RoboCop History Week: 1988 cartoon pilot “Crime Wave”

tn_robocopcartoonrobocophistoryweekLook man, I don’t want to take away from Black History Month, which is still ongoing, but circumstances have led to me deciding to declare RoboCop History Week. As a new remake of ROBOCOP approaches it is imperative that we remember all the previous RoboCops who have made their impact on RoboCop history throughout the years.

Of course the most important RoboCop is 1987’s ROBOCOP by Mr. Paul Verhoeven. This is an all time classic. Significantly less important is ROBOCOP 2, a pretty bad movie but with some cool parts and ideas in it. In my opinion its greatest contribution is in demonstrating that maybe Irvin Kerchner is not 100% responsible for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK being a great sci-fi part 2. It is possible that he couldn’t have done it without the strong hand of a certain writer/producer/creator who perhaps people don’t want to give any credit to because of how he spurned them many years later when they were old and goateed.

On the other hand, ROBOCOP 3 is a piece of shit but it came from a director whose other works are pretty much flawless for what they are. So who knows. These things happen.

robocop4Also, I’ll say this for ROBOCOP 2: I just noticed decades later that the villain, “Robocop 2,” is reflected in RoboCop’s helmet on the movie poster. It always seemed kinda bland just having a headshot of RoboCop. Now I get it.

I reviewed ROBOCOP, ROBOCOP 2 and ROBOCOP 3 here. (warning: contains remake-positive sentiments, might’ve given Hollywood ideas.)

So there you have three RoboCops of varying quality. But there are other, lesser known RoboCops that only existed on television (appropriate, since that’s a medium that happens to be important within the movies themselves). This week I’m gonna take a look at the pilots for each of these RoboCop consumer products, two on DVD and two presented on the prestigious Youtube.com. Check out that websight if you haven’t already, they have all kinds of crazy videos and shit.

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 11.34.05 AMROBOCOP: THE ANIMATED SERIES is what they retroactively call what was then officially just called ROBOCOP, or informally “the RoboCop cartoon.” Its 12 episodes ran for a few months in late 1988, a little more than a year after the first movie was released and well before any sequels.

The term “animated series” makes it sound serious, like maybe they were making a real attempt to stay true to the themes and content of the movie. Oh jesus no, that is really, really not the case. I’m sure there might’ve been a few people on the team trying to get some real ROBOCOP shit through, but those motherfuckers were ice skating up a real steep hill. With barrels rolling down from the top and they gotta jump over ’em like Mario, and how do you land that safely when you’re wearing those ice skates. The writers of the first episode, “Crime Wave,” Rich Fogel and Mark Seidenberg, both came from The Smurfs and Muppet Babies. Directors Bill Hutton and Tony Love did a million different Scooby-Doos and Super Friends and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and all that type of shit. Instead of using the famous theme by Basil Pouledouris they have new music by Haim Saban and Shuki Levy, the guys who imported Japanese shows to America and made them into the Power Rangers. All of these guys churned out mountains of garbage like this for decades and I bet none of them would consider this among their best work, if they even remember doing it, which they don’t.

“What, ROBOCOP? Wasn’t that a super-violent movie that had to be submitted to the MPAA 11 different times before they slipped by without an X-rating? Why would we make a shitty kiddy cartoon out of that?”

“Well, we already did it with RAMBO.”

“I doubt it. I didn’t do it, anyway. I’m the guy that worked on Scooby-Doo.”

“Your name is on it.”

“You’re thinking of Scooby-Doo.”

“It was you.”

“I also did Laff-a-lympics.”

The only way you’re gonna find anything aimed at adults in this cartoon is if you take a screengrab out of context.

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 10.48.24 PM
The cartoon recreates some of the familiar surface level content of the movie: it takes place in Detroit, where Alex J. Murphy (voiced by Robert Bockstael) has been killed, and yes, it looks like the perp was Clarence Boddicker:

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 8.38.56 PM

with his two accomplices, some guys from GI JOE or something. But Murphy was of course resurrected as “The ultimate super power – RoboCop,” as the introduction calls him. He’s still partnered with Anne Lewis:

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 10.46.51 PM

I think it’s supposed to the same sergeant as in the movie too. OCP still runs the police department and most other things in the city. RoboCop still has his “Prime Directives,” and we still get some of his POV shots. RoboCop still has a little chair that he sits in for repairs, and his helmet still comes off so he can plug in.

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 8.46.31 PM

He has the gun that comes out of his leg and he still likes to spin it.

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 8.42.47 PM
ED-209 is back too. But he’s ED-260 now. I’m not clear how he’s upgraded, but he’s doing traffic control now. That’s one way the writers find to adapt the satirical elements of the movie. Since he can’t shoot ten thousand bullets into a motherfucker in a board room he has to just blow up a car for changing lanes without signalling. He goes on a mini-rampage blowing up illegally parked cars and making guys in letterman jackets run away screaming.

I’d have to say that the best idea in the script is in the opening, where a gang of criminals are robbing an OCP blood bank, because they can sell plasma on the black market. I can picture how it sounded like an amusingly nightmarish idea when they wrote it down, but unfortunately the animation gets back from Korea and you have these ridiculous punk characters passing jars of blood like a bucket brigade. Which I guess must be easier than animating them walking.

Basically, this show is about these stupid punk characters going around lightly wrecking things and RoboCop shows up to detect things with his visor and then shoot lasers at them. There’s a guy at OCP named Dr. McNamara. You know he’s a bad guy because he has robotic fists but is not RoboCop. He’s the guy pushing the ED-260 program, and he gets embarrassed by RoboCop when it doesn’t work. So he goes to a video arcade and hires a gang called The Vandals (who all wearing matching shirts that look similar to The Punisher, which is interesting because this cartoon was produced by Marvel and has a Spider-man logo at the end) to go on the titelastical crime wave, or “widespread crime spree” he calls it. Because RoboCop will never be able to keep up with a crime wave and he will look like a real chump! Although on second thought he was created in order to stop crime waves wasn’t he? I don’t know.

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 8.50.26 PMAnyway these Vandals are real troublemakers. Even before they got hired they took a blowtorch and a chainsaw to some arcade games that they couldn’t beat. In fact, better than a chainsaw – we later see it in Robovision and it’s a “power saw.” McNamara gives them new parts for their dune buggy things they drive and they become “the fastest gang in Detroit.” They drive around inside a mall, steal jewelry, shock a non-robo-cop with electricity, burn a window display of crappy generic toys and set loose a bunch of bowling balls from a sporting goods store called SPORT. To be honest I am impressed that one small sporting goods store in a mall would have that many bowling balls in stock. Detroit must be a bowling town.

Maybe the weirdest thing is that they have a cyborg dog that chases after some of the cops. I had to wonder if they originally designed that dog to be RoboCop’s RoboPooch. Isn’t that the cartoon way, to give the hero a dog version of himself? I know they did it with other iconic heroes such as Superman, Batman, Mr. T and Frasier.

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 8.48.51 PM

The action and dialogue are not what you would call “adequate.” Robo shoots at things and makes them fall down on top of people and stuff like that. In one part Lewis does a flying kung fu kick knocking a Vandal into a hot dog stand. Then she quips, “Hey, hot dog. All you need now is a little mustard.” If that counts as a quip. To be clear, she does not follow that statement by dumping mustard on his head or anything like that. It is just a clever little condiment related gag she makes, because of there was hot dogs there I believe was where that came from.

The big dramatic thing that happens (in this and many other substandard RoboCop stories) is that he has a “SYSTEM DISFUNCTION” [sic] according to his visor. He has to go back and have his arm put back on and be repaired. The police have a doctor lady who says he’s not ready to go back into action, but he does anyway. Stupid lady. Let RoboCop do what he’s gotta do. You’re outta line lady.

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 10.45.15 PM
Of course, while he’s fighting against a powerful bulldozer vehicle that all the Vandals can sit in in one row (“No one can stop the Killdozer, not even RoboCop!”) his systems start to fail again. Oh no, what if that uptight doctor was right? They say they’re going to “finish him” while he lays on the ground helplessly, but then his power bar goes back up to full and he picks up guys and tosses them and shit. Phew!

mp_robocopcartoonEven though this is a future where corporate assholes have robot hands and criminals have robot dogs, RoboCop still stands out as some kind of a freak that everybody feels comfortable throwing slurs at. Between Dr. McNamara, the widespread crime spreers and Robo’s racist colleagues he gets called “Tin man,” “That… that thing,” “bucket brain,” “tin can,” “that monstrosity,” “ol’ tinsel top,” “junk man,” “RoboFlop” and “just a pile of nuts and bolts” within the 20 or so minutes of this one episode. Luckily he does get some encouragment from the sergeant, because he calls him “our best player,” as in “we can’t afford to have our best player on the bench!” The sarge speaks mostly in sports metaphors, including “you took the ball and you ran with it.”

He also is an angry sergeant who’s sick of the red tape and what not. “There’s no time for signing papers! The clock is running out!”

In my opinion this is not a quickie tie-in children’s cartoon that seems to understand the spirit or basic meanings of Mr. Verhoeven’s hard-R subversive satire. For example, they follow the movie’s lead in having “Media Breaks,” but there are no jokes or exaggerations included. It’s just standard news used for exposition.

Worse, they seem a little too pro-OCP for my tastes. As far as the children can tell, Omni Consumer Products is a fine company but this evil robot-handed motherfucker is sneaking around working with blowtorch welding dune buggy punks to ruin everything. But luckily RoboCop comes and shoots lasers at everybody. In fact, the doctor seems like a bigger villain than the other people on the OCP board. You’re supposed to be mad at her for doing her job and trying to repair RoboCop before sending him back out on the streets to risk life and limb shooting more inanimate objects with lasers.

But in a way this apparent cluelessness does work in the cartoon’s favor, because it seems pretty sincere about the things Verhoeven was sarcastic about. It’s like a shitty piece of propaganda that the children of futuristic Detroit might be indoctrinated with.

The other positive thing I can say is that I like the way they draw RoboCop. Whoever got to draw him must’ve been happy he didn’t have to draw all the other stupid shit in this cartoon. So he worked real hard on making Robo look pretty cool. Good job on drawing RoboCop, Korea.

Here is the episode for research purposes:






This entry was posted on Monday, February 10th, 2014 at 12:48 am and is filed under Cartoons and Shit, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

55 Responses to “RoboCop History Week: 1988 cartoon pilot “Crime Wave””

  1. “Kiss my big toe, copper!”

    Must remember that one for future reference.

  2. Thanks for reminding me about this with such a funny review… I watched it as a kid. Of course, the other crazy one from the late 80s is THE TOXIC CRUSADERS. But then, why not base a kids’ TV show on a film that features arms being ripped off, a transvestite pissing themself, and a kid’s head getting run over. And it’s a fun series too.

  3. Vern – I actually would recommend the episode “Night of the Archer.” For a 21 or so minute cartoon, I thought it was well-written and kinda clever and thoughtful for a cartoon show episode from that era. You have a Robin Hood-ish vigilante that targets the evil 1%, Robocop is seen as puppet for the 1%, vigilante becomes popular and toys/merchandise come out. Then turns out said vigilante is [SPOILER] a CEO rival of OCP who uses Detroit’s massive unemployment and poverty to manipulate the 99% to do what he wants. Inspired touch: He was the one who was behind the toys/merchandise, so he also made a big ton of money on the side in this scheme as well.

    Murder Slim – I rewatched TOXIC CRUSADERS when Troma put that series up for free on YouTube, and boy I think I enjoy it much more as an adult than I did as a kid. I mean back then, I consumed it like every other adventure/toy commercial cartoon out at the time, but TC really stands out from that ilk with its meta-humor about itself. It’s hilarious. Too bad it didn’t sell enough toys or something and this is why the show didn’t last that long.

  4. I’ve got to give it to you for really going the distance on this joke, Vern. I mean, devoting a whole week to ROBOCOP ephemera just to support an elaborate hoax about an alleged ROBOCOP remake? It’s an utterly ridiculous and unbelievable concept that would never actually exist in reality, but you really sell it by never breaking character, never winking at the audience and acknowledging the absurdity of the idea. That’s Andy Kaufman-level commitment to a bit.

  5. Must be great to live in Denial! Tell me about your country!

  6. I think you’re confused. I live in America, where we have freedom and only one movie named ROBOCOP.

  7. Strange…I swear I saw a similar named movie recently. I could be wrong,though. Don´t remember anything from the last few days, really. Last thing I remember… I was going to Recall for an Ego-Trip blacked out and woke up in a cab. I have no idea how I got there.

  8. There even was an episode of that show, in which Boddicker returned. Just sayin’

  9. Yeah, those brain-butchers can really mess with your head.

  10. Never saw this. I couldn’t possibly have been worse than RAMBO: THE ANIMATED SERIES and POLICE ACADEMY: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Could it?

  11. I bet it’s still better than ROBOCOP 3. Boy do I really hate that movie.

  12. “Also, I’ll say this for ROBOCOP 2: I just noticed decades later that the villain, “Robocop 2,” is reflected in RoboCop’s helmet on the movie poster. It always seemed kinda bland just having a headshot of RoboCop. Now I get it.”

    Oh shit I never noticed that either till I read this review.

    Then again when it comes to ROBOCOP 2 poster art I usually remember that “RoboCop climbing through a hole on a concrete wall” poster that used to adorn bill boards and city buses everywhere before the movie came out.

  13. Murder Slim – One thing I’ll say for TOXIC CRUSADERS is that even though it lacked the unnerving yet charming surrealness of the Troma brand it inspired some pretty kick ass action figures.

  14. Robocop is definitely a character I discovered first through toys (I believe tied-in with part two, but who knows?). And like a bunch of shit that was available to us who grew and consumed in the late 80s/early 90s, I was super pissed to discover the movies attached to them were rated R and I couldn’t see them yet! That said, it seemed that if I owned enough toys, I could build enough of an argument with my mom or dad that I HAD TO SEE THIS (whichever) MOVIE or I couldn’t accurately portray their adventures during playtime. This worked on Aliens and Terminator, Toxie, whatever, but I didn’t see any Robocop movies (save 3) until I reached high school, not because I couldn’t a few years before or that I didn’t have any interest, I guess I just didn’t realize that these movies were comedies and awesome. Obviously now, like most of you dudes, I’ve seen it tons of times, got the criterion, etc etc etc. I don’t really have a point here, I guess I just wanted to reflect on how we were marketed toys that tied-in to hard as fuck R rated movies and I don’t think kids today get that luxury

  15. Haven’t seen these cartoons.
    I do not envy anyone about to go down the path of PRIME DIRECTIVES. The 4 “episodes” make for good drunk group viewing, I guess, since most of the costumes and f/x are genuinely interesting but also mostly laughable.

    The fake television segments are pretty funny (even requiring you to pause several times if you want to be able to read all the ridiculous text flowing through the newsfeed & advertisements), and some of the little details, like having a park named after Jerry Springer, are funny, eliciting a “ha” but not quite the script’s attempted “haha!” in my opinion.

    Its pale, pseudo-Verhoevenness almost works sometimes, but something as plot-driven as PRIME DIRECTIVES can’t have such scattered, forgettable plots, and something so dependent on awesome sci-fi f/x & violence can’t afford to be so childish & crude in those departments if it wants my respect.

    One of the episodes has a guy being sliced into several pieces by lasers.

  16. PRIME DIRECTIVES are fun if incredibly awkward and lowbudget looking. I have enjoyed the 50 % of the episodes I have watched so far. I certainly had more fun with them than the forgettable remake. They make for fun diversion and should be regarded as disposable OCP propaganda.

  17. the 80’s was generally a fucking terrible decade for American TV animation, all these Gen Xers nostalgic for their shitty HE MAN, TRANSFORMERS and GI JOE cartoons, I’ve never understood it, I grew up in the 90’s when there were actually good cartoons on television

    sometimes the things you liked as a kid sucked and it’s best to accept that fact and leave them purely to memory, for example I used to like the POKEMON tv show, but I’ve never had a desire to actually watch it again, hell no

    (in fairness though, I did like THUNDERCATS when they played it on Toonami and DUCKTALES started in 1987, so there are exceptions)

  18. That’s fair.
    One of the PRIME DIRECTIVESes ends with a powerful, prescient quote from Henry David Thoreau.
    It reminded me of the devastating, profound textual epilogue of MIAMI CONNECTION.

    I assume this is RoboCop History Week because it’s Valentine’s Day week and we all heart ROBOCOP. There’s no other explanation or reason for the timing of this historic new week.

  19. Griff – “in fairness though, I did like THUNDERCATS when they played it on Toonami and DUCKTALES started in 1987, so there are exceptions”

    As someone who remembers watching toons in the late 80’s those 2, M.A.S.K. and TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES were really the only shows I actually liked. Oh and SILVER HAWKS I definitely dug SILVER HAWKS. MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE was played out by 1987 – ’88.

    I only remember seeing some reruns on the USA network. Never cared about TRANSFORMERS at all. I just disliked the first Michael Bay movie because it was a genuinely awful movie, not because it pissed on the sacred TRANSFORMERS name the same way Bumblebee pissed on John Turturro. The toon was stupid and the toys were too expensive. I think I only had like 2 of them in my entire lifetime. With G.I. JOE I also only really cared about the toys. The Marvel Comics for both those properties had some good issues though and were way more engrossing and better executed than the TV shows.

  20. The THUNDERCATS opening credits were better and more dynamic than the stiff animation that plagued the show.

  21. COPS was another good 80’s cartoon. On top of resembling action movies I liked that the main guy was called Bulletproof Vess. That was satisfying enough for me as a kid.

  22. The 80’s had BraveStarr, therefore the 80’s win.

  23. I can’t be the only one who mentally adds in the “woo-ooo!” after reading the title “DuckTales.”

  24. Knox. Just because you mentioned BraveStarr you get double points. Man that was awesome.

  25. I think I posted the term paper i wrote on this subject here before, yeah? I was pretty damn proud of that shit.

    Also, both writers of the original robocop got screenplay credit on this new one in arbitration. Both Miner and Neumier have seen the film and have spoken about it warmly. Especially Miner. And he hates everything.

    I’m going to the premiere tonight and I’ll report back with my findings.

  26. Honestly…I have a detailed outline and might write a book about Robocop.

  27. Whores.

    All movie writers in this system are whores.

  28. Hmm, I have a suspicion that Robocop History Month may include gratuitous fried chicken commercials and/or wrasslin’.

    I’m fascinated by these kids cartoons and toys based on violent R-rated film franchises. What was the thought process behind them? Did they think they were making a “kid-safe” alternative to the movie, the methadone to Verhoeven’s heroin, or was it purely a mercenary decision? (Eh, it was the latter)

    PRIME DIRECTIVES is better than you’d expect from a Candian TV miniseries rushed into production to wring out their Robocop license before it expired.

    I assume everyone has heard about that crowdsourced Robocop remake? It’s real hit-and-miss but that Fatal Farm dick-shooting segment is fucking hilarious. Make sure you watch the uncensored version.

  29. Griff: The difference between 80s cartoons and 90s animation (we didn’t put on airs about our children’s programming back then) is that the 80s were all about awesome concepts (Cars that transform into robots! Cat warriors from outer space!) executed shoddily, while the 90s were all about stupid concepts (A cat and dog who fart a lot? Corporate mascots go post-modern?) executed better than you’d think. I kind of prefer the former approach. Sure, the Hasbro-era cartoons might not have slick animation or sophisticated characterization, but at the end of the day I’d rather watch a show about a giant muscleman who fights a skeleton wizard than a show about an anthropomorphic sponge and his friends. You can’t fuck up the former too bad and you can’t do the latter well enough to get me interested.

    Furthermore do you really think you’re in any position to start knocking anyone else’s nostalgia? You’re the guy who recently expressed yearning for the Dubya years.

  30. I’d rather watch SpongeBob.

  31. It’s true that our mans Tawdry wrote something here about this cartoon and the legacy of ROBOCOP,
    since there’s been no new ROBOCOP developments for the past 10+ years
    and no “new” or “updated” NOBOCOPs
    and certainly no brand new “PG-13” FAUXBOCOPs at any point in recent history or the present,
    then I just don’t see why any of this is relevant.

    (I absolutely am robophobic against ROBOCOP.)

  32. “Also, both writers of the original robocop got screenplay credit on this new one in arbitration. Both Miner and Neumier have seen the film and have spoken about it warmly. Especially Miner. And he hates everything.”

    Tawdry – They really tried to screw those two out of credit for originating not just the concept but some character names? Figures.

    Oh and share that book’s rough draft whenever you write it up, buddy.

  33. Mouth: how did you even find that?!?

    If you wanna know how robocop became a cartoon, the answer is Reagan’s aggressive deregulation of broadcast guidelines. So, the series fell victim to the exact things it parodied.

  34. “Furthermore do you really think you’re in any position to start knocking anyone else’s nostalgia? You’re the guy who recently expressed yearning for the Dubya years.”

    I’m not knocking anyone’s nostalgia, all I’m saying is some people try to act like TRANSFORMERS or whatever was not crap, when it was

    as I said, I used to like POKEMON and I have plenty of nostalgia for it, but I’m not gonna pretend that it wasn’t crap, it was and I don’t want to spoil my memory of it by say, buying a dvd boxset of it, as many people buy dvd boxsets of those old 80’s cartoons

  35. Vern, your RoboCop History Week will not be complete unless you review the brand-new, unauthorized “Our RoboCop Remake”:


    (I haven’t watched it and don’t know if it’s any good. The talkbackers seem to like it. And I bring it up because so far no one else here has.)

  36. I think people were talking about it in the other Robocop thread. It’s pretty hit and miss, but you should at least see Scene 27.

  37. Yeah, that dick shooting scene is pretty hilarious in an “Oh shit, that’s so wrong” way. Kinda like Paul Verhoeven would have directed a SCARY MOVIE sequel.

  38. Robocop ’14 is full of bad melodrama and bizarre plot contortions, but the last 40 minutes is very satisfying and I left not hating the movie; an impress oc feat considering my adoration for the original.

  39. The Original Paul

    February 11th, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Hey Griff, don’t piss on “Masters of the Universe”. Now “Transformers”, you can piss on as much as you damn well please. Even as a kid I knew that show was pretty awful. Looking back, “Masters of the Universe” probably was as well, but at least it had a certain camp charm to it.

    Look, if you want the best of the late-eighties cartoons, “Duckula” is where it’s at. Voiced by the sadly not-immortal David Jason, that show was probably pretty unique in having actual well-written characters.

    I’d like to lend my support to Majestyk’s “let’s refuse to acknowledge the mere existence of a Robocop reboot” campaign. What the fuck it is with people making remakes of classic Nancy Allen films recently? First “Carrie” and now this.

  40. MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE was terrible. Cheap animation, ugly character designs and barely coherent stories. DUCKULA was awesome. As were DARKWING DUCK and DUCK TALES. And DUCKMAN. Must be something about ducks.

    I didn’t see TOTAL REBOOT, I’m not seeing REBOOTCOP and I won’t be seeing the inevitable STARSHIP REBOOTERS. I refuse to support the cottage industry of less-interesting Verhoeven remakes. What’s next? A PG-13 reboot of SHOWGIRLS that’s about a regional teen dance competition instead of Robert Davi saying shit like “It must be weird, not having anybody cum on you” to crazy bitches? Fuuuck that.

  41. “Significantly less important is ROBOCOP 2, a pretty bad movie but with some cool parts and ideas in it. In my opinion its greatest contribution is in demonstrating that maybe Irvin Kerchner is not 100% responsible for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK ”

    Vern – You know that Kerchner was a last minute replacement on ROBOCOP 2, right? Its like I guess when Brett Ratner did X3 after Matthew Vaughn quit at the last minute.

    Plus let’s be honest, Orion ran ROBOCOP 2 and 3. Not Kerchner or the MONSTER SQUAD dude or Frank Miller or whoever.

  42. Dammit guys, learn the proper use of the term “reboot”! 99% of all movies, that are named reboots (not just on here) are reMAKES!!!!!

  43. Reboots… remakes… it’s all just marketing wank.

  44. Amen, CJ.

  45. CJ, loved that 1981 Wolfgang Petersen movie DAS REBOOT.

  46. The Original Paul

    February 12th, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    CJ – I apologise. Remake.

  47. Shoot, are you familiar with the Swedish low budget movie SEX, LIES AND VIDEO VIOLENCE? It was made in the early 90’s by the now famous Richard “Johan Falk” Holm and has RoboCop chasing Leatherface, an Alien monster and other bad guys around a cinema in Stockholm. Holm, who worked at SF back then, even managed to get Brandon Lee and Mel Brooks to do cameos in the movie.

  48. Sounds awesome Pegsman. But it appears to be quite obscure. A Brandon Lee cameo clip is all I could find on youtube. Oh well, add another one to the search list. Swedes have all the fun.

  49. Thanks for the info,pegsman.I never knew about this! This is some relevant film history shit right there. Brandon Lee in a swedish exploitation movie?! Holy Shit! This needs a remastered re-release! Pronto!

  50. There are parts of swedish film history that never gets acknowledged, but seriously needs recognition and the Brandon Lee cameo is just like David Carradines roles in Mats Helge Olssons actionsploitation flicks THE ANIMAL PROTECTOR, THE MAD BUNCH and FATAL SECRET important side notes.

    The history writing has almost exclusively been about Ingmar Bergman. Why? Because he is wellknown outside Sweden that boosts a national identity which has absolutely no basis outside a bourgeois pretentious elite.

  51. Didn’t see this show when it was originally on the air. Exactly one episode was released on VHS by Marvel, “The Man in the Iron Suit,” and I rented it once in the mid-1990s and found it to be OK but not great. But the state of animation has gotten so much worse since then that this series now seems great in retrospect.

    The one VHS episode is on my shelf and I’ve watched the rest of the series online. There are times when it’s a little childish (the incessant laughing of the punk in the episode you reviewed, for example) but usually it isn’t. I’m now really glad I watched it and I appreciate its existence a lot more.

    Dr. McNamara is a character from the original movie. He was the scientist demonstrating the ED-209. They never say why his hands are robotic but perhaps it was an ED-209-related accident. The ED-260 seems to be the same as the ED-209 but with lasers in place of bullets. IIRC Dr. McNamara also claims it’s more intelligent than the ED-209, though that remains to be proven. There’s a later episode where ED-260 gets another upgrade and can fold its legs under it, creating hover-tank-treads so it can drive quickly across flat land. Someday maybe it can do stairs.

    The people who made this show only had the original movie to draw upon for material. There was no other ROBOCOP material at the time. Maybe that’s why they brought back several characters from the original movie. Besides McNamara and Lewis, there’s Casey Wong, Clarence Boddicker, the Old Man, Sgt. Reed, Cecil, and Lt. Hedgecock. Like McNamara, Hedgecock’s role in this animated series is larger than in the original movie and he’s more antagonistic toward RoboCop.

    I’m glad Lewis didn’t actually throw mustard at that punk. That would have been gross.

    “Media Break” isn’t that satirical, but its rival is the obligatory Geraldo Rivera parody, Julio Solera, who is featured in an episode showing the dangers of unethical reporting. Interestingly the live-action ROBOCOP TV series also had a Geraldo, named Umberto Ortega and played by Patrick McKenna of THE RED GREEN SHOW. The other Marvel shows from a few years previously all had a Geraldo type named Hector Ramirez. DUCKMAN has my roommate’s favourite, Geofredo. JURY DUTY (the 1980s TV movie, not the 1990s Pauly Shore movie) had one called Jorgé, hilariously-played by Bronson Pinchot. It was a Geraldo-parody-filled time.

    Griff: No way. The 1980s was the peak of animation. It never got that good ever again. The artwork got watered down and simplified. The 1990s had some good shows that I’m nostalgic for too, but they’re not as good as the good 1980s shows.

    Broddie: MASK, TMNT, and COPS were good, but so was TRANSFORMERS. The original series that is.

    Paul: COUNT DUCKULA was good, but so was TRANSFORMERS.

    Shoot: I like Mats Helge Olsson movies too.

  52. When TV shows weren’t parodying Geraldo, they went after Howard Stern. I think at some point every TV show of the late 80s and 90s, from PICKET FENCES to NASH BRIDGES had an “evil shock jock” episode, where some asshole on the radio was either downright criminal or just a huge pain in the ass that made life for the protagonists harder. Even MONK still had one in 2007, but by then that subgenre had mostly died out and it was probably the last of its kind.

  53. All this Robotalk and attention to detail and nobody had mentioned that the designer of this series was Russ Heath, the comic book legend who was among those most ripped-off by Roy Lichtenstein: Whaam!, Blam, Okay Hot-Shot, Okay!, and Brattata. (I understand and appreciate his work, but hate him for his his terrible business practices.) In his later years, Heath was one of the most vocal proponents for The Hero Initiative, a cool charity that helped mostly-older comics people who have been mistreated by the industry. If anyone would like to see a million Russ Heath drawings of Robocop they can be found in the volume Flesh & Steel: The Art of Russ Heath, published by IDW. They are not Googlable but are worth seeking out for their tidy glamour and yet again seeing what an unsung legend’s original efforts were like before their process of watered-down translation. I had looked at that book quite a lot recently and thought of these reviews, so I was all “Yes! I can talk about Russ Heath!” upon seeing this thread lumber back into life like Robocop.

  54. CJ Holden: You’re right! MURDER, SHE WROTE even had an episode with a Howard Stern type, played by Jeff Yagher of V (the 1984 series).

    A.L.F.: Ooh, I love Russ Heath! No wonder the art on ROBOCOP looks so good. He also designed GI JOE (of course). One of my favourite comics writer/artists, Howard Chaykin, joined the board of the Hero Initiative about ten years ago. It’s a great idea. These creators created million-dollar properties and some of them can’t pay their medical bills in their old age. The Hero Initiative helps with that. I’ll try to check out that book!

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