In a dystopic, gang-ridden Detroit in near-collapse. In an effort to stamp out crime, the forces in power reconstruct the body of a policeman, killed on duty, within a steel shell and call it RoboCop. Plagued by memories of his death, he hunts down the supervillian responsible for it.
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If audiences were expecting a grim, foreboding future, they instead a found an entirely different film; a darkly comic media satire brutally transforming itself over 108 minutes into a gory showdown. The film compresses and pressurises soon after the credits and by the first time you see Bixby Snyder’s (S.D. Nemeth) nigh-totemic “I’d buy that for a dollar!” catchphrase in paranoiac close-up, the self-aware tone is set
A popcorn riot that remains distressingly topical thirty years after the fact, RoboCopis a testament to the powerful synergy of the director’s considerable talents with Hollywood’s inherent tastelessness. I’d buy that for a dollar!
The future for Verhoeven is already at hand, the deranged instant when Hollywood’s testosterone fixation morphs macho flesh into a literal armor. The motorcycles in Spetters laid the groundwork, Tsukamoto in the Tetsuo series runs the splatter-poetry to its logical conclusion.