Everyone would know Robocop’s infamous battle with the censors during the MPAA, as the director, Paul Verhoeven had cut the movie for more than 10 times before Robocop had passed the MPAA standards and had been given an “R” rating. Many have wanted to see Verheoven’s “X-rated” version of Robocop, and now, Amazon Prime is streaming this.
It is unclear if this very version of Robocop is what Amazon had wanted to give its viewers and there is no labelling of this movie of “Unrated” or “X-Rated” or even “Director’s” cut.
If one wants to know the real differences between the “R-Rated” Robocop and the “X-Rated” movie, a lot of the Reddit users and Movie Censorship Report have thrown in a bit of information regarding this.
“The MPAA especially did not approve of the gory presentation of the prototype ED-209 and Murphys execution. The bloodiest shots were cut out of the first scene, and a lot of alternative footage was used in the other – only the DC shows Murphy losing an arm in the gunfire. On top of that, alternative footage has been used for the car chase at the beginning as well as in the finale. The censorship of the ED-209 scene torpedoes Verhoevens initial intention. The scene was deliberately planned as comically exaggerated to get some laughs out of the audience with the “Somebody wants to call a paramedic?” line – the dark humour is watered down in the edited version, as Verhoeven criticises himself in the audio commentary. During Murphy’s execution, an interesting dolly camera pan was cut along with the gory headshot where an elaborate Peter Weller dummy designed by SFX expert Rob Bottin had been used.”
Robocop occupies a pretty weird place as Gremlins, in aiding to shape the contemporary movie rating system that we all now know. Gremlins’ mix of horror and comedy had strained the limits of “PG” and had not crossed the lined to get an “R”, and this had resulted in “PG-13”.
Robocop’s attempt to fit the limits of “R” ratings during the ’80s had helped in defining the limits of what movies that fall in the action genre can or cannot get away with.
Neil Blomkamp is now working on a sequel to Robocop, and this has been titled, Robocop Returns.
Catch Robocop is now streaming on Amazon Prime.