Let's talk a little bit about Paul Verhoeven. His name may be unfamiliar, but he is responsible for some of the best bad cult-yet-mainstream films of the 1980s and 1990s. In “Total Recall,” my personal favorite, reality is in question as Arnold Schwarzenegger travels to Mars to recover allegedly lost memories. “Basic Instinct” is infamous for Sharon Stone's little reveal in an interrogation room. “Starship Troopers,” while intensely silly, has a lot to say about the nature of wartime propaganda. “Showgirls,” about a young woman determined to make it big as a dancer in Vegas, is one of the silliest films ever made, but this is what gives it its enduring greatness. Verhoeven was classy enough to show up to the Golden Raspberries (the anti-Oscar, celebrating the worst in film) to receive his seven awards.
But it all started overseas. Unknown to most, Mr. Verhoeven began his prolific career in the Netherlands, where he was actually lauded for his work. In the 1980s he came to America and burst into the national spotlight in 1987 with perhaps his best-known film: “RoboCop,” which plays at midnight tomorrow (Saturday) at Baxter Avenue Theater.
The future is bleak: Detroit is overrun with crime. Law enforcement is handed over to corporation Omni Consumer Products, who determine that robotics are the best option. For one of their experiments, the (incredibly violent) death of policeman Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) is arranged, but his body is salvaged, infused with machinery, and the result is the cyborg crime-fighter RoboCop!
Sounds ridiculous? Indeed! But who cares? One thing guaranteed by the viewing of a Verhoeven film is a good time, and there is no better way to enjoy this than on the big screen at midnight.
Baxter Avenue Theater is located at 1250 Bardstown Road. Further theater information can be found at the theater's website.
Image: Internet Movie Database