Monday, May 21, 2012

Tim Doyle's "Robocop" Movie Posters

Robocop is one of those films that pleases on just about every level. Are you a fan of blood and gore? Don't worry, Robocop has got you covered. Need some biting satire? Fret not, this film assaults the media and the privatization of the public sector in ways few films can. You say you can only watch films that star physicist / neurosurgeon / test pilot / rock legend Buckaroo Banzai? While that's an oddly specific and limiting prerequisite, fear not, because Robocop is the film for you! Groundbreaking, intelligent, bloody, and hilarious, this movie stands tall as one of my favorite 80s films and to this day remains scarily relevant and surprisingly entertaining. Posterocalypse favorite Tim Doyle, in cooperation with The Castro Theatre and Spoke Art, has created not one, but two lovely posters for what in my estimation is Paul Verhoeven's greatest gift to cinema.

Robocop Movie Poster
Tim Doyle
18" x 24" - Signed and Numbered
$40 - Limited to 225

I'm immediately reminded, and I'm sure this is purposeful, of an exploded view diagram when gazing at these two posters. It's a wonderful design choice that not only shows us the relationship between man and machine, but also the relationship between machine part A and machine part B. These prints bring to mind a team of scientists huddled over a schematic bible frantically flipping through its pages trying to figure out how to successfully put Robocop together. Also, I know I'm not the only one who noticed this, but since I haven't read anyone write about it yet I'm going to point out the obvious: the title is in Japanese! I know Tim did something similar with his Transformers poster from last year, and it may turn out that the through line connecting these two films is robots with humanity...or maybe it just looks cool. Either way, I'm absolutely loving it. As I close out this review I wanted to briefly share some of what Tim wrote about his approach. Doyle's posts on his own work are always a fun read and happen to be incredibly more thoughtful than anything I could ever write. Now let's get to the good stuff (by the way, I highly recommend reading the rest of his post at when you have the chance):
"When I was approaching this poster, I wanted to play against expectations. I rarely give the audience what they ‘want’- I want to give the audience what I want to give them, and convince them that I was right all along. I definitely miss on some, but hey- I’m at least entertaining myself over here. I think too often when talking (and drawing) about the film Robocop, people miss the point that it’s all about Murphy’s journey of identity. He’s fighting back literally from death, and trying to discover not only who he was, but who he’s going to be in the present- Is he product or person?"
Bottom line: I love the technical complexity of Doyle's design and definitely appreciate the apparent care with which he has attempted to go beyond the cool exterior and show the man behind the mask. Is it weird that this poster makes more sense to me than some Ikea assembly guides do?

Robocop Movie Poster (Variant)
Tim Doyle
18" x 24" - Signed and Numbered
$60 - Limited to 50

Tim Doyle's Robocop movie posters are currently available through Spoke Art's website! Both versions measure 18" x 24" and are signed and numbered. The regular print costs $40 and is limited to an edition of 225, while the variant costs $60 and is limited to an edition of 50. To learn more about the artist, head over to and

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