Come to think of it, overkill is something that Robocop has a great deal of.
There’s the famed ED-209 overkill sequence:
There’s the slightly more obscure, but no less brutal “melt man” overkill:
But standing head and shoulders above it all, putting all of the competition to shame, is the horrendously brutal death of Alex Murphy (Peter Weller):
While many of the other overkills on this list have a sense of excess that could be considered humorous by some, (I.E. me) the death of Alex Murphy is an overkill that has a sense of urgency and dramatic weight that goes a long way towards legitimizing it.
Unflinchingly brutal and perhaps more importantly, graphic; watching Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) and his gang torture, humiliate and ultimately, dismember Alex Murphy always brings a haunting, and alarming sense of wrongness to my conscience.
I love Robocop, and in particular, I love this scene; but that doesn’t keep me from understanding that this sequence was intended to be regarded as
Without a doubt; the death of Alex Murphy is easily the most greatest, most brutal, excessive, and utterly fucked-up Overkill in Movies.
That being said, what say we do a play-by-play of the carnage?:
The scene begins as Officer Alex Murphy stumbles into an ambush.
Surrounded by 5 armed men, Murphy is forced to give up his arms as Clarence Boddicker beats on him a little to try and get him to spill the beans on the whereabouts of his partner, Ann Lewis (Nancy Allen).
After whacking Murphy in the leg, and bashing him in the spine with the butt of his shotgun, Clarence finds himself interrupted as his fellow gang member, Joe (Jesse D. Goins), walks into the room declaring Lewis previously deceased by his hand.
Yeah, Joe’s a dick…
With the threat of any remaining police presence now completely removed, Clarence and his gang lighten up and decide to have some fun with Murphy.
Kicking Murphy onto his back on the floor, Clarence paces about and starts talkin’ shit:
Throughout this sequence, it’s worth noting that Clarence, despite sounding downright chummy at times, consistently keeps his gun trained on Murphy’s head.
Placing one foot on the inside of Murphy’s forearm, Clarence stands up, looks down the barrel of his shotgun, and points it at Murphy’s groin.
While making a faux computerized targeting system tone, akin to the tone of a jet fighter’s missile lock tone, Clarence slowly brings the gun to bear, first on Murphy’s head, and then down to his still pinned right arm.
The first shot of our overkill results in Alex Murphy’s right hand being rendered into chunky red mush.
Being as Clarence Boddicker is a certified, grade-A DICK, a pun is his natural response to the violence:
Following this, Clarence steps back for a smoke, leaving Murphy’s fate in the hands of his underlings.
Most likely in shock from having just lost his hand, Murphy lurches to his feet and immediately begins to slowly walk away from his assailants.
Being as Clarence’s gang is made up of coke-heads and Junior DICKS, their first act is to ask Murphy where he’s going, and then yell at him to turn around.
For whatever reason, Murphy does just this:
Now missing an arm, the very same arm that he was previously missing a hand on, Murphy does just about the only thing he can:
First, they shoot him in his kevlar vest:
And they finish things off by shooting him enough times in the vest to tear it to ribbons and take some tasty chunks out of his torso to boot:
Now, on any normal day, Alex Murphy would’ve been dead long before Clarence’s gang ran out of ammo, but this is a Paul Verhoeven film, so we’re not allowed to question the violence.
That being said, Murphy finally falls to his knees just as the gang pumps the last of their shells into his poor vest.
Seriously man, that thing had 2 days til retirement…
With Murphy left lying in pool of his own bodily fluids, one of Clarence’s gang, Emil (Paul McCrane), takes this opportunity to state the obvious:
Not only that, but *GASP!* Joe takes this opportunity to be a DICK!
Despite all the laughter and hijinks of his underlings throughout this scene, to his credit, Clarence finally steps forward and decides to put Alex Murphy out of his misery.
Well, either that or he was done with his cigarette and wanted to go home…
Either way, Clarence promptly walks up to Murphy, and casually puts a bullet through his head to call it a night:
Thusly concludes, the Best Overkill in Movies.
It’s brutal, it’s equally difficult and entertaining to watch, and in my mind, it’s simply the only top choice for this particular Top 10 list.
Anyway, thanks for reading, maybe we’ll do another Top 10 sometime.
With that, I’ve decided to go out on a high note by leaving you with this Robocop Rap: