When the original RoboCop came out in 1987, my parents deemed me too young to go see the violent sci-fi action-fest. But I was still old enough to be aware that RoboCop was The Coolest Thing Ever.
Now RoboCop is selling fried chicken for KFC and my childhood feels like it's slipping away into a fever dream.
I finally saw RoboCop on VHS when I was in junior high school and I loved it. I wanted a robo-supersuit of my own and I was aware enough of consumer culture to be down with the movie's commentary on marketing and mega-corporations.
Today I'm having a little trouble processing KFC's new RoboCop Colonel Sanders commercials.
Colonel RoboCop is kind of a jerk. He threatens to destroy the people around him if they don't eat his chicken or if they press too hard to find out the secret herbs and spices. There's also a whole story arc where he protects the hush-hush recipe.
I'm used to my childhood pop-culture heroes turning into marketing machines. Star Wars SpaghettiOs. Bob Dylan and Victoria's Secret. Every Transformers thing ever. Yet I'm struggling with Colonel RoboCop, a perfectly played combination of nostalgia and sass with a string bow tie and gray soul patch.
It seems Neill Blomkamp, director of the , might not be a huge fan of the poultry-pushing cyborg. "Yeah this is a problem," he wrote on Twitter. I feel you, Neill.
I'm shouting the adult-geek equivalent of "Get off my lawn!" at the metallic Colonel. But I don't think this is really about RoboCop. I'm staring down at the slippery slope disintegrating under my feet and I'm wondering if Colonel Roy Batty or Colonel E.T. is next. But I will be strong.
One by one, my childhood sci-fi heroes may fall at the altar of pressure-fried white meat, but I still have my precious memories of Peter Weller kicking ass. Come at me, Colonel RoboCop. And please bring some of those delicious biscuits.