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Pop Culture | Movies | 80s

7 Reasons We Still Love 'Robocop' 30 Years Later

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Paul Verhoeven's Robocop is one of the definitive action movies of the 80s, one which has ultimately yet to be topped. It received two direct sequels and later a remake, but none of these have even come close to capturing the magic of the original.

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The movie centers on rookie Detroit police officer Alex Murphy, who after being brutally gunned down by thugs, is mechanically reborn as the titular Robocop. The premise alone combines everything great about 80s police dramas with a generous helping of cyberpunk science fiction. We still love it to this day, and these 7 things illustrate why.

Warning: As Robocop is an R-rated film, this article contains foul language and violence.

1) The marketing

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Does it get any better than the tagline featured on the movie poster? "Part Man, Part Machine, All Cop." It tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the movie.

2) The action

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Robocop doesn't shy away from any of the horrific nature of the violence it's depicting, and it's pretty intense by today's standards. Whether it's Alex Murphy being blown apart by the gang in the opening, or the results of any of the film's many gunfights, the blood flies throughout the movie.

Fun fact: the pacing for most of the shootouts was not meant to be as quick as it is, but the fake guns fired so quickly they only gave about three seconds of usable footage. This ended up actually enhancing the movie.

3) The villains


While Peter Weller's performance as the titular mechanical officer is to be commended, it's the villains that really make this movie something special.

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Ronnie Cox (who played just about every movie tight-ass in the 80s and early 90s) is plenty sinister as Dick Jones, but it's Kurtwood Smith (AKA Red Foreman from That 70s Show) as the unhinged and downright evil Clarence Boddicker that truly blows everyone away (sometimes literally).

4) The social commentary

To this day, Robocop contains some of the most biting and plausible commentary on where our future might be headed (if it's not already there).

Depicted as a future where everything bends to the will of corporations, and people are kept sated by low-brow, pandering media, the movie feels years ahead of its time even with how dated some of it is. Speaking of which...

Click to the next page for more things we still love about Robocop.

5) The special effects

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Some effects, like the gunshots and Peter Weller's Robocop costume, still look pretty excellent when seen today, if a little cheesy.

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Others, like the stop-motion ED-209 robot, are hilariously outdated, and yet somehow still incredibly endearing.

And who can forget Emil getting doused in toxic waste?

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6) The merchandise


In a move that'd cause a lot of raised eyebrows nowadays, this R-rated bloodbath was heavily advertised to kids, complete with toys, video games, comics, and even with Robocop himself appearing during a WCW wrestling match!

7) The humor

This movie's full of dark humor, and it's one of the many things that helps it endure today where the sequels and remake have already been forgotten.

Who doesn't love this part?

What's your favorite thing about Robocop?