Sept. 18, 2020

#13 - “RoboCop” (1987) with Ron West

#13 - “RoboCop” (1987) with Ron West

In 1987, a new kind of gritty, ultra-violent sci-fi action movie was born, but it came with nods to comic book heroes, and classic spaghetti westerns. Helmed by a little known Dutch director with a penchant for violence and nudity and starring a method actor better known for his work in the theater than in film, on paper it must have seemed like a pretty risky prospect to the studio bosses over at Orion Pictures. It proved to be anything but, with Paul Verhoeven's provocative directorial style meshing with a clever script by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner, "RoboCop" fused fast-paced sci-fi action with biting satire to create a film that ranks among the decade's best, even if it doesn’t hold up as well today as we had hoped.

On this episode, Tim Williams and guest co-host, Ron West, share their memories of this iconic 80's classic!

Here are some additional behind the scenes trivia we were unable to cover on this episode:

  • Peter Weller hired Moni Yakim, the head of the Movement Department at Juilliard, to help create an appropriate way for him to move his body while wearing the RoboCop suit. He and Moni had envisioned RoboCop moving like a snake, dancing around its targets very elusively. The suit, however, proved to be too heavy and cumbersome. Instead, at the suggestion of Moni, it was decided that they would slow down RoboCop's movements in order to make them more appealing and plausible. Filming stopped for three days, allowing Peter and Paul Verhoeven to discuss new movements for the suit.
  • The original gun for RoboCop was a Desert Eagle, but this was deemed too small. A Beretta 93R was heavily modified by Ray Williams of Freshour Machine, Texas City, Texas, who extended the gun barrel to make it look bigger and more proportional to RoboCop's hand. The gun holster itself was a standalone piece that was not integrated into the suit. Off-screen technicians would operate the device on cue by pulling cables that would force the holster to open up and allow the gun to be placed inside.
  • Verhoeven originally wanted to make significant changes to the Neumeier and Miner’s second, more polished version of the RoboCop screenplay in order to give the story more realism. The most contentious of these changes would have seen Murphy embroiled in an extramarital affair with his partner Ann Lewis, prior to his near-execution at the hands of Boddicker and his crew. Given a deadline of just two months to make the changes Verhoeven wanted, Neumeier sent Verhoeven a stack of American comic books so the director could get a clearer idea of what they had been aiming for with their script.
  • The scene in which ED-209 malfunctions and ends up killing OCP junior executive Mr. Kinney was actually inspired by a fantasy Neumeier had during his days as a young executive in Hollywood. Neumeier sat through many a soul-crushing meeting during his time in the movie business, and would often daydream about the idea of a robot bursting into the room and killing everyone.

Sources: Wikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB,,

Intro & Outro Music: “Total Eclipse” by Nathaniel Wyver

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