to myself! How dare I lie to myself,” to which I got a little awkwardly angry with myself. I then proceeded to make a bag of popcorn and put on Robocop.
[ad#longpost]Now, after years of making references to this 80s cyborg on several occasions within several conversations, I never realized how horribly bad and great the film was. This movie has some spiffy combat and chase sequences, but it has one of the funniest “after the fact” death scenes I’ve ever seen! How could you honestly go wrong with Kurtwood Smith (yes, the dad from That 70s Show), killing Peter Weller? As I watched with pure unreality rolling through my head, I wanted oh so bad to rewrite the script and have Kurtwood yell out to Peter, “How do you like this jackass!” Years, of watching That 70s Show finally had paid off, in more ways then one. It actually made Robocop better.
What also made this “classic” even better after years of television and movie watching is to see the bad guy in Total Recall and “Drew” in Deliverance–one of my favorite characters from the film–be the best bad guy I know and love. Granted nothing really beats Ronny Cox as a bad guy. He is usually one of the bad guys that come to mind when I think of 80s bad guys; I mean he is just that good. He is just one of those obscure actors that you see and go “hey, I know him! I love him.” Which never goes wrong when watching something “new” and silly.
Never mind that Miguel Ferrer is awesome in Robocop and…Robert DoQui!! I mean come on people, every Buddy-Cop Movie should have had Robert DoQui as Sergeant Reed! Shit, he was in Cloak and Dagger!
Notably, the cast is remarkable, but the plot itself is what makes this film so brilliant. How could Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner have gone wrong with such an idea: man gets set up, gets “killed,” is turned into a robot and still has to deal with the dichotomy between his emotions and his obligations! You just can’t go wrong with that, a few guns and explosions. Not only does it fulfill the male need for all things explosive, but it also tugs at the heartstrings of even the most die-hard romance film-crying female. From giant booms to flashbacks of what once was, how could you not want to go watch this movie right now?
If you haven’t watched this film, as of late, you need to ask yourself one thing: am I in the mood for a good movie? If the answer is yes, then prescribe to an afternoon of popcorn, a blanket and Robocop. You won’t regret it, you’ll laugh when you see Kurtwood Smith and smile at our recently (2008) lost favorite Sergeant Reed (Robert DoQui).
Directed by: Paul Verhoeven
Written by: Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner
Cast: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O’Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer, Robert DoQui, Ray Wise, Felton Perry, Paul McCrane, and more.
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 120 minutes
Average Film Rating: 7. 5 out of 10
Bad B-Movie Rating: not listed on badmovies.org
Bob-o-Meter Rating: My Eyes!!!… Why!?… Mehâ€¦ Goodâ€¦ Greatâ€¦ Yes!â€¦ Badassâ€¦ Awesomeâ€¦ Holy Shit, Man!