Thursday, September 18, 2008

How much do I like Robocop...let me tell you the ways...

Did I mention I like Robocop, well yeah just a bit, like every single day to anyone that will listen. Check out the Robocop Archive for all the goodness. Here's a referesher course with the three trailers:

Note: This post started because I was reading about the Robocop remake (news such as it is here and here with Darren Aronofsky attached to direct) then it was going to be about jokey precursors to Robocop like Future Cop and then I descended into a mawkish sentimental thing.

Where did it all begin? (I hear no one ask) well I'll tell you. Back in the day my mam and dad asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I pointed to a Woolworths catalogue with the video cover of Robocop and said "I want that one". Who'd a thought that an interface with such a postage stamp-sized image would develop into a life-long obsession.

My dad was like are you sure? And god bless him he bought it for me in Armagh, and it was only on the way home that he realised it was an 18 certificate movie and I was only about 12 or 13. Christmas came and there was no sign of Robocop and then a bit later dad presented the video to me and said 'look, we didn't realise it was an 18 but you seemed to really want this, just don't show your sisters'. So for about 3-4 years I had this contraband Robocop VHS and I remember discussing it with my friend Martin McBennet when he came round, especially the Ed-209 shooting bit.

I remember everything about that video (still safe in my Batcave 1.0) the stand up trailers with Sam Kinison, the Steel Dawn trailer that was at the end of the movie, a card came up with something like : wait until the end of the feature to see a trailer for Steel Dawn. I used to read the back cover before I went to bed. I'll never know if I my dad knew how much getting Robocop for Christmas meant to me. I was always watching these types of films in the living room and he'd be in the sitting room watching TV or westerns. Part of me always thinks (and films studies academiwank will back me up) that the post-apocalyptic movies of the 1980s (Robocop, Terminator, Mad Max) were our versions of the western. There was something about my father's generation of men that loved John Wayne and the Magnificent Seven and all. He would walk past and go 'what are you watching?' and I'd be there 'ahh Robocop or Mad Max' and he'd pull a face and walk on, but obviously now, you think feck, if I'd been friendlier and go, 'Dad it's Robocop, I know it's Rio Bravo but you'd love it'.

But I never did, (also because sometimes it was Rabid Grannies and The Toxic Avenger) but you know, I feel our similarities kept us apart we both liked staying in rooms on our own watching our own movies. These watching experiences have always meant alot to me like seeing Forbidden Planet, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Beast With Five Fingers with dad and also a Hallowe'en where we all watched Misery but the Hammer Dracula was on afterwards and we watched and Dad told about seeing it at the cinema when it came out and seeing the crazy sausage finger decomposition scene for the first time. I always thought it was amazing that dad had seen these sort of films at the cinema and it contributed no small part to be going into film studies.

The trilogy as a whole as influenced so much action movies, whenever I see a smaller character jump on a larger character/monsters head and shoot at I always god 'up the old Robocop move'.
I just think of my equivalent If I ever had kids of making them watch Robocop, like it wouldn't be a treat or anything they'd have to watch, I've no kids so I have force my students to watch it poor buggers.

Some more robogems

The failed Robocop 2 prototypes

Siskel and Ebert lovin' the robo


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