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Paul Verhoeven

In a dystopic and crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories.

“Made in 1987 near the end of the Reagan Age, RoboCop gleefully satirizes The Great Communicator’s pet doctrines of free enterprise and privatization. In this script by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner, big business has gotten big because it makes huge profits first by creating a mess, then doubles profits by manufacturing the machine that will clean the mess up.” – Carrie Rickey, Criterion

“RoboCop is one of the cruelest satires of capitalist culture gone nutzo, Reagan style. It portrays a world where basic public services have been privatized, profits are preferred over people, humans are transformed into primordial bodies, TV is a bastion of trash, and millionaire and former Chrysler CEO, Lee Iaccoca, is immortalized with an elementary school named after him…

When RoboCop arrived in the Summer of 1987, audiences were craving something that seemed to bring a sense of order and justice to a world that was collectively sticking it to everyone. When Reagan stepped into office in January of 1981, his new brand of Republican neo-conservatism and nationalism was pushed to restore a sense of lost American character after Vietnam, Watergate, and the Iran hostage crisis. Through “law and order” and free enterprise, Reagan’s new America of authoritarian police rule and unregulated markets created new and distorted values that we still live with today. RoboCop is both a sincere attack on this new consumer Americanism and police state tactics by embracing it and taunting it with a subversive gesture behind its back. Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner’s script relishes in satirizing society with comic book humor and grotesqueries along with the broad, extreme strokes that Paul Verhoeven makes with his visuals and characterizations. RoboCop emerges as a savior against the coke fueled mania of the ’80s by taking the vigilante “judge, jury, executioner” mold, à la Dirty Harry (1971), and amplifying the violence into absurdity and self-parody.” – Mark Ayala, Beverly Cinema

“…a biting indictment of neoliberal urbanism.” Kieth Orejel, Tropics of Meta

“Verhoeven and company weren’t just informing our future; they were shining a light on Reagan’s America itself.” Pete Vonder Haar, Houston Press


  • 4/27 | 8:00PM
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