‘RoboDoc: The Creation of RoboCop’ is a new, four-part docuseries that will premiere on SCREAMBOX beginning August 29th, and it’s a delightfully fun in-depth look at the making of what I personally consider to be one of the greatest science-fiction/action films of all time.
Paul Verhoeven’s ‘RoboCop‘ (1987) is a genre masterpiece. Featuring a brilliant story that perfectly blends action with satire, fantastic direction from its mad genius director, great cinematography from Verhoeven’s long-time collaborator Jost Vacano, a great cast of characters, spectacular effects and character designs from Rob Bottin and Phil Tippett, and an amazing score from legendary composer Basil Poledouris, ‘RoboCop’ is a film that fires on all cylinders… despite the rough and tough conditions behind the scenes.
‘RoboDoc: The Creation of RoboCop’, written and directed by Eastwood Allen and Christopher Griffiths, and produced by Gary Smart, chronicles the behind-the-scenes of the classic film in great detail; from its early inception by writers Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, to the struggles of finding a studio and a director; from the pre-production and production conflicts, to the battle with the MPAA, the marketing disaster, and its positive reception upon release, and everything in between. This four-hour journey features a wide range of cast and crew, including director Paul Verhoeven, writers Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, producer Jon Davison, cinematographer Jost Vacano, stop motion effects artist Phil Tippet, and cast members Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Kurtwood Smith, Ronny Cox, Ray Wise, Calvin Jung, Jesse Goins, Paul McCrane, Felton Perry, S.D. Nemeth, Kevin Page and many, many more from in front and behind the camera. Unfortunately, Rob Bottin is absent, but we do get to hear quite a bit of stories about his involvement.
What makes this the definitive documentary about the making of the movie is the love, care, and respect that went into it. You can feel the enthusiasm from nearly everybody who appeared to discuss their memories and insights – in particular Peter Weller, who is lively and comical, and Paul Verhoeven, who is equally lively and unapologetic – and I love the commitment from Eastwood Allen and Christopher Griffiths for putting together such a lengthy deep dive into the making of this. They really plunge into the movie, spending time examining every detail possible, not only getting the specifics about many of the on-set conflicts, but also getting a good amount of time to share how the artist behind the scenes pulled off their complicated tasks, and learning about the visual effects and sound effects is just as engaging and informative as the on-set stuff.
Most impressive of all is the fact that it’s a load of fun despite its length. The presentation of this docuseries – with its score, the way it’s edited, and the graphics – made it engaging enough where I sat through it all in one sitting, and I could have gone on for longer!
For those who wouldn’t be able to sit through four hours, fear not. It is broken up into four, one-hour sections, and will be released weekly beginning August 19th. Here’s the official breakdowns and release dates:
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you’re a ‘RoboCop’ fan, ‘RoboDoc: The Creation of RoboCop‘ is a must watch! Trust me, you’ll buy that for a dollar.