Urban Cinefile
"I had a soundman working for me. One day he was wearing a dress and a wig, and as I understand it, that is the way he will work for the rest of his life"  -Steve Martin on working in Hollywood
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday September 15, 2020 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



In the near future Old Detroit is overrun with crime. Corporate conglomerate Omni Consumer Products has been contracted to run law enforcement and announces its mechanical cop ED 209 will join human officers on the streets. After a disastrous demonstration of the ED by OCP executive Dick Jones (Ronny Cox), ambitious junior executive Robert Morton (Miguel Ferrer) unveils RoboCop - an android built from the remains of officer Murphy (Peter Weller), slain earlier by a vicious gang headed by Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith). RoboCop's success is immediate but Jones, who is in league with Boddicker, plans to destroy it and its creator.

Review by Richard Kuipers:
The best action-exploitation film of the 80s? If anything RoboCop is even more impressive now because the world it depicts looks much less like fantasy and we can believe even more strongly in the prospect of android cops pounding the beat one day. Private companies have already been contracted by the state to run prisons and the kind of medical engineering referred to in the news broadcasts that litter the film suddenly don't seem so fanciful.

What sets this apart from the pack is Ed Neumeir's wickedly satirical script that rightly condemns the god-like powers of corporate conglomerates and the scintillating direction of Paul Verhoeven. Violent, pulse-pounding action never lets up as the remains of beat cop Murphy are transformed into one of the most visually remarkable and emotionally appealing creations ever to grace a B-movie.

Beneath all that metal Peter Weller makes us care about this man-machine hybrid. For villainy, it doesn't come much better than the unholy alliance of Kurtwood Smith and Ronny Cox whose final come-uppance was greeted by audience hoots and cheers in cinemas. Rob Bottin's robots (the ED 209 is hilariously sinister) and superb stop-motion animation round out an adrenalin-charged classic that stands up to repeated viewings exceptionally well. A handy collection of extras includes excellent commentary from Verhoeven, Neumeir and producer Jon Davison and a featurette shot during the film's production in 1987.

If you already own the Criterion DVD release of this be advised that the Australian disc contains different bonus materials and you'll have to fork out to retain your RoboCop completist status. When RoboCop was released theatrically in Australia it was heavily cut and the dialogue was redubbed in places to secure an M rating. Finally we're able to see the US theatrical cut and the unrated version (both are included) which runs 26 seconds longer. I'll buy that for a dollar.

Published May 23, 2002

Email this article

You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia


CAST: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Ronny Cox, Dan O'Herlihy, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer, Ray Wise

DIRECTOR: Paul Verhoeven


SPECIAL FEATURES: SPECIAL FEATURES: Original Version (1hr 38'27") and Directors Cut (1hr 38'53"), Flesh and Steel: the Making of RoboCop, Audio Commenatry with director Paul Verhoeven, writer Ed Neumeir and producer Jon Davison; 1987 Featurette. Language: English. Subtitles: English, Hungarian, Russian, English (H.O.H), Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Dutch, Danish, Polish, Czech, Turkish

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: May 15, 2002

Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020