Film Review: Robocop 3 (dir by Fred Dekker)


“Oh wow, Robocop can fly!”

An odd film, Robocop 3. Released in 1993, this was the third and final film in the original Robocop franchise. While the action is still set in Detroit and Robocop is back (albeit now played by Robert John Burke) and Nancy Allen shows up long enough to get killed off, Robocop 3 feels strangely separate from the previous two Robocop films. If the first two Robocop films were dark, satirical, and over-the-top in their violence, the third film is a family friendly adventure film that reimagines Robocop as being some sort of fair housing activist.

And, on top of all that, Robocop can fly now. Admittedly, that’s because Robocop gets fitted for a jetpack that he didn’t have in the previous films but he still looks incredibly ludicrous flying through the streets of Detroit. Since the Robocop armor has always looked very bulky and very heavy, it’s hard to believe that he could fly as quickly and as smoothly as he does in this film.

There’s a new set of villains too. Rip Torn has replaced Dan O’Herilhy as the CEO. And listen, I like Rip Torn. He will always be a hero to me because he bit Norman Mailer’s ear off. But Torn is far too obviously evil in the role of the CEO. O’Herlihy smartly played the Old Man as being avuncular and amoral. You could look at him and understand how he rose to his position of prominence. Torn’s performance is a bit more cartoonish but then again, Robocop 3 is the most cartoonish of the series.

The CEO wants to tear down Old Detroit so the residents of Old Detroit are fighting back. Leading the CEO’s forces — called the Rehabbers — is Paul McDagget (John Castle), who is a complete and total madman but who, at the same time, is never quite as memorable as Kurtwood Smith or Tom Noonan. He’s really just another generic militaristic bad guy. Normally, you would expect Robocop to be on the side of the company and the police but he’s been reprogrammed by an 8 year-old hacker named Nikko (Remy Ryan). Robocop is now working with the rebels. One of the rebels is played by Stephen Root, proving once again that you never know where Stephen Root might pop up.

Robocop 3 has none of the satiric bite of the first two movies. Instead of being a symbol of authoritarianism gone beserk, Robocop becomes a generic do-gooder. The violence is toned down and, with the addition of a kid sidekick, it’s obvious that this Robocop was meant to be a safer version of the character. Unfortunately, a safe Robocop equals a boring Robocop. You watch this movie and you wonder what happened to the Robocop who shot Ronny Cox out of a window.

“My friend’s call me Murphy,” he says towards the end of the film, “You can call me Robocop.” That seemed to indicate that Robocop had quite a future ahead of him of doing the right thing and standing up to big evil corporations but Robocop 3 was such a bomb at the box office that Robocop’s further adventures would only be seen on TV. The franchise was rebooted back in 2014, in a film that my friend Mark called “Rubber Cop.” After Rubber Cop fell flat, it was announced that Robocop would be rebooted for a second time, this time with a movie that would serve as a direct sequel to the first Robocop and which would ignore the sequels and the first reboot. Personally, I think it might be time to let Robocop retire. He had a good run.

The Predator (Final Trailer)


The Predator

The teaser trailer for this Shane Black production didn’t wow me, at all. Then the first trailer came out and a red band one at that. That one was an upgrade but I was still on the fence. They’ve released more teasers, international trailers and tv spot and, once again, I was still not fully sold on the film.

Today 20th Century Fox drops the final trailer for The Predator just two weeks from it’s release date of September 14. This just days after the studio confirmed that the film will be a very hard R-rating raised my interest level.

It is this final trailer (again another red band trailer) is what finally sold me on this film as a must-see. We still know only bits and pieces of what the film will be about but the trademark Shane Black quips and smartass attitude shows up much more clearly with this last trailer.

I actually enjoyed the last Predator film and I hope this one continues the trend and just entertains it’s audience.

Here’s The Teaser Trailer For The Predator!


Despite featuring Jacob Tremblay, this is apparently not a sequel to The Book of Henry

To be honest, the trailer is kind of bleh.  Then again, it really doesn’t have to be anything spectacular.  Most people who see this film are going to see it because of The Predator name, as opposed to anything that may or may not be in the trailer.  Predator is a bit like Alien and The Terminator.  There’s always going to be, at the very least, a curiosity factor whenever a new chapter in the franchise comes out.

That said, the film is directed by Shane Black, who is a freaking genius, and the script was co-written by Fred “Night of the Creeps” Dekker.  So, I’ll give it a look.

Horror On TV: Tales From The Crypt 2.6 “The Thing From The Grave”


Welcome to tonight’s excursion into televised horror!

These old episodes of Tales From The Crypt are pretty fun, aren’t they?  Originally, I was planning on only showing Tales From The Crypt on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday but I’ve been enjoying the show so much that I’ve decided to add a Tuesday showing as well.

Tonight’s episode is called The Thing From The Grave and it originally aired on May 8th, 1990.  It stars Teri Hatcher as a model who falls in love with a photographer played by Kyle Secor (yes, the same Kyle Secor who went so brilliant over the top in The Purge: Election Year).  Hatcher’s boyfriend, an abusive asshole played by Miguel Ferrer, gets revenge but, since this is Tales From The Crypt, things don’t go quite the way that Ferrer intended.  Nothing can kill love, which is something that I’ve always believed!

This episode was directed by Fred Dekker, who also directed a brilliant film called Night of the Creeps, which I really should review someday.

Enjoy!

Horror on TV: Tales From The Crypt 1.4 “Only Sin Deep” (dir by Howard Deutch)


You may remember, from previous horrorthons, that I like to end each day in October by sharing a classic example of televised horror.  Over the previous two years, I shared several episodes of The Twilight Zone and everyone seemed to enjoy them.  I know I certainly did.

Unfortunately, I can’t do that anymore.

All of the episodes of the Twilight Zone that were on YouTube have been taken down.  Copyright infringement, they say.  And, unfortunately, Hulu is no longer allowing people to watch The Twilight Zone for free.  I can still embed Hulu videos on this site but unless you’re a subscriber, you wouldn’t be able to watch them.

Which sucks, by the way!  Seriously, I was soooooo mad when I discovered what had happened…

However, fear not!  While I may not be able to share any Twilight Zone episodes this October, it turns out that every episode of HBO’s Tales From The Crypt has been uploaded to YouTube!  And what could be more appropriate for Halloween than a little trip to the crypt?

So, with all that in mind, here’s the fourth episode of Tales From The Crypt.  It’s called Only Sin Deep and it originally aired on June 14th, 1989.  It tells the story of a prostitute named Sylvia Vane (played by Lea Thompson) who agrees to sell her beauty for $10,000 and the chance to marry a rich man.  Sylvia doesn’t take the deal seriously.  You won’t be surprised to learn that was a mistake.  Only Sin Deep is an entertaining little morality tale.  Don’t mess with karma.

(As well, I’m going to assume that the name Sylvia Vane is meant to be an homage to the name of Angela Lansbury’s character in The Picture of Dorian Gray.)

Only Sin Deep was directed by Howard Deutch, who also directed Lea Thompson in Some Kind of Wonderful.  (And, of course, he also married her.)  It was written by Fred Dekker, who directed the classic Night of the Creeps.

And yes, the story is introduced by the infamous Cryptkeeper.

Enjoy!