That time they rebuilt an entire set just to shoot an actor some more


Perhaps no character in fiction dies quite as hard as Mr Kinney in RoboCop does. A guy, who for anyone who doesn’t remember get shot like 80,000 times in the chest, dick and face by a bipedal robot with gun-hands. A death it would later emerge, wasn’t anywhere near gory enough for director Paul Verhoeven who called the actor playing Kinney back just to shoot him again. 

Kinney, for anyone who doesn’t have the IMDB page for RoboCop committed to memory was played by a journeyman actor Kevin Page. A prolific extra and TV actor who’s impossibly violent death at the hands of ED-209 is made all the more hilarious when you realise that RoboCop was literally his first ever acting gig.

The story goes that when Verhoeven was watching an early cut of RoboCop back he felt like the demise of Page’s character was a little flaccid in comparison to some of the other deaths in the film. Which is a fair point considering this is a film where a guy who’s entire body is melting explodes after being hit by a car travelling a mach 3 and contains a scene where the titular character shoots someone’s dick clean off.

So Verhoeven brought Page back in and, at great expense, had the OCP boardroom set painstakingly reconstructed just to shoot him some more. Hell, Verhoeven even went as far to bring ED-209 back so that they could get a couple more reaction shots of his unfeeling robo-face as he mercilessly peppered Mr Kinney’s torso with high-powered organ-detonating rifle rounds.

According to Page, Verhoeven had the effects crew absolutely cover his upper body in over 200 squibs (a number Page claims was a record at the time the movie was filmed) and then proceeded to set them all off at once. Though this did result in a far more impressive death scene, Verhoeven was still convinced that it could be better and tasked the effects crew with coming up with a way to make it look like Page was dying even harder.

The effects crew eventually discovered a solution in the form of some spaghetti, which they shoved a bunch of under Page’s shirt along with some fake blood before loading him up with squibs again. With the addition of spaghetti, the exploding squibs now looked like Page’s guts were being torn apart by the volley of gunfire. An effect Verhoeven was happy with one, because it looked awesome and two because the violent manner in which Page’s character was dispatched made the follow-up line from Daniel O’Herlihy of “I am very disappointed” seem all the more absurd, which helped play up the satirical nature of the film.

Finally, because we kind of have to mention this, according to Page several of the squibs were placed dangerously close to his penis and he would later recall that the feeling of them all going off at once felt like being repeatedly kicked in the nuts. Which only makes it all the more impressive that he didn’t once move while being shot and just goes to show that corpse acting isn’t as easy as Calculon makes it sound.