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Why Robocop Fans Are Scratching Their Heads Over This Horror Movie

Robocop, from 1987, was an irreverent, satirical, gory, ultra-violent, hilarious, and somewhat prescient film. The futuristic, over-the-top action flick starred Peter Weller as the title character — a young cop who's killed and brought back as a part-human, part-cyborg police officer to patrol the lawless and dystopian city of Detroit in an era when corporations rule. Considered by many to be a modern classic, it's held up well over time despite — or perhaps because of —its dated '80s charm and philosophical thoughtfulness. 

At the time of its release, the scifi landscape was saturated with mindlessly explosive entertainment, and the film from Dutch director Paul Verhoeven stood out under such conditions. In fact, many consider Robocop as hugely influential on video games and movies as a result of its satisfying and fast-paced action, not to mention its themes of man vs. machine and corporate control.

However, Robocop's influence in pop culture may have been admired a little too much by a particular 2011 film. Even years later, many fans are still scratching their heads in confusion at the similarities between these two projects, and are wondering what in the world might have motivated an amateur filmmaker to crib from one of the most high-profile films from that era.

Does Adam Chaplin take scenes from Robocop and edit them?

The horror thriller Adam Chaplin, which was released in 2011 by an indie company called Necrostorm, ostensibly has a few small things in common with Robocop, including lots of gore, death and a visibly dark '80s' style aesthetic, though it's more often compared to The Crow and Fist of the North Star. In this low-budget splatter film, the anti-hero, Adam, is inspired to summon a demon after the gruesome murder of his wife by a notorious mob boss in Heaven Valley. He does this in an effort to gain strength and other dark powers that will allow him to wreak vengeance on the corrupt law enforcement system that has led to his wife's death. 

An observant Reddit user recently noticed that there are a few similarities between certain scenes in Robocop and Adam Chaplin, which can't necessarily be accounted for by the fact that movies use similar sets all the time. The original poster, @JeanPaulTron, says they found the scenes funny, and posted the Robocop scenes next to their Adam Chaplin counterparts so the similarities could be easily compared. However, if it's true that these scenes are actually the ones from Robocop, only edited and filtered to fit into Adam Chaplin, there could be copyright issues involved.

Clearly, these scenes are too similar to be accidental, but there are enough differences in the captured images that Adam Chaplin's use of them could be viewed more like an homage rather than outright theft. If the filmmakers from Adam Chaplin had gone out and specifically tried to imitate recognizable scenes from Robocop, it would only be following a time-honored pastiche tradition in Hollywood that's often practiced by filmmakers like Quentin Tarentino, without apology. Without any context, it's hard to tell exactly what's going on here, but it's certainly an amusing bit of trivia to notice next time you're in the mood for the film billed as "the most bloody film ever made."