If you’ve seen the ’80s action classic ‘Robocop’, you know it’s a violent, gory flick, but if you can believe it, that was the censored version.  The first cut that director Paul Verhoeven delivered was rated X — what we would now refer to as NC-17.  Verhoeven had to recut the film a whopping ten times in order to scrub the film down to the level at which it could be granted an R rating.  An R rating already stands for “Restricted,” meaning that no one under 18 is supposed to be allowed to see it without a parent or guardian.  X would be classified as obscene and no child was to be admitted to see it regardless.  Most theaters refused to carry X-rated films, as they were considered to be equal to pornography.

Considering how graphic the theatrical cut of ‘Robocop’ is, one could only imagine what had to be cut.  Well, one had to imagine until now.  The original X-rated version is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime.  It’s unclear whether this happened on purpose or by accident.  Amazon does not have it labeled as “X-Rated,” “Uncut” or “Director’s Cut,” which seems to indicate that it was posted with the belief that it was the theatrical version.

What’s the difference?  Mainly the scene where the ED-209 is presented and proceeds to blow the one executive away, which has more blood, and the scene of Murphy being shot by thugs. has supplied a side-by-side comparison which you can see by clicking on the link.  Below is an image-free description:

“The MPAA especially did not approve of the gory presentation of the prototype ED-209 and Murphy’s execution. The bloodiest shots were cut out of the first scene and a lot of alternative footage was used in the other – only the DC shows Murphy losing an arm in the gunfire. On top of that, alternative footage has been used for the car chase at the beginning as well as in the finale.

“The censorship of the ED-209 scene torpedoes Verhoeven’s initial intention. The scene was deliberately planned as comically exaggerated to get some laughs out of the audience with the “Somebody want to call a paramedic?” line – the dark humor is watered down in the edited version, as Verhoeven criticizes himself in the audio commentary. During Murphy’s execution, an interesting dolly camera pan was cut along with the gory headshot where an elaborate Peter Weller dummy designed by SFX expert Rob Bottin had been used.”
Yet they had no problem with the melting guy that got hit by the car?!
The “Director’s Cut” has been released on home video before, but is labeled as such.
Neil Blomkamp is working on a new film, ‘Robocop Returns’, that will be a direct sequel to the first movie.  But if you want to see the original in its uncut glory, it’s now streaming on Amazon.