RoboDoc docu series on SCREAMBOX is true treat for RoboCop fans

RoboDoc. Image courtesy Screambox
RoboDoc. Image courtesy Screambox /

RoboDoc: The Creation of RoboCop is the kind of documentary limited series that any fan of the 1987 movie will definitely love.

Dead Mouse Productions Ltd and Cult Screenings UK Ltd sure took their time. Production lasted almost six years in its making and during that time the facts about this four-part series just kept on becoming cooler.

In the end, RoboDoc had amassed 77 hours of footage from three countries, extensively interviewed 26 cast members and 41 crew members to explore every scene in director Paul Verhoeven’s now classic sci-fi action movie.

RoboDoc. Paul Verhoeven, director of RoboCop.
RoboDoc. Image courtesy Screambox /

RoboDoc’s four episodes are about an hour each and through that total run time directors Chris Griffiths and Eastwood Allen dissect what made this movie into a cultural phenomenon – one that birthed plenty of merch, comics, a TV and an animated series, and also spawned two sequels (which everyone agrees were godawful, by the by).

As far as interviews go, everyone,and I do mean everyone, that was still able to walk and talk to a camera in the 2020s is here, from Verhoeven to cocaine warehouse owner Sal, from Murphy/RoboCop himself Peter Weller to Donna Keegan, aka the random rape victim that RoboCop saves.

How good is RoboDoc: The Creation of RoboCop?

SCREAMBOX have outdone themselves by acquiring this fully independent production retrospective that was clearly lovingly made by fans for fans.

Viewing the unearthed oral history of the movie is such a joy. Everything from contextualizing Verhoeven’s despotic (I mean he himself admitted it), bullying style of filmmaking down to the nuances of the innovative solutions for stop-motion animation, costume design, and over the top gunshot squibs for the bloody action they employed is here.

RoboDoc. Kurtwood Smith
RoboDoc. Image courtesy Screambox /

My favorite behind-the-scenes oral history moment is from Randy Moore, the special effects weapons master on set.

Moore claims they were shooting the warehouse scene and he had to give Peter Weller, who was dressed in full robot suit, his gun and advise him that it’s live. According to Moore, he had about a stack of eight Oreos in his other hand and Peter wanted him to feed him some.

“Robo wants an Oreo!” said Weller. But Randy had always been pissed about Weller’s crazy insistence on method and being called Robo when he was in the suit. Moore wanted him to say that if he wanted a cookie, he should say he (Peter), not Robo, wanted a cookie.

Instead, Weller in full suit stomped over to the ledge and shouted down three stories to the unit crew below, saying he wanted an Oreo but that Randy was denying him one.

In response, and before the second unit director could order him to give Weller a cookie, Moore quickly stuffed all the cookies in his mouth and ate them to spite Weller.

Moore later claims Weller got his way with his outburst and eventually someone bought him an Oreo and hand fed it to him. Weller flat out denies this, except for the part about being a prima donna, and claims Moore has always made up stories about the shoot.

Whoever is in the right here, even if it were false, this is an absurd yet superbly interesting tangent about exactly how absurd the vibe was when they were making RoboCop, which is what makes RoboDoc such a gem.

As a corollary, the stressful environment of the movie set under Verhoeven’s mailed Dutch fist was something undeniable. It was all but confirmed by almost everyone who’d been interviewed, especially a sheepish Verhoeven admitting to his youthful zeal.

“Shooting was so bad that afterwards I decided I was going to go to the mountains and raise ducks!” declared one of the producers, likely in hyperbole.

Another good point in its favor is that RoboDoc goes beyond the first RoboCop and analyzes the making of both RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3. Screenwriter Edward Neumeier felt that the sequels lacked the spirit of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, when he’d worked in the art department, that inspired him to write the original. And thus were just ludicrous spinoffs lacking soul.’

RoboCop is not only a technological icon but a film that pushed boundaries with its practical effects and excessively violent gore,” said Brad Miska, Managing Director of Bloody Disgusting.

“Much of what we see on screen today can be credited to the innovative minds of the 70s and 80s,” Miska continued.

RoboDoc. Peter Weller
RoboDoc. Image courtesy Screambox /

Here’s a quick guide to the release schedule and what each episode contains:

ROBODOC EPISODE ONE: “Destination Delta City” streams on August 29. Orion Pictures assembles a magnificent cast and crew who, unbeknownst to them, have signed up for a turbulent and career-defining ride.

ROBODOC EPISODE TWO: “Verhoeven’s Mantra,” streams on September 5. Notoriously demanding mad-genius director Paul Verhoeven pushes the envelope and many people’s buttons with the unprecedented shooting conditions.

ROBODOC EPISODE THREE: “Blood, Sweat & Steel,” streams on September 12. The resilient cast and crew relive the golden era of hands-on, practical filmmaking in the 1980s.

ROBODOC EPISODE FOUR: “Murphy & The Machine,” streams on September 19. A cinematic icon is unleashed to the world, creating an indelible legacy with lasting memories for those involved in its production.

Bottom line is, if you are even a casual fan of the 1987 movie, you owe it to yourself to give in to nostalgia, re-visit Delta City and its dystopian setting and relive the magical, uber-violent moments with the heroes and villains through this exciting and exhaustive series.

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RoboDoc: The Creation of Robocop premieres on SCREAMBOX on August 29. New hour-long episodes will follow weekly through September 19.