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Title: A Taste of the Future of Law Enforcement: RoboCop

Description: Is RoboCop as relevant today as it was when it was released in 1987? In today’s episode, Steve and Chris examine the movie RoboCop and the sequel RoboCop 2. We talk about science fiction, dystopian fiction and more!

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Begin Transcript:

Thank you again for listening to Beyond the Big Screen podcast. We are a member of the Parthenon Podcast network. Of course, a big thanks goes out to our frequent guest, Chris.

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[00:00:00] Welcome back to beyond the big screen. We’re joined again by Chris. Um, and you’ll know Chris from pro meet the S but today we’re going to delve in, in a really similar way to another 80 scifi movie Robocop and not just Robocop one Robocop two. We’re going to look at w what did this movie, what were some of the big ideas and concepts that this movie was trying to.
Dig into and talk about. So it’s really much more than an action movie. It’s it’s really is trying to in an 80 scifi kind of way, tap into some really interesting and complicated social and technological issues. So, Chris, how are you doing? Doing quite well? I, myself, um, yeah, roll Robocop is, uh, it’s just a, it’s a movie I grew up with all the time.
It’s uh, Pretty much anytime I get sick, it’s the first thing I throw on is Robocop because I get I’ll order a pizza or something and just watch [00:01:00] Robocop until I get better in the morning. It’s just, I’ve watched it so many times. I just think it’s, it’s brilliant. But the basic premise of Robocop, I guess I should lay this out for the audiences.
So Detroit is falling apart basically. And this is for both movies, Robocop and Robocop, uh, to Detroit is falling apart. Uh, the criminals essentially are running the streets, um, and the cops are being, uh, killed. Right. They seem to, uh, the police force seems to be really ineffective at, uh, trying to control the, uh, criminality that’s essentially running, uh, Detroit.
Uh, w I think the reason they pick Detroit is well, because it’s kind of what happened to Detroit. It’s kind of what’s going on in. Now, right. Um, that’s just my personal opinion. I think. I don’t know for sure. That was the reason the director picked it, the pick the [00:02:00] Detroit, but that’s what I think. Um, but in the backdrop of all of it, and this is what makes kind of rural cop stand out from your regular.
Uh, dystopian sci-fi action movie from the eighties, you have a company called Omni consumer products and throughout the movie and I, for, for our purposes, we’re just going to call it OCP. Now, OCP is a private corporation think a place like Amazon or Google. One of these, you know, big mega corporations, Lockheed Martin at different divisions, but they’re in involved in a lot of different things.
Yeah. Um, they, from you find out pretty quickly, there’s essentially they run the police force and Detroit, a privately owned corporation is running the police force in Detroit because as you’ll find later in the second movie, Detroit has no money. They can’t pay, they can’t pay their own police force. So basically they had to sell it off to [00:03:00] Omni consumer products who, you know, which is interesting because.
You wouldn’t think like, oh, the police forces, uh, you know, something that you can run for profit, but obviously Omni consumer products has found a way to run it for a profit. Right. We find, uh, so we see later, uh, I, our main character, Alex, murdered. Uh, it was being transferred to Detroit and his first and the job with his partner Lewis, who was a female police officer.
So I guess that was, I guess that was pretty progressive at the time. I don’t know. Paul Verhoeven, who’s the director of the Robocop movie. He always has done those types of things and there’s movies. He’s like he also directed Starship troopers. He did the movie basic and staying, he did the movie total recall.
He’s always done like the. I don’t know how to describe it. He’s always kind of done like this. Uh, he’s always had this thing for almost kind of like this gender genderless society, I guess is the sense I can think [00:04:00] of where like, uh, not genderless, like, um, I dunno like the females are just in the arm, like in the police force, just like the males are in, like in the army and they’re doing all the same things, right?
Yeah. I would say at that time, It wasn’t the first batch of women who were really integrated into the police department, but that probably was kind of the cutting edge of it. He it’s much more ad it’s much more like clear and Starship troopers. Yeah. Murphy is unfortunately brutally killed on his first day of the job also.
And it’s honestly, probably one of the most graphic by death scenes and eighties action. And from my under, from my reading, apparently it was supposed to be worse, but this studio is just like, no, that’s going too far. So I can only imagine. I can only imagine what it looked like originally. So Alex Murphy is killed and he gets.
He basically, they [00:05:00] harvest what’s left of his body, which is pretty much what they want is his brain. And they use them for what they call the, the, the Robocop program, which is this program of merging, um, the human being with this machine to create like this. Super cop that doesn’t have the hang ups of like total AI.
So he can think for itself to a certain degree, but it’s still like, it can be kind of programmed like a machine it’s this weird like hybrid, right. And OCP. Makes the Robocop and, you know, smash success. He goes around and starts, you know, taking care of business and killing all the, uh, the criminals in the second one.
Whereas like, whereas Detroit is kind of like a failing state in the first one. And the second one is a completely failed state where literally the there’s a drug called, ran by a guy named Cain who is supposed to, he, the guy who plays Kane kind of [00:06:00] plays a model. I give Charles Manson had like an actual, like large, like ran a drug cartel.
Uh, he has, he has a drug, uh, called nuke, which is apparently the most addictive drug in the world. It, they, the guy playing cane, this is the, one of the main, one of the better characters I thought in that movie, because I liked the way he played on me. Kind of reminded me of, I’m trying to think of the guy’s name, who did the.
The, uh, who was, uh, like the leader of the LSD move. Timothy Leary. Yeah. Where he thought like, Kane, thanks. He’s like freeing people’s minds to new experiences and giving them paradise. Um, but obviously it’s doing the exact opposite. You know, the cops are addicted the new, uh, you’ll find, you’ll see that later in the movie, the whole, the whole city has just gone to crap, basically.
It’s there’s no. It’s it’s so bad that like, and this is one of the funnier parts of the second one, which it makes it darker. And a lot of ways, the, one of [00:07:00] the main drug Lords he’s like the second hand man is a 12 year old kid. He can’t help, but laugh, you know, like, could, I couldn’t only imagine like that movie getting made a big, big dollar holidays.
Yeah. But as a 12 year old kid. Um, and then you find out that you find out later in the movie that from the mayor. Detroit has officially gone bankrupt. And I think I’m in of two movies that, um, and that day and age in the eighties, they really did tie together really well. I think that, you know, they did carry through.

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"A Taste of the Future of Law Enforcement: RoboCop" History on the Net
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June 16, 2024 <https://www.historyonthenet.com/a-taste-of-the-future-of-law-enforcement-robocop>
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