Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns Watch: Trailer For Bret Easton Ellis’ Penned Teen Horror ‘The Curse of Downers Grove’ With Bella Heathcote Watch: Trailer For Bret Easton Ellis’ Penned Teen Horror ‘The Curse of Downers Grove’ With Bella Heathcote Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time Watch: Bond Is Back In New Trailer For 'Spectre' With Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, And More Watch: Bond Is Back In New Trailer For 'Spectre' With Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, And More Alejandro González Iñárritu Still Has To Shoot The Finale Of 'The Revenant' Alejandro González Iñárritu Still Has To Shoot The Finale Of 'The Revenant' The 20 Best Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Films Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie Martin Scorsese Names His 11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time Martin Scorsese Names His 11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time

5 Things You Might Not Know About Paul Verhoeven's 'Robocop,' Released 25 Years Ago Today

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist July 17, 2012 at 2:53PM

We're just over a year away from seeing "Robocop" back on screens, in a remake/reboot with "Elite Squad" director Jose Padilha making his English-language debut on the film, and an impressive cast featuring Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L. Jackson and Hugh Laurie . A viral video has already appeared, and this weekend saw banners from the film debut at Comic-Con.
5

Monte Hellman
3. "Two-Lane Blacktop" helmer Monte Hellman was the second-unit director on the film.
Monte Hellman is one of American cinema's more unsung talents. A protege of Roger Corman, he got his start directing Westerns starring Jack Nicholson (1965's "Ride In The Whirlwind" and "The Shooting") and made the cult-classic road movie "Two-Lane Blacktop," which was initially a flop, but now grows in reputation year after year. Although the underrated "Cockfighter" followed, he had trouble getting his own directing jobs, and so he came to "Robocop," to do second-unit work, although had things gone differently, he might've been sitting in the director's chair. Hellman told the AV Club in 1999: "I actually was put up to direct the movie by the studio, and the producer, who was a friend of mine, said he didn't see me as an action director. Then they hired me to direct the action. [Laughs.] You tell me what that means."

4. The film took eleven submissions to the MPAA before it was granted an R-rating.
Verhoeven was already known for lashings of gore and violence in his Dutch films, but he certainly took it to new levels for "Robocop," which features, among other things, Murphy arms being blown off with a shotgun, an executive being blasted into pieces by the ED-209, and villain Emil being covered with toxic waste to the extent that he starts melting, before being splattered by a speeding car (see below!). Verhoeven had intended the violence to be deliberately over-the-top in a darkly comic fashion, but when submitted to the MPAA, it got the dreaded X-rating (which was soon to be phased out in favor of the not-much-better NC-17). Verhoeven attempted to trim the most violent scenes, as well as adding the commercials mid-movie in order to lighten the tone, but the MPAA continually gave the film an X. It was only on the twelfth go around that the film finally received an R. Jose Padilha, the game has been raised... Verhoeven believed that the cuts actually made the violence more disturbing, rather than less, but was eventually able to restore the footage for the film's Criterion Laserdisc release, and the uncut version is now available for viewing on DVD and Netflix.

Robocop Nixon
5. Richard Nixon participated in the film's home video publicity campaign.
Upon release, "Robocop" was an unexpected critical success (critics picking up the satire in ways that many would miss with Verhoeven's "Starship Troopers" a decade later), and also proved to be a modest hit, taking $50 million domestically. As such, it launched two vastly inferior sequels, as well as two live-action TV series, many video games and comic books, and somewhat surprisingly, given the tone of Verhoeven's original, two animated series for children. More positively, a fan campaign to build a statue of Robocop in Detroit succeeded, raising over $70000 on Kickstarter. But the most amusing legacy of the film was when Orion enlisted the disgraced former leader of the free world, President Richard Nixon, to shake hands with Robocop in a publicity stunt to promote the film's home video release. Nixon was paid $25,000 for his trouble, which he donated to the Boy's Club of America. History, sadly, doesn't relate what he thought of the movie.

This article is related to: 5 Things You Might Not Know About..., RoboCop, Paul Verhoeven, Peter Weller, On This Day In Movie History, Features


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates