There are a handful of movies I consider perfect, as in they do absolutely nothing wrong. It’s a pretty short list, but Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop is on it.
While the story of a slain police officer turned into a cyborg might sound like typical B-movie trash, RoboCop manages to be a great political satire, a modern retelling of the story of Christ and an absolutely kickass action film loaded with memorable lines. But hunt down a copy and chances are you’ll get a neutered version of the pic. The original received an X-rating from the MPAA, which was considered commercial suicide, so the film was edited to tone down the gore.
“To appease the requirements of the ratings board, Verhoeven reduced the blood and gore in the most violent scenes in the movie, including ED-209’s shooting of Kinney in the boardroom (read about the making of this scene here), Bobby being shot in the leg, the Boddicker gang’s execution of Murphy with shotguns, and the final battle with Boddicker (in which RoboCop stabs him in the neck with his neural spike and Boddicker’s blood spatters onto RoboCop’s chest).”
The uncut version of the film did eventually see the light of day, first appearing on the Criterion Laserdisc in 1995, and then on a variety of DVDs and the 2014 Blu-ray 4K edition. Even so, the cut version has continued to be the predominantly watched one. But now, the 103-minute X-rated cut is up to stream on Amazon Prime, and if you haven’t checked it out I highly recommend it.
My favorite addition is the extended scene of Kinney being shot in the boardroom. In the theatrical cut, it’s pretty brutal, but in the X-rated cut it goes on so long it actually becomes funny, like a live-action Itchy and Scratchy cartoon (check it out here, but maybe not if you’re squeamish).
Of course, there’s a small chance that Amazon might have uploaded this version of RoboCop by mistake, so give it a watch while you still can.