The summer of 1987 was a great time to be a movie-going American. Schwarzenegger was in jungles of Central America battling the Predator. Patrick Swayze was Dirty Dancing his way into our hearts. Kubrick took us back to the Vietnam War with Full Metal Jacket. De Palma was still in his prime with The Untouchables. And Timothy Dalton starred in the best James Bond film to ever star Timothy Dalton, The Living Daylights. But one film rises supreme amongst all these meaty offerings of entertainment, for 1987 was the summer that the world fell in love with RoboCop. Thirty years later, there exist some amazing RoboCop tattoos.
The film tells the story of Detroit in the not-too-distant future. You know how people always talk about how NYC is like a character in some films? Detroit is a character in RoboCop. Sure, the film revolves around policeman Alex Murphy, who is savagely brought to the brink of death by gang members only to be reborn as the titular cyborg. But Murphy only exists as a lens through which to view Detroit, the real star of the film.
RoboCop may be the single biggest challenge to the idea that all cops are bastards. He’s just so lovable, and gets mad props for only killing the people who deserve it, unlike real-world, non-cyborg cops. The audience is taken on a heartbreaking journey as we watch Murphy struggle with what it is to be human and try to retain his slipping grip on the last aspects of his humanity.
The film is also one of the all-time great anti-capitalist tales. The real villain here isn’t the gang of drug dealers led by Clarence Boddicker (played brilliantly by That ‘70s Show’s Kurtwood Smith), but rather Omni Consumer Products, a corrupt corporation that has been put in charge of Detroit’s police force. It is heavily hinted that Detroit is on the verge of collapse because of capitalism. We can give you a deeper reading of all of this through a Marxist lens, but it’s too heady and you’re probably not high enough.
Tattoodo editor Charlie Connell wanted me to chime in that RoboCop cemented in his mind that in the future all cars are Ford Tauruses with black matte finish. Thankfully, this grim prognostication has not yet come to fruition, but there’s still time.
RoboCop has done nothing but gain popularity in the decades since its release. It is now considered a classic of the ‘80s and is responsible for launching the Hollywood career of Paul Verhoeven, who followed up the film with the brilliant Total Recall.
In honor of the 30th anniversary of RoboCop, you have the right to look at these kickass RoboCop tattoos.
These RoboCop tattoos are all endearing love letter to one of the ‘80s smartest action films. Join us next time as we take a look at tattoos inspired by the highest-grossing film of 1987, Beverly Hills Cop II.