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YMMV: RoboCop (1987)
  • Complete Monster
    • Clarence Boddicker has a blood-soaked criminal career. It's more play than work for him and his sadistically joyful gang of friends. The cruel way he and his men shoot up Murphy is only the tip of the iceberg. There are moments where he makes wisecracks like an evil version of Duke Nukem, but these are usually followed by displays of brutality. For example, his most famous line among the RoboCop fandom comes when he breaks into a man's house to find him enjoying the company of several women, to which he comments, "Bitches, leave." He then proceeds to shoot the man in both knees, leave a live HE grenade next to him and calmly walks out.
    • Dick Jones is as bad as Boddicker. Not only is he a Corrupt Corporate Executive, but also it's revealed that Clarence Boddicker is working for him from the very beginning. Jones doesn't care one bit when his ED-209 malfunctions and blows holes in an Innocent Bystander ("Who cares if it worked or not?"), ordering Boddicker to kill plenty of good-working/innocent cops so that Jones could make money with it. When Bob Morton gets the upper hand with his RoboCop project, he has him killed. While Boddicker is a monster, Jones is fully aware and uses his monstrosity simply for a better bottom line.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The scene near the beginning with the demonstration of the ED-209 in the Director's Cut. In the theatrical version, it merely just shoots the executive for a second or two to kill him in a perfunctory manner. In the uncut version, it unloads hundreds of bullets into him with gallons of High-Pressure Blood spraying everywhere as the engineers try to disable the robot. This goes on for about 15 seconds, long after any human being could survive with ED-209 just chewing up the corpse. To top it off, some random guy says "Should we call a medic?" after ED's done turning the guy into paste. The original intent of the film was to make it so outrageously violent you couldn't take it seriously. The studio cut forced out much of the violence so that some scenes ended up a bit more depressing than others.
  • Do Not Like This Cool Thing: It's at least partly in effect, since the ultraviolence is often depicted in an over-the-top and somewhat campy manner (as mentioned above, the famous ED-209 scene often mentioned was deliberately intended to be so ludicrously violent that the audience would end up laughing at how over-the-top it was) and when Robocop starts taking down the borderline-Complete Monsters he's facing throughout the movie with similar gratuitous violence it's hard not to find it triumphant on some level.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: ED-209. So much so that he became a franchise staple rather than just a minor character; ED-209 is the one of the only characters besides Robocop himself that appears in every work of Robocop fiction.
  • Genre Turning Point: Just a few months after Superman IV: The Quest for Peace became an embarrassing flop that threatened to make Super Hero films feel like a nothing genre, this hit film with its thrilling action, cutting satire and moving human drama gave the genre newfound dramatic credibility.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: RoboCop was described by Stephen Colbert in 2013 as turning out to be more optimistic than the real Detroit, which at that point had become the largest city in America to file for bankruptcy.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Magnum Opus: Widely considered to be director Paul Verhoeven's best film.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "I'd buy that for a dollar!"
    • "I know you. You're dead. We killed you. We killed you!"
    • "Dead or alive, you're coming with me."
    • "Please put down your weapon. You have 20 seconds to comply."
      • "You now have fifteen seconds to comply. You are in direct violation of Penal Code 113, Section 9."
      • "You now have five seconds to comply. Four, three, two, one. I am now authorized to use physical force. *BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG*
      • "Somebody want to call a goddamn paramedic?!"
    • "Bitches, leave."
    • "Your move, creep!"
    • "I like it!"
  • Misaimed Fandom: A sizable portion of the film's fans love the film for its gratuitous ultraviolence. Said film is brutal satire attacking (particularly American) media for glorifying and commercialising violence while real people living in real cities are struggling with real violence, and implies that the only people who can stomach such violence are insane and sadistic criminals, and those so scarred by violence that they've lost their humanity.
  • Older Than They Think: The line "I'd buy that for a dollar!" is derived from a sarcastic put-down from 1951 short story The Marching Morons: "Would you buy it for a quarter?".
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • In the first film some shots of RoboCop's handheld locating device show painfully clearly how the prop just has a painted-on small map with an embedded red LED. The scenes where it's actually put to use shows a close-up with proper animations.
    • When RoboCop throws Dick Jones out of the building at the end of the movie, his arms morph to about twice his height and he looks horribly deformed as he falls.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Many argue that Robocop was a film adaptation of Judge Dredd. Many of the themes are quite similar, particularly the use of Black Comedy.
  • Squick
    • Boddicker's henchman Emil gets dunked in toxic waste, causing him to melt. Then he gets hit by a car, and explodes into Ludicrous Gibs. His head slides gracefully along the top of the car, and a substance like dirty water emerges from his exploded body to coat the windshield.
    • Murphy's death it made even squicker than it already is by the fact that the gang members taunt him viciously as they're turning him into hamburger. "Give the man a hand!" "Does it hurt? Does it hurt?" Also, at one point you see his entire right arm get blown off.
    • Watching the trauma team at Henry Ford try to resuscitate the poor guy is every bit as painful. It's one of the more realistic trauma code scenes committed to Hollywood film. The trauma team was played by real paramedics. Yes, they did the research.
    • The scene as planned by Paul Verhoeven was even gorier than in the director's cut. In particular, it was going to show the back of Murphy's skull blown apart by Boddicker's coup de grāce (that would foreshadow the back of his skull being replaced with metal in the scene where he takes his helmet off).
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Bob Morton is a Jerkass} Corrupt Corporate Executive, and the filmmakers fully expected audiences to cheer when he got killed by Boddicker. Instead, to their surprise as disclosed in the audio commentary on the Criterion Collection DVD, they found that the audience actually felt sorry for Morton, if only because he was killed in a fairly grotesque manner.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Not too many visual effects are used in this film beyond squibs and animatronics/prosthetics, but the stop motion used on ED-209 is very well done, and an entire million dollars, a thirteenth of the budget, was sunk into getting the suit just right.
  • What an Idiot:
    • What was Dick Jones thinking when he decided to demonstrate a combat robot (ED-209) in a public office while it was loaded with live ammunition?
    • And in the end, once Murphy reveals Jones' corruption, he immediately pulls out a pistol and holds it to his boss' head. Directive Four explicitly prevents him from harming OCP executives, and it doesn't occur to him that he could get fired for holding his boss hostage, which makes the Old Man telling him he's fired all the more sweeter.
    • Boddicker sees no problem with RoboCop knowing about his alliance with Jones, feeling the confession can't be proven since they were alone at the time and he was being beaten. Jones doesn't quite see it that way: "He's a cyborg, you idiot! He recorded every word you said, his memories are admissible as evidence!" Which becomes ironic when Jones proclaims he had to kill Bob Morton for making a mistake and now he's going to erase that mistake, even when he knows Robo is capable of recording him. note 

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