RoboCop History Week: RoboWrapUp


So which one does RoboCop smell like? Strawberry? All of them? It's unclear.
If RoboCop was so pure and sacred before a remake then why do we know which fruits he smells like?

Thank you for joining me this week in discussing the RoboCop cartoon and the RoboCop TV series and the other RoboCop cartoon and the RoboCop mini-series that happened after the first and second RoboCop sequels.

I have to admit that I had an agenda or two in writing about these crappy shows. I know alot of people are very protective of Paul Verhoeven’s ROBOCOP and were/are righteously offended about the very idea of remaking it. Which makes sense, ’cause it’s a classic.

But I thought it would be helpful for all our mental and emotional health to remember that it’s not exactly an untouched story suddenly being violently plucked from a pure white cloud and soiled by unexpected commercialism. We’ve never lived in a world where ROBOCOP was safeguarded from exploitation like a J.D. Salinger book or Calvin and Hobbes. No, as soon as the damn thing was out of the gate it was cross-marketed like an Omni Consumer Product. It was merchandised, sequelized, video gamed, cartooned and teeveed. Of course I’m not saying “it’s already been ruined, so let’s keep ruining it.” I just mean that since they’ve already treated it like a trademark, brand, franchise and property even before everybody was brainwashed into using those OCP type terms non-ironically, I’m open to the idea of somebody coming along and doing a better job of it.

So that’s the real reason I wanted to examine those shows, not so much to make the point to you guys as to remind myself so I wouldn’t be so disappointed if I didn’t like the new 2014 movie coincidentally also called ROBOCOP. I did the same thing by rewatching TEXAS CHAINSAW 3-4 before the remake prequel, though that kinda backfired (I ended up appreciating the sequels a little more than previous viewings, so it didn’t really lower my standards for the new one). I’m working on my review, so you’ll know soon how it worked out. But first let’s close up our celebration of RoboCop History Week with some final RoboThoughts and links to further studies.

robocop22What have I learned from watching these shows? For one thing, it’s hard to make ROBOCOP an interesting character after his origin. Unlike so many super heroes where you’re kinda anxious for them to be established and get on with it, the story of RoboCop is all about his transition from human to human-face-attached-to-machine. Once he’s comfortable being RoboCop and he’s just a guy who’s really awesome at fighting criminals it’s not as exciting. Or at least these cartoonists and Canadian TV people didn’t know how to make it very exciting. Obviously somebody out there could do it better.

I think part of the problem is that Verhoeven’s character is kind of a parody. He’s supposed to have the qualities of an American action movie cop and a super hero but exaggerated to ridiculousness to make a point. To a certain extent we can enjoy that for what it is (much like you can enjoy watching pretty people shoot giant bugs in STARSHIP TROOPERS) but what takes it to the next level is the guy programmed to do that shit struggling to maintain his humanity and sense of right from wrong. Once you take that out, or do a poor job of it, you just have a robot shooting people and things, and if that’s all you got you better do a better job than this. As Tawdry Hepburn pointed out in his film school term paper that he posted on a previous thread, RoboCop pretty much became T.J. Lazer, the TV character he imitated to impress his son.

Another thing I learned from watching these shows is that the original RoboCop design never gets old, so just seeing him walk around is enough to make any old crap semi-watchable. And seeing him try to act casual in normal human settings is always enjoyable. I’d like to see one where he goes grocery shopping or something.

(does RoboCop eat, by the way? I guess he doesn’t have a stomach?)

Oh yeah, of course he does. I forgot.

Of these TV RoboCops, I think my favorite portrayal of the character was the one from the second cartoon, Alpha Commando. It’s not so much his hulk proportions or his voice (although those are fine), it’s his well-delivered bad puns. I like that he tells jokes and you can’t tell if he knows they’re jokes or what.

Before we end the celebration I would like to point you to a few things for further viewing, reading and listening. First up, we have a pretty incredible video of RoboCop’s participation in WCW wrestling. This was pointed out to me by James Matthew Baker, but I know some of you have mentioned it over the years. Note that at least according to whoever posted it on Youtube it’s one of the worst moments in the history of wrestling.

That wasn’t Robo’s only public appearance, by the way. Here he has a brief cameo where he performs the important duty of, uh, pulling back a large lever that Captain America pulled the other way? I’m not sure what he’s up to here, actually.

I mean, he did alot of stuff outside of that one great movie. He endorsed a few products, for example.

Here’s a couple commercials for one of many lines of ROBOCOP toys. You know, from when he was working with The Ultra-Police. Alot of people tend to forget that part of his law enforcement career.

RoboCaps were a pretty major innovation I guess. There were talking RoboCop dolls too, for kids who were lonely.

Also video games

This is not an official ROBOCOP product, but it’s something I remember from the late ’80s that I bring up alot and nobody seems to know what I’m talking about. There was an electro song called “Robo Cop” which used samples from the movie and had a robot voice chanting I guess about the movie, but I can’t really tell what it’s saying other than “RoboCop” and “everybody dance, come on let’s dance.”

I had to look it up to find out that the group was called Sleeze Boyz. I love their album cover, where there are four guys wearing hooded windbreakers over silver masks (one with sunglasses). There are some pretty great song titles on there too, like “Show Me Your Panties” and “Put Your Tongue On it.” Their CD is kinda pricey though. There are alot of different 12″s you can find on ebay. One of them is historic because it has additional programming by Dr. Dre.

Anyway, if you’re tired of all this non-Paul-Verhoeven shit I would like to recommend the oral history of the first movie that Simon Abrams recently did for Esquire

And finally, I can’t possibly recommend enough the ROBOCOP episode of the Projection Booth podcast. They interview Ed Neumeier, Michael Miner, Nancy Allen, Miguel Ferrer and others, and they talk about the movie, sequels and TV shows and have some good sound clips. Really well put together. I probly should’ve listened to it again before doing these reviews this week.

Thanks again everybody and happy RoboCop.

Appendix: More RoboCrap

robocop6robocop19robocop7robocop11robocop24 robocop29 robocop23 robocop9robocop10 robocop2 robocop18 robocop13

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44 Responses to “RoboCop History Week: RoboWrapUp”

  1. And a very happy Robocop to you sir. Many fair points all over this piece. Really looking forward to your review of the remake.

  2. I think the problem with trying to write a sequel for ROBOCOP is that the character pretty much had his full arch already. He dies, he’s reborn as a robot but he regains his humanity and more than that, his individuality. He goes from the monosyllabic masked drone to revealing his face, accepting his “Murphy,” and my god….he even smiles at the end as he walks off screen.

    He smiles! He’s human again. Sure a fucked-up Frankenstein experiment, but still human none the less.

    The only thing to play with for a sequel was one that the first sequel teased but strangely discarded it in a throwaway scene: His fucking family. Because I guess that got in the way of shooting-bad-guys.

    I mean imagine if the sequel ran with that idea of a cyborg built from a dead man, and his “ghost” is claiming to be that same man but still alive. He doesn’t wear the helmet anymore, or perhaps gets a helmet like his fellow cops have where through the clear facial shield you can still see the face. He rejects the Robocop name, he name is Murphy. OCP claims that he’s not human, merely a robot who got memory “echoes” from Murphy. Whatever bullshit they try to use publicly because no corporation can own a man. But a machine? Yes. I could see a major public debate in this universe: Is Robocop really human or just a chariacture/facismile of one? I could even see his family suing OCP, but OCP proudly waving their contract that Murphy had signed away his corpse.

    And then in this debate, you have people who I’m sure are disturbed by the idea of a cyborg zombie. Yes he kicks ass and cleans up crime, but…still too creepy for them! Even coworkers I’m sure don’t know what to think. I could even imagine a scene somehow where its suggested to him that he puts his helmet back on because let’s be honest, Robocop’s head looks kinda disturbing as a face apparently wrapped around a robot.

  3. Which is why I kind of buy the remake’s idea that Alex was just severely injured and that the suit basically made him whole again. It’s never really explained in the original how his face isn’t rotting off.

    The appearance in WCW is among one of the company’s many failed ideas, but honestly it pales in comparision to The Shockmaster.


  4. Part of the problem that gets forgotten is one of the two things that makes the first Robocop so great. Yes, on the one hand, there is the brilliant satire. But even if you miss that aspect of the movie (I was 14 when I first saw it, so outside of the commercials, it mostly went over my head), it is one of the most badass action flicks ever. The action scenes are terrific, the imagery unforgettable, the characters compelling and well rounded, and the pacing superb. That, more than anything, is what’s wrong with the others: they forget to actually be good on a basic storytelling level.

    Yes, the origin story is pretty fantastic and hard to top, but it seems like you could push the satirical elements further (as part 2 at least tried to do) while still developing the characters and relationships more and making a good action yarn.

  5. It’s true, O.G. Robocop design is a delight to watch.

    Thing is, I don’t think they ever have to let the human/robot angle drop. The end of ROBOCOP is just the beginning of reclaiming Murphy. He remembered himself, but there is still the family, and I’m sure a clever screenwriter could think of daily life for Robocop. Plus, if Robocop was a success, why didn’t they build any more? Why jump right to Robocop 2? Not that PRIME DIRECTIVES really went there, but not every Robocop is going to be a Murphy.

    But you know me, I’m Franchise Fred. Nothing will ever stop me from watching any iteration of Robocop.

  6. I still have the glow-in-the-dark RoboCop. Without the helmet.


  8. Don’t forget the 1990s hit single (in Brazil) ‘Robocop Gay’ by Mammonas Assassinas (The murder tits).

    Most memorably re-enacted by two members of the public into the face of a homophobic Evangelical congressman in Brazil on a crowded flight.

  9. Well said, Vern. I’ve never been really angry about the remake or usually about remakes(I get annoyed when there’s a British TV show or movie that gets remade in America because somehow being in the same language isn’t enough, it’s got to have more relatable accents, locales and spelling I guess?), just more “eh, doesn’t look like it’s going to be as good, so who cares?”, but I didn’t think the remake was that bad for what it was. Some elements could have been improved with rewrites, but I do like how it goes its own way with several things.

  10. Anyone care to comment on that comic book Frank Miller put out where he wrote his “undiluted” version of his ROBOCOP film script? A buddy tells me it’s nuts.

  11. Jareth Cutestory – I read it years ago and TBH it wasn’t very good. I actually prefer the ROBOCOP 2 that we got to anything in that comic book series.

    So I took a glance at the box office just to see how REMAKECOP is holding up and I saw that ABOUT LAST NIGHT and ENDLESS LOVE have remakes out this week too. It’s like an unofficial 80’s remake weekend at the box office right now. We’re officially in 80’s revival mode. It’s only a matter of time before 80’s fashion starts coming back like the 70’s styles came back in the 1990’s. Guess I have to go dust off my uncle’s Members Only jacket.

  12. Nothing really reaches the same heights as the original Robocop, but I do think the first film opened up a lot of possibilities for sequels. Robocop 2 has its moments, and I honestly never got around to 3, but it seems like no other film has been able to go back to the themes of the human/non-human aspect of Robocop, or how much of Murphy still exists within the machine. These issues were never fully resolved in the first film. Still, I’m not going to go out of my way to see the newest remake.

  13. Soooo much crappy Robocop stuff. Soooo many memories!

    I’ll respond to the point at the start of the Robo-wrapup by Vern, if I may…

    “But I thought it would be helpful for all our mental and emotional health to remember that it’s not exactly an untouched story suddenly being violently plucked from a pure white cloud and soiled by unexpected commercialism.”

    I don’t think anybody thinks that, but the problem is that when you name your product the exact same thing as a previous product, there’s always going to be a sense that the new product is “replacing” the old one. If you search on t’Interwebs for “Robocop Movie”, the first results are no longer related to the awesome Paul Verhoven one. That for me is a major part of why THIS particular cash-in irks me more than, say, the crappy game I mentioned in a previous thread where you would die if you brushed up against a patch of rust.

    And that’s it… all the crappy games and toys and knockoffs in the world won’t tarnish the original movie. Even the sequels couldn’t do that. But a reboot with the same goddamn name… that’s pushing it too far in my opinion. That’s spending a ton of money on a completely unnecessary movie that has only one possible purpose: to cash in on nostalgia. And what annoys me more than anything else is that this will probably work. People just keep throwing their money at this shit, so more and more of it keeps getting made instead of stuff that’s, y’know, interesting or something.

    Honestly if this goes on I’ll have to change my idea of movie hell from “endless Die Hard sequels” to “endless Verhoven reboots”.

  14. Broddie: The 80s have stayed done been back, man. I’m actually worried that the early 90s seem to be taking over, which will be detrimental to my style, considering this is the jacket I have on right now: http://members-only.fashionstylist.com/ls/fab/members-only/slim-down-racer-jacket-navy-10.jpg

    You didn’t even know Members Only made winter coats, did you?

  15. so it seems like the Robocop remake is getting smoked at the box office by THE LEGO MOVIE, does this mean all these damn remakes will finally come to an end?

  16. Hard to believe that there are people who think that Robert Cop is the most hilarious piece of Robocop related merchandise

  17. These remakes have been doing badly. What does it take to stop it?

  18. that’s exactly what I was wondering, we all say “oh they just do it for the money” but these remakes don’t actually make much money, so what’s the point? does Hollywood really have that big of a phobia for originality these days?

  19. One Guy From Andromeda

    February 15th, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    I don’t know, i really think you waste your talents of filmatistic insight a little bit here, Vern. Turns out all the kid’s shows they made to cash in on Robocop are shit – who would have guessed?

  20. “so it seems like the Robocop remake is getting smoked at the box office by THE LEGO MOVIE”. Oh the irony. At least it isn’t being smoked by the long-awaited film of BAD DUDES.

    This all makes me wonder what would have happened if it all happened the other way around. If the RoboCop character started out as competition to the Transformers and made nearly 30 years later as a gritty action crime piece with some dark satire thrown in.

  21. Well what do you know? It turns out this is a pretty good flick. The action was good (especially the shootout in the dark), the cast was great, and the satire of our media, foreign policy and political climate was on the nose. The script was surprisingly good (which is unusual for a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster) believably updating the premise for modern times. Alex Murphy’s character is much more humanized since he doesn’t have his memory wiped like in the original and he actually has to come to terms with what he has become and try to return to some sort of “normal” family life. I was worried the storyline with his family would be too silly when I saw the trailers, but it turns out it’s just the right amount of silly, and it serves as the film’s emotional core. It’s really glorious to see Michael Keaton back on the big screen Keatoning it up, but damn he looks old. His face looks like it’s falling off his skull. I don’t normally recommend plastic surgery, but in this case, I don’t think a small face-lift would be a bad idea. Gary Oldman is probably the best part of the movie, playing a scientist/doctor building prosthetic limbs for amputees who is recruited to build Alex Murphy’s new body. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him give less than 100% to any part he plays, and this is no exception. Also great is Jackie Earl Haley as a mercenary badass loyal to Michael Keaton’s OCP president Raymond Sellers. He’s great at playing intimidating without having to go over the top with it. He sort of takes the place of Clarence Boddicker from the original (but of course nobody can replace him, as Boddicker is one of the all-time great bad guys).

    Now, this movie isn’t a classic like the original (obviously) and of course everyone is going to compare it to that, so let’s get this out of the way: the gore is toned down; the humor is not as witty; the title character is not as iconic; none of the supporting characters are nearly as memorable as Clarence Boddicker, Dick Jones, Emil, Bob Morton or Officer Anne Lewis; the action scenes are not quite as engaging (although on a technical level, they are better constructed); Alex Murphy’s character arc is not as subtle; the world of the future isn’t as fleshed out or as detailed; and the music SUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKSSS.

    Let’s focus on those last two. One thing I love about Verhoeven’s RoboCop (and something essential to all films set in a future dystopia) is all the little details of this crazy world. The news reports, the commercials, the ever-present crime and violence that everyone just seems used to, the privatization of public institutions (like OCP owning the Detroit police department); all of these things add up to a world that feels like it could exist in some insane version of the future. In Jose Padhila’s RoboCop, you see a little of the media (Sam Jackson hosting a cable news show similar to Bill O’Reilly), a few mentions of political corruption and that’s about it. I guess the filmmakers wanted to make the tone of this movie feel a bit closer to reality, like this could be happening any day now, and I think they succeed in that. But it means that the world feels more grounded and less like a crazy funhouse mirror version of our world. But either approach is valid, really.

    Now the music. Ugh, I don’t understand some of the musical choices in this movie. There’s some shitty rock song that I recognize but don’t remember the name of that plays over one of RoboCop’s training exercises. And then for some reason they play “I Fought The Law” by the Clash over the end credits. What the hell? Such a strange tonal shift. And there are 2 or 3 times where the original RoboCop theme shows up, but then it goes away quickly. What’s the point? Just use the original theme! It’s badass! I honestly can’t remember any of the musical score. There were no themes that I picked up on. It was just sort of generic action movie music. Disappointing.

    One thing the remake does much better than the original is that it focuses on how horrifying it is to have your entire body ripped away and replaced with a machine. This is barely touched on in Verhoeven’s movie, and when it is, it’s used more to satirize the cold, heartless nature of 80s business culture. Like when the doctors say that they can save his arm, but Bob Morton just says to lose it. In Padhila’s version, you really get to experience Alex Murphy’s horror and torment as he comes to terms with what he has become. Probably the best scene in the movie is when he watches himself in a mirror as his robotic parts are stripped away and it’s revealed what is really left of his former self. That scene is classic, even if the rest of the movie isn’t.

    I think I’m ready to see this again! I’m actually surprised by how much I like this movie. If you compare it to the original, it’s going to pale in comparison, but on its own merits it stands up. I’d even say it rises above most modern blockbusters simply for being about something relevant to our lives instead of just being silly entertainment fluff. So go see this one.

    Random observation: why do we only see the gun pop out of his leg once when they tell him about it and then it never appears again? That’s like Chekov’s thigh gun, it has to pay off later on. And it doesn’t. Weird.

  22. The Original Paul

    February 15th, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Griff – I love it. I absolutely love it.

    With apologies to the people who enjoyed the Robocop remake… this box-office news satisfies me greatly. And the thing about the “Lego” movie is that it’s kinda giving me the “Dredd” vibe right now… every single person I’ve read who’s seen it and commented on it is saying that it’s great, in blatant and shocking defiance of the unwritten law that says that any movie based on a kids’ toy has to be terrible. (See: “Transformers”, “Battleship”, “Connect 4”, “Global Thermonuclear War”, etc. Ok, maybe not those last two.)

  23. It’s a bit mind boggling to contemplate a movie that is somehow less subtle than Verhoeven. Is that even technically possible?

    I think we can all agree that a PG ROBOCOP flies in the face of everything we love about the original. But I also think that an excessively gory version without that broad satirical edge to temper the violence would be equally terrible. He lays it on with a trowel, but Verhoeven is in complete command of his tone.

  24. I think the reason why the new ROBOCOP isn’t doing well at the box-office might be the same reason why the new (shitty) RED DAWN remake bombed, why Sly/Arnold’s last few non-EXPENDABLES movies tanked*, why DREDD (despite being awesome) tanked or why (the generic) JACK RYAN flopped recently. And its that the culture zeitgeist which fueled those stories exist back in the day doesn’t exist anymore. Reworking such stories and setting them in the 2010s instead of the 80s, its like trying to change a square peg into a circle peg or giving your old car a new paintjob.

    I’m not talking about film quality here, its just that people don’t have the urge or fire to see those films. For people today, the bad guys are terrorists or the government or whatever. Its not a red meat time where scum running wild and the law gone limpwrist, and we need a new sheriff in town. In fact alot of people are scared of said sheriff now. Or the new sheriff is fighting the people who employed him or dealing with crap caused by his superiors.

    RJ MacReady – Seeing it tomorrow. My expectations basically (from the reviews I’ve read) are that this might be like the TOTAL RECALL remake. Not technically bad in any regard, doesn’t anger me…just meh-rific. Who knows what I’ll think of it?

    “every single person I’ve read who’s seen it and commented on it is saying that it’s great, in blatant and shocking defiance of the unwritten law that says that any movie based on a kids’ toy has to be terrible. (See: “Transformers”, “Battleship”, “Connect 4″, “Global Thermonuclear War”, etc. Ok, maybe not those last two.)”

    Original Paul – actually I’ve noticed most people compare it to TOY STORY, so take that for what it’s worth. Its got insanely good reviews, and I can’t just believe its simply because its better than TRANSFORMERS or BATTLESHIP. You know?

    Besides we all knows the best movie made from a board game ever is still CLUE.

    *=Though ESCAPE PLAN apparently did gangbuster business overseas, probably because foreigners appreciated the Sly/Arnold team-up dimension than my fellow countrymen did. You commies!

  25. RRA – no disagreement whatsoever from me on “Clue”. I almost wholeheartedly love that movie (I could’ve seriously done without some of the off-colour homophobia, but I guess it’s a product of the times.) I’m seriously contemplating actually paying to see the “Lego” movie, which I wasn’t expecting in the least, but the reviews have been fantastic.

    And as one of the overseas commie gangbusters that you speak of, it was the Arnie dimension that I appreciated. Sly I can take or leave (and until he starts getting roles like “Rocky” or “First Blood” again, rather than the same tired asshole-with-dead-family-member schtick that he’s been doing for the last several decades in mostly underwhelming movies, I’d rather leave.) But Arnie was great.

  26. LEGO MOVIE is brilliant because it’s a satire of everything wrong with Hollywood blockbusters. So it’s win win. If you like that, this is the ultimate. If you hate it, someone is finally seeing through that formula.

  27. Griff, did you really just express hope that there would be less remakes because of the success of a movie based on a toy product?

    For what it’s worth I did see the Lego movie, and it is very clever and has unique visuals and some good laughs. The biggest laugh was reading that it made Film Crit Hulk cry in one of the “emotional” parts, but luckily there are only a few such scenes that assume anybody else actually cares about the emotions of these plastic joke characters. For me I don’t think it quite sustains feature length but yes, it is impressive that they were able to come up with an idea for a movie about Legos. I would recommend it to most anybody but not enough to want to write a full length review of it.

    But if you’re open to the possibility of a movie made entirely out of product placement being pretty good then maybe it is also possible that a remake could be good.

    Paul – the remake of RoboCop comes up first in Google because it is currently playing in theaters and reviewed all over the place. See what happens when you type in Last House On the Left or The Thing. The only one I found where the one you don’t want to comes up first is Dawn of the Dead. Even for Robocop the original version is the fourth link down, and it will return to the top soon. So don’t worry about it. It’s gonna be okay.

  28. Griff: You know I don’t like the cartoons. But THE LEGO MOVIE is pretty great. The animation looks more handmade than the usual CGI slickness, it’s funny, the theme song will get stuck in your head for weeks, and the story actually makes you have a thought or two. Go see it. You’ll love it, guaranteed.

  29. The Original Paul

    February 16th, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Vern – in all fairness to FCH, there was a song in “Frozen” about two girls building snowmen that produced a blubber out of me. Not fully-fledged tears, you understand. But definitely a blubber.

    I think I’ve answered your other points already in the Rebootcop thread, but to clarify: I’m not saying that all remakes-slash-reboots (in all deference to CJ I’m not quite sure which descriptor best applies to this latest movie) are necessarily bad movies. Some of them might very well be good. That’s basically irrelevant to me. I’m saying that in my opinion they’re part of a toxic trend that I don’t want to support with my hard-earned cash.

    I saw sixty-eight movies in the cinema in 2012, and only one of those was one that I’d describe as part of this “brand cash-in” trend – “The Thing”. It’s possible that I missed a gem there, but honestly I wouldn’t regret it if I had… I have only so much time and money, and I’d prefer to spend both in a way that makes me feel that I’m supporting something worthwhile.

  30. The Original Paul

    February 16th, 2014 at 8:25 am

    And by “brand cash-in” I don’t mean movies based on toys or theme park rides or whatever – hell, I would’ve gone to see “The Internship” or “Battleship” if people had said they were any good. In the end, all movies are trying to sell products. I’m talking about cases where movies have already been made that are in my opinion very good or great, and somebody comes along and decides that they’ll take the name and brand of the movie and use it to sell yet more tickets for a product that’s almost always inferior to the original. It happens with sequels as well, of course, which is why I won’t spend money on movie sequels that people say are carbon copies of the original movie either.

    In the end you have to make a judgement call on the motivations involved and what you feel is “worthwhile”. These reboots-slash-remakes… Fuck ’em. Just fuck ’em. Give me something new already.

  31. Mr. Majestyk – Don’t worry I don’t think it’s close to being over. There are still plenty of 80’s movies left to be remade.

    CJ – I respect RobertCop for at least inspiring one of the coolest T-Shirt designs on the internet today

  32. To underscore Broddie’s point, here is a partial list of remake films currently in one stage or another of production:

    AGENT 47
    HEAT (the Burt Reynolds one)
    JUMANJI (which will be marketed directly to Griff)

    Seems safe to speculate that each person who posts on this web site will have occasion to be offended in the next couple years.

  33. Seeing POLTERGEIST on there is troubling to me, because up until now, Spielberg has been the unsung hero of the remake era. He’s either produced or directed numerous films with tremendous name recognition that could easily take advantage of the advances in special effects technology to create slick, shiny franchise reboots, yet no one has touched them. The only reason I can conceive for there not being GREMLINS, GOONIES, JAWS, and BACK TO FUTURE remakes in the works is because Spielberg is still too powerful to fuck with. The thought of him letting the vultures get their claws on POLTERGEIST might mean the Spielberg Remake Embargo is coming to an end. Now nothing’s safe.

  34. The Original Paul

    February 16th, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    *Looks at Jareth’s list*

    *Grabs gun and shoots himself in head.*

    *Remembers that he lives in the UK and therefore has no armament more deadly than a water pistol.*


    “Suspiria”? “Startship Troopers”? Goddamn “TERMINATOR”??!!!

    Ok, let me take the flipside of it for a second.

    Y’know… I’ve always said that I kinda like to see them make remakes of bad movies with good concept ideas, like “My Bloody Valentine”… but look at how that turned out. I mean, I liked the original a whole lot less than a bunch of other people did, but it was “Citizen Kane” compared to “My Bloody Valentine 3D”. One of the most utterly detestable films I’ve ever had the misfortune to watch. Having said that… I can imagine them doing something good with, for example, “XXX”, “Waterworld” or “Daredevil”. I just am cynical enough that I doubt it’ll actually turn out that way.

    I actually liked “Daredevil” somewhat, but how the hell do you make “XXX” any worse than it already is? The original film was already a worthless cash-in on the extreme-sports circuit, even though it got the whole thing really, really wrong; is a cynical cash-in of an already cynical-cash in any less of a cash-in?

  35. Paul: Three simple words that can make any remake worse than even the lousiest original: Starring Taylor Lautner.

    Majestyk: Here’s a link to an article by a guy who is enthusiastic about the idea of a BACK TO THE FUTURE remake starring Zack Ephron. Warning: it’s the kind of article that can drive a humble mellon farmer from his land and set him on a path of rampagement.


  36. Um, everyone here knows that redoing BACK TO THE FUTURE in 2015 is MY idea. Griff, back me up here.

    Well, we’re getting the musical next year so I have that.

  37. “JUMANJI (which will be marketed directly to Griff)”

    yeah, but FUCK THAT, I don’t want a JUMANJI remake, the original is fine as it is, leave the 90’s alone you unoriginal bastards

    and in regards to JUMANJI, have I ever made it clear that I love that movie? it’s a lot of fun, I know hipsters prefer the sequel ZATHURA and while that’s a fine movie too, it lacks the energy of the original (and from my memory doesn’t ZATHURA only take place in and around the house? that was one of the cool things about JUMANJI was how the chaos unleashed by the game spread throughout the entire town)

  38. Jareth – in all fairness, the only thing I’ve seen with Taylor Lautner in it, to my recollection at least, was the first “Twilight” movie, which I kinda liked until I worked out that you were supposed to be rooting for the self-centred brat and not for the monsters who were trying to eat her. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is I have zero first-hand basis for judging how much he has going for him as a potential action star. Who the hell would’ve thought Paul Walker would’ve done as well as he did in the later “Fast / Furious” movies or “Roadkill”?

    And I also liked “Jumanji” enough that the idea of a remake seems to me like a terrible, terrible idea.

    Who the fuck would remake “Police Academy”? If ever there was a product of its time, it’s that movie. That’d be like remaking “Carry On Screaming” or something.

    …And now I’ve said that, someone’s gonna try remaking “Carry On Screaming”, aren’t they? Fuuuuck.

  39. Alan Silvestris music from the Back To The Future trilogy is used in both that fried chicken commercial, and that parade float thing. Is Robocop actually a time travelling Marty?

    Maybe post-car accident in one of the alternate timelines?

    Or is it just a sign that you guys are right that those movies are the next ones up for a remake.

  40. Ben (the other one)

    February 19th, 2014 at 4:29 am

    I have a confession to make: I’ve never liked Robocop, even the original one. I might have been a bit too young when I saw it the first time and it just can’t overcome that tough first impression; it’s always had an overly-seedy and gory thing about it which, instead of being fun, just kind of skeeves me out.

    And then there’s the goofiness of the Robocop character himself. I just find the way he looks, moves and sounds to be ridiculous and embarassing. It just isn’t my bag, man.

    But Vern’s Robocop history pieces have been a joy. They are right in the wheelhouse of that thing he does best – that thing that keeps Seagology on my shelf next to favorite writers like David Sedaris and Gillian Flynn. Vern is at his best when he really digs into the weird corners of pop culture that no one else looks at. Who else is going to write a review of a failed 1980s Robocop cartoon, and do so in a way that’s observant, respectful and really funny in an understated kind of way? Great stuff.

  41. Yeah ,good luck trying to remake THE WILD BUNCH or SUSPIRIA, Hollywood assholes. That´ll be the day…

  42. I believe Tony Scott and Brian Helgeland were going to do a WILD BUNCH remake. About modern day cops going to Mexico or something (doesn’t that make it a EXTREME PREJUDICE remake?). But do you know what, Shoot? Let them try. Let them try to remake the best movie known to mankind. Because even if they get everything just right and end up with a masterpiece, the original will still be there.

  43. Damn, I completely messed up that last sentence. It should have said; “If they fuck it up, the original is so strong that they will probably end up with an okay movie anyway.”

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