Yesterday marked the 35th anniversary of the original theatrical release of Robocop, the instant classic which later spawned a series of crappy sequels, several confusing animated TV shows, and the only KFC commercial in which there was a slim chance that Col. Sanders might shoot someone in the balls at some point. 

In many ways, it’s extremely odd that the world was so quick to embrace this ultra-violent cyberpunk satire that very nearly received an X-rating. After all, this is a movie in which a dude is half-melted by toxic waste, hit by a car, and exploded like a giant water balloon full of Arby’s sandwiches. Making Robocop so violent was no easy feat though; one of the most brutal scenes was painstakingly crafted over a surprisingly long period of time (and using some surprising ingredients).

We all remember the introduction of the ED-209, the “self-sufficient law enforcement robot” that brutally guns down an Omni Consumer Products executive, while demonstrating its policing skills. 

ED-209 doesn’t just shoot this guy, it practically pulverizes him, in one of the most pointed and darkly funny moments in the movie. And according to an interview with Kevin Page (the actor who played the role of “Mr. Kinney”) shooting this scene was a major ordeal. While the screenplay’s description of the scene featured “minimal” stage directions, director Paul Verhoeven isn’t exactly known for his subtlety …

The initial shoot wasn’t enough for Verhoeven, who brought the actor back for additional filming two months later. They literally reconstructed “the whole boardroom set” in order to get more shots of the actor’s death scene. They were equipped with an “estimated 200 blood squibs” and repeatedly reduced to a bloody mess over a period of three days. For some takes the crew even combined the baggies of fake blood with what happened to be that day’s lunch at the studio commissary: “spaghetti squash” – which apparently yielded the gruesome viscera only a pasta meal can provide. 

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Thumbnail: MGM

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