In our monthly roundup of what was coming to Amazon Prime Video in October, we noted that Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop was being added to the service. (We also noted RoboCop 2 and were also going up on Prime Video but, y’know, you don’t really want to watch those.) It turns out this event is even more notable than we originally realized.

An eagle-eyed, content-conscious user on Reddit noticed that the Prime Video stream of RoboCop isn’t the theatrical version. Instead, they appear to be showing the X-rated cut of the movie:

So I spot checked some of the scenes in Prime's video and this looks like the X-rated version according to this comparison: https://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=3609994. It also has the correct running time of 103 minutes. There is more blood and gore in this version. The Amazon page does not specify if this was the X-rated version though, so I checked it myself out of curiosity.

RoboCop earned that X rating because of the film’s intense, pervasive, and very graphic violence. (Thanks Paul Verhoeven!) The theatrical version had to be trimmed down to get an R rating. More details, from IMDb:

The most extensively cut sequences involves the murder of Peter Weller's character, Murphy. The director's cut is almost a full minute longer. It shows Murphy's arm being shot off (cut completely from the R-rated version), more elaborate shots of Murphy writhing in pain as the thugs shoot him, and includes an elaborate tracking shot that shows the back of his head exploding into the camera when he is finally shot by Clarence Boddicker. This shot is especially missed because it made use of a fully-mechanical prosthetic Murphy built by make-up special effect artist Rob Bottin. The unrated director's cut also includes a longer shot of Murphy's hand being shot off and the camera lingering on his reaction and his stump.

The R-rated version of the film is the one you’d usually see on television — although the original cut of the film has been released on some RoboCop DVDs and Blu-rays. (Physical media: Still good!) This is a good reminder that you don’t always know exactly what you’re getting with streaming. Have fun Prime Video users, but make sure there are no impressionable young children around first. You can RoboCop in all its bloody glory on Amazon Prime here.

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