Screening of “RoboCop” directed by Paul Verhoeven as part of the Cyberpunk cycle at the Octopus Film Festival 2019.
RoboCop is a police officer (Peter Weller) clad in heavy, mechanized armor, battered by gangsters who, like Dirty Harry, cleanses the city of all sorts of scum. The dystopian action movie premiered in the same year as Wall Street – and perhaps even a more accurate commentary on the reign of Reagan’s 80-year-old America. Michael Douglas' motto from Oliver Stone’s film, “greed is good” also suits the heads of corporations with RopoCop who almost independently control the privatized Detroit that falls to the brink of bankruptcy. In Verhoeven’s satire, fascinated by the extremes and absurdities of American capitalism, maintaining the order of work as a result of a malfunction, they massacre the meeting of the white collar council, and on the streets the poverty and lack of state control led to the war of all with everyone. In the post-industrial setting, RoboCop from a mindless killing machine becomes a vulnerable defender of the oppressed, whose accomplishments are accompanied by the memorable music of Basil Poledouris. In combining macabre, humor and comic book violence, Verhoeven was second to none – and the apocalyptic tone of RoboCop, a thrilling elegy with a rolling, rusting empire, is as current as it was three decades ago.