Tag Archives: RoboCop
Mad medicine was everywhere in the 80s and 90s. There were toys and playsets endorsed by mad doctors, for use by kids. Every time you watched cartoons, you saw a skinny dude with crazy hair in a white lab coat, maniacally mixing chemicals and potions for some nefarious purpose. Under the influence of this, I created my own mad medicine man; Dr. Kill-Everybody.
Either the trope became shopworn around 2001, or something happened that discouraged children from playing with chemicals. You don’t see mad doctors and scientists like you used to. Maybe this is a good thing; maybe the concept was subconsciously driving impressionable kids away from lucrative STEM-field careers. I don’t know.
What I do know is this. Mad doctors once flourished in our society, even though they were annoying, and generally sucked.
Moviegoers today act like naked Kate Winslet in Titanic, coyly demanding Leonardo DiCaprio to draw her like a French girl. A preternatural relationship has been forged between audience and studio. A production falls all over itself to seduce a fandom, because that’s where the blindly loyal dollars are. If a popular intellectual property is even slightly altered for a motion picture adaptation, it’s headline news, even above mass murder and election-year chicanery.
The movie industry has become such an intellectual wasteland that the 80s era of numerical sequel-mania looks dignified by comparison. Honest promotion and word-of-mouth don’t work anymore; attention span is dead. The only way to really sell a remake is to get people steamed. Take the things viewers loved about an original film, and subvert them. Serves the suckers right anyway, for falling in love with a fictional universe. The names P.T. Barnum and J.J. Abrams aren’t similar for nothing. Continue reading