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Omar Ahmed

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325253

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325253.001.0001

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American Jesus

American Jesus

(p.77) Chapter 3: American Jesus

Omar Ahmed

Liverpool University Press

This chapter assesses the portrayal of the cyborg in Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop (1987). RoboCop was part of the cycle of 1980 films in which the cyborg was consolidated as a genuinely ambivalent iconographic motif of science-fiction cinema. In many ways, it is the complicated experience of emotion and memory that defines the ubiquity of the cyborg in science-fiction cinema. The chapter then considers the ‘transmigration’ theory of Robotics professor Hans Moravec, who helped pioneer the development of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). It also discusses religious, philosophical, and mythological dimensions, chiefly the potential of reading the film as an allegory of Christ. Whereas the Christ parable is nothing innovative to the way Hollywood heroism can be read, what makes RoboCop's Christian allegory markedly distinctive is that it takes places in the context of the science-fiction-cyborg-film sub-genre.

Keywords:   cyborg, Paul Verhoeven, RoboCop, science-fiction cinema, transmigration theory, Christ parable, Hollywood heroism, Christian allegory, cyborg film

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