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The Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies, #1: Robocop

Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi masterpiece, Robocop, has the dual distinction of not only being one of my favorite films of all time, but of also featuring THE Best Overkill in Movies.

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 legitimizingĀ  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).

Best Shitty Haircut in Cinema History: Nancy Allen, Robocop (1987)

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.

Pictured: Joe's only contribution to the movie.

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.

"Eagle One, Fox-3!"

The first shot of our overkill results in Alex Murphy’s right hand being rendered into chunky red mush.

If you look close, you can actually see the prosthetic hand being yanked out of the scene to simulate it's severing.

Being as Clarence Boddicker is a certified, grade-A DICK, a pun is his natural response to the violence:

Clarence Boddicker: DICK of the Ages

Following this, Clarence steps back for a smoke, leaving Murphy’s fate in the hands of his underlings.

...But first we have to watch Murphy bleed for 10 minutes.

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:

Like any great heel in wrestling, Clarence’s gang pick a body part and work it until it’s nothing but a bloody stump.

Well, being as these guys are using SHOTGUNS instead of submission moves, said process takes only about, oh, one shot.

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:

Unfortunately, like bullies teasing a fat kid at the pool, Clarence’s gang are truly relentless, as with that they open fire with, literally, everything they’ve got.

First, they shoot him in his kevlar vest:

Then they shoot him there some more…

Then Lewis (who is not dead) stumbles into the room and watches them shoot Murphy in the vest…

Yup, she just stood there. Did absolutely nothing...

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:

These have all been direct quotes by the way

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…

*Sniff* Don't worry friend, we'll remember you...

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:

"Hi, I'm Emil. I die a horrible death in this film!"

Not only that, but *GASP!* Joe takes this opportunity to be a DICK!

"Hi, I'm Joe. I, along with everyone else in this film, also die a horrible death in this movie."

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…

"The Tigers are a playin' a game, TONIGHT! I never miss a game..."

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:

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The Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies, #6: Bonnie and Clyde

#6 on our Best Overkills in Movies list, is what we call a “gimme.”

That is, something that is a given; something that is so obvious that it’s pretty much obligatory to the subject matter.

Bonnie and Clyde is well documented as a game changer in Hollywood cinema, setting a precedent with it’s graphic, flamboyant, and borderline pornographic portrayal of violence, as well as it’s rapid-fire editing style.

You see, in 1967, bullet hits and violence were generally staged in a very theatrical fashion I.E. man mimes getting shot, clutches side in agony and falls down after doing a silly dance.

Kind of like this, but with guns:

Unlike most other films of the time, Bonnie and Clyde employed extensive use of squibs for it’s bullet hits, greatly enhancing their visual and dramatic impact in the process.

Take for example this squib hit from Total Recall:

While I haven’t personally seen Bonnie and Clyde, I’ve been shown it’s historical overkill sequence numerous times, usually in school of all places.

Anyway, that’s enough film school bullshit, let’s make with the overkill:

CLICK HERE FOR CLIP

The setup couldn’t be more classic.

Basically, we have the pair of bank robbers taking a leisurely drive down a country road, celebrating Clyde’s impotence, you know; the usual.

Behold, Warren Beatty being a hipster-doofus with his one-eyed sunglasses.

Anyway, eventually they run across an old man changing the tires of his truck on the side of the road.

I’d just like to take this moment to point out that this particular old man has a habit of nervously twitching and looking off into the nearby foliage every couple of seconds.

Never trust the elderly...

Hmm, I wonder; why on Earth would a seemingly inconspicuous old man act like this?

Surely not because the cops paid him off to help them lure Bonnie and Clyde into a overkill death trap…

Of course that’s why, dumbass.

Anyway, upstanding crazy-as-fuck citizens that they are, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker decide to pull over and lend the old man a hand.

"Oh it's no trouble sir, I'm just eatin' my apple, wearin' my one-eyed shades, fuckin' my girlfriend, and fleeing from the police, all at once. It's not like I'm not busy or anything."

Pretty much as soon as Clyde hops out of the truck, leaving Bonnie to sit alone; some crazy shit starts goin’ down.

The old man’s eye twitches!

Goddamnit, I told you not to trust him!

A flock of birds fly out from the bushes!

Hmm, now why would they do that?...

Bonnie smiles!

"DURR!! BIRDIES!!!?"

Clyde laughs!

"If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine, I.E. make Dick Tracy and a shit ton of money..."

Bonnie gives Clyde a last second “fuck me” glance!

"Do me Clyde. Do me HARD..."

"NOW? Really?...

And then shit goes from choppily edited craziness, to insanely brutal OVERKILL craziness…

Virtually unseen from their sniping positions in the bushes, the police open up on Bonnie and Clyde with one helluva’ Ultra Combo of gunfire.

Yes, those would in fact be entry wounds in his face. A LOT of them.

Unfortunately, neither Bonnie nor Clyde remember the command inputs required to execute a C-C-C-Combo Breaker, thusly resulting in their grisly demises at the hands of a few hundred bullets.

Good girl. Keep that wheel steady...

Seriously, when it comes to, literally; “painting” a target with gunfire, these cops get an “A.”

Needless to say, Bonnie, Clyde, and their sweet-ass truck are torn to ribbons, with Clyde getting sprayed so bad he ends up being spun around on the ground like a dog trying to cure a nasty itch.

"Just a little bit to the right guys. Yeah! That's the spot..."

In all, we are treated to just over 20 SECONDS STRAIGHT of Great Depression era overkill savagery.

Do the math son, 20 seconds is a motherfuckin’ eternity when it comes to simply showing 2 people get shot.

...Or when showing a lady get a wood splinter shoved into her eyeball.

While hardly creative, or even all that graphic by today’s standards, Bonnie and Clyde’s climactic overkill sequence is well remembered as a revolutionary moment in film history.

Why then, with all this overkill savagery; and all these pimpin’ credential is Bonnie and Clyde ranked so low on the Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies?

Because this is my fuckin’ list, that’s why.

Like I said, while I respect the legacy attached to the film, I haven’t even seen it, so honestly you should be happy this one even made the list.

Besides, this is supposed to be a list of the BEST Overkills in Movies, not the bloodiest, or the most famous; the BEST.

Ah c'mon, you knew I had to stick this in somewhere...

That being said, Bonnie and Clyde sits atop the bottom 5 on our list, and trust me; once you’ve seen the top 5, you’ll think twice about questioning my judgment…

Seriously, good shit’s to come.

Stay tuned.

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