CHARLIE BRIGDEN IS A WRITER AND JOURNALIST BASED IN SOUTH WALES WHO SPECIALISES IN FILM AND FILM MUSIC WRITING. HE HAS A REPUTATION FOR AN INCISIVELY ANALYTIC AND ENTERTAINING STYLE AND CAN BE FOUND AT SUCH PLACES AS THE QUIETUS AND ROGER EBERT AS WELL AS WORKING FOR CLIENTS LIKE MONDO AND INDICATOR.

RoboCop Can Never Go Home Again

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The most important scene in "RoboCop" happens about halfway through the film, where RoboCop visits his former home. Well, Murphy's former home. The house is now up for sale with a Max Headroom-like real estate salesman coming up on a screen in every room of the house as Robo walks around. But this journey is emotional, and the crux of the transformation from blank slate cyborg to Murphy, or what's left of the former cop.

Backing up these emotional transitions, which are often quite distressing to both Robo and the audience, is Basil Poledouris' score, which underlies the action with a sophisticated and appropriate blend of orchestral music (recorded with the Sinfonia of London) and synthesisers. Harsh electronic tones clash as Robo traverses the home, his circuits and synapses firing, and Poledouris introduces a strangle processed choral sound that acts as a barrier, or even prism, with Murphy's memories on the other side. As we see his son in his room with the "Can you do that dad?" excited hero worship, the orchestra takes over and weaves in Poledouris' ethereal and searching identity motif, and it's a painful feeling, feeling Murphy's soul lost inside that suit. As we pick up a memory Murphy experienced as a fragment as a near-death experience, we see his wife with those simple words, "I really have to tell you something... I love you." Like a bullet to the head, that final statement causes a reaction in his head beyond the physical, fusing both identities together, the separated now inseparable.

As he strides to the exit, visibly upset, his big action theme plays. Not with the anvil and the big brass ensemble as earlier in the film, but with anguished strings that end with a flourish as Murphy puts his fist through the real estate screen. An upsetting transformation scene, at least compared to what genre expectations have prepared us for.

Calm Your Tits, Horrorhounds