June 19, 2013

Demolition Man (1993)
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock

"We're police officers! We're not trained to handle this kind of violence!"

Comments:   Demolition Man is one of the quirkiest little hybrids of comedy and action that you are ever going to see in your life.  And it is famous for being one of those movies that was HUGE when it originally came out, but was completely forgotten by everyone about five years later.  I have no idea why that happened, but it did.  It just sort of disappeared from everyone's radar at some point in the late 90's.  And that's a shame.  Because if you asked me to name my top 20 science fiction movies, or my top 20 action movies, or heck, even my top 20 funniest movies of the 90's, I would probably include Demolition Man on all three of those lists.

John Spartan, you, sir, are a brute.

Demolition Man is the story of a bad ass cop from the 90's named John Spartan.  

Naturally, because this is a Sylvester Stallone movie, he is played by Sylvester Stallone.  

And like in most Sylvester Stallone movies, he is absolutely ripped

John Spartan's peers in the Los Angeles Police Department like to refer to him as "The Demolition Man."  Why?  Well because he is easily the baddest mother in the entire department.  And because he always catches the bad guy.  Oh, and because he is notorious for destroying buildings and taking down entire city blocks just to catch a criminal.  

Basically, John Spartan is an uncontrollable, unstoppable force of nature.  And it is lucky that he is one of the good guys.

wears Beast Aftershave; smeels mainly

Okay, so one day John Spartan is going around L.A., kicking the shit out of bad guys, blowing up buildings, just doing what he does.  And he runs into a criminal who is basically his equal.  He runs into the notorious sociopathic murderer Simon Phoenix.

Played by Wesley Snipes

Like I said, Simon Phoenix is basically the evil equivalent of John Spartan.  He likes to kill people.  He likes to blow up schools.  He knows martial arts and he is unbeatable in a fight.  He is a wild animal.  He is well known to the police of Los Angeles, and he has been wreaking havoc all over town.

Well, one day John Spartan catches up with Simon Phoenix, and the two super powers square off.

Phoenix:  Gonna bust you up
Rocky:  Go for it

As expected, John Spartan defeats Simon Phoenix and he hauls him off to jail.  But a bunch of hostages accidentally die in the process (whoopsies) and Spartan is blamed for their deaths.  So he is hauled right off to jail along with the bad guy.

Spartan:  I am the law.
Old cop:  Yeah, we really need to talk about that.

Since Spartan and Phoenix are both considered to be highly dangerous, and completely uncontrollable, and they are both considered to be a menace to society, they are both given a special type of prison sentence.  Rather than go to jail like everyone else, and be liable to one day get out or escape, a judge decides to make an example out of them and cryogenically freeze them.  They are to be frozen in a block of ice for the next 75 years.  And at some point along the way, their brains are going to be genetically modified to make them both docile.  So when they are unfrozen nearly a century from now, they will both be less violent.

John Spartan being cryogenically frozen

Okay, so far so good.  By the way, keep in mind that is only the first ten minutes of the movie.  We really haven't even gotten to the good stuff yet.

Like the seashells.  More on them later.

Okay, so here we go.

Over the next forty years, while the main characters are frozen in ice, bad things happen to America.  Earthquakes happen.  Floods happen.  People die.  Cities crumble.  Basically, the entire world that John Spartan and Simon Phoenix knew in the 20th century has changed and has been replaced.  

We cut forward to the future.  It is now the year 2032.  John Spartan and Simon Phoenix have both been frozen in ice for the past forty years.

And America has at some point basically become a giant Utopian pussy society.

Where the toughest cop on the force is now Rob Schneider

Between 1993 and 2032, everything has been outlawed in America.  You aren't allowed to do anything anymore.  People are basically veal.

Eat meat?  Nope, not anymore.  Now eating meat is a felony.  In fact eating anything unhealthy is a felony.

Use profanity?  Nope.  Now you are fined one credit every time you utter a swear word, or you "break the verbal morality statute."  This rule is strictly enforced.

Drink coffee?  Nope.  It has been outlawed because it contains caffeine.  And caffeine consumption is a felony.

You also aren't allowed to drive fast, drink alcohol, have physical contact with another person, own a weapon, play a game that is not educational, or be in a bad mood.  And as far as having sex?  Forget it.  All exchange of bodily fluids is strictly against the law in this 2030's Utopia.  The only way people are allowed to reproduce anymore is by using a virtual reality machine.

The cops of the future don't even carry guns anymore, they are only allowed to have glow sticks

Yes, police in the year 2032 haven't seen a murder in over 20 years.  They haven't even seen a violent crime in over 20 years.  And why would they?  They live in a perfect society.  They live in a world made up of happiness and rainbows and sunshine.  Where nobody ever breaks the law.  Where self esteem machines will tell you you are a joy-joy person who brings happiness to others and will gladly put a smile on your face if you are having a bad day.  

Violent crime?  Guns?  Robbery?  Murder/death/kills?  

Bah, those sort of things were soooo twenty years ago.

Oh, and then one day a sociopath escapes

One day during a prison transfer at the San Angeles prison, Simon Phoenix is accidentally defrosted and he escapes.  Yes, the most violent criminal of the 20th century in unleashed into pussy Utopian San Angeles.  Into a world without violence.

And, well, to say that the cops in 2032 are not prepared to deal with a criminal of this magnitude?  Well that is an understatement.

Police Officer:  Mellow greetings, citizen.  What seems to be your boggle?
Simon Phoenix:  Fuck you.  *death punch*

Phoenix escapes and he goes on a rampage.  And he kills approximately infinity police officers.  

Holy shit, are these motherfuckers carrying glow sticks??

Meanwhile, the San Angeles police watch this rampage unfold and they don't know what to do about it.  Wait, what?  Murder/death/kills?  Senseless violence?   Refusal to submit to authority?  

I thought we outlawed all of this!

The criminals aren't supposed to be doing this anymore!

The King of San Angeles

In a desperate move, the police of 2032 go back to their headquarters and they try to brainstorm.   They think, how on Earth are we going to stop this animal?  How can we fight a man who uses violence when it is illegal for us to use violence?

Hi, I like killing people

And that is when they come up with an idea.

One of the cops (who is old, and who remembers the 90's) suddenly realizes, "Hey, we could unfreeze John Spartan!  Remember that animal?  We could unfreeze him, and HE can stop the bad guy!  We can send an animal to catch an animal!"

And that is exactly what they do

And really, that is your movie.

John Spartan is unfrozen for the sole purpose of defeating and recapturing Simon Phoenix.  And he has to do it while living in a society where basically everything he does and everything he is used to has officially been outlawed.

And watching him interact with this futuristic pansy world is what makes this movie so funny.

Spartan:  I am the law
Warden:  You are not the law
Spartan:  Eat shit.
Random Machine in the Background:  *buzz*  John Spartan, you have been fined one credit for violation of the Verbal Morality Statute

Even though Demolition Man looks like an action movie, it really isn't.  I mean, the elements of an action movie are there.  And there are certainly some good action scenes in there.  But make no doubt about it, this is mostly a comedy.  75% of the movie is John Spartan being dumbfounded that America is made up of a bunch of pussies now and he isn't allowed to do anything.  And then every single time he talks, he is constantly being nailed for a Verbal Morality Violation by some random machine hanging on the wall in the background.  Without question, that is one of my favorite running gags of any movie of the 90's.

John Spartan receiving yet another Verbal Morality fine

A couple of months ago, I decided that I was going to show my wife Demolition Man.  Out of the blue, with no warning whatsoever, I told her I was bringing home a Sylvester Stallone action movie and she was going to like it.  

Well my wife hates action movies.  She hates all action movies.  She is also a female.  Naturally, when she heard "Sylvester Stallone" and "action movie from the 90's" she did not receive my comment with much enthusiasm.  She just rolled her eyes and said "Oh great."

"No," I said, "Trust me.  This one is different.  This one is goofier than you would expect."

I said, it also stars Sandra Bullock in one of her very first movies

So my wife sat down and she gave Demolition Man a chance.  God bless her heart, she gave a random Sylvester Stallone action movie from 1993 a chance.  Trust me, these types of deals were not included in the pre-nup.

And do you know what?

She liked it!

My wife turned to me about halfway through the movie, right after yet another misunderstanding about how John Spartan can't figure out the logistics of how to wipe his ass in the future, and she said "This movie is goofy."

Why yes.  Yes it is.  This movie is goofy.

That is exactly why I wanted to write about it on my 200 Movies That Deserve More Love countdown.

Lt. Lenina Huxley, scene stealer

Is Demolition Man a great movie?  Of course not.  If it was a great movie you would hear people talk about it all the time.  I mean, simple logic says it can't be a great movie because it is a Sylvester Stallone movie.

However, it is a really FUN movie.  And in many ways that is actually better than a great movie.  Because with a fun movie you can just pop it in every ten years or so and you have forgotten how much fun it is.  And then it feels like you are the first person to just randomly discover something.

In short, here are the five things that are really fun about Demolition Man:

1. Wesley Snipes - Wesley Snipes has long been one of my favorite underrated actors (see White Man Can't Jump, or Major League.)  And in Demolition Man his role is so over the top and ridiculous that he just has fun with it.  He plays Simon Phoenix so broad and so goofy that you can help but appreciate him.  It is clear that at no point at any time in this movie is Wesley Snipes ever actually taking things seriously.

Also, he looks like circa 1990 Dennis Rodman

2. Sandra Bullock  - A lot of people are tired of the Sandra Bullock shtick nowadays, but in 1993 she was just some random young actress who was cute and who was charming, and who was just waiting for her big break so she could make it big.  And, well, Demolition Man was that big break.  Actually no, Speed was her REALLY big break, that came about six months later.  But Demolition Man was her first hit movie.  And as I said in my caption above, she steals nearly every single scene she is in.

All you have to do is watch Demolition Man for about thirty minutes.  And you will think, yep this girl was destined to one day be a movie star.

Alright, let's go blow this guy (away)

3. Taco Bell and The Schwarzenegger Presidential Library  - Okay this is one of the funnier things about Demolition Man.  You see, this movie was made in 1993.  And when it was made, one of the things the filmmakers tried to do was come up with the most outlandish version of the future they could possibly think of.  They tried to come up with a version of 2032 that was so stupid and so ridiculous that it was unlikely that it could never possibly happen.

And what is hilarious is that two of things they "predicted" in the movie actually came true.

One of the funnier running jokes in the movie is how there are no more restaurants in the year 2032.  The only place to eat in the year 2032 is Taco Bell.  Why?  Well because Taco Bell "won the franchise wars of the early 2000's" and because "every restaurant is now Taco Bell."  This is referenced at least 82,000 times throughout the course of the movie.  In fact it is referenced so many times in the movie that Taco Bell actually built an entire ad campaign around Demolition Man back in 1993.  All of their commercials that fall and winter repeated the line from the movie "In the future, every restaurant will be Taco Bell!"

Well guess what?  A few years ago, in real life, Taco Bell took over and bought out KFC and Pizza Hut.  Which means that a good chunk of the places people eat these days ARE Taco Bell.  In a very real sense, Taco Bell is well on their way to winning the franchise wars.  People sure would have laughed if you had predicted that back in 1993 though.

Bow down to your Orwellian overlord

As for the Schwarzenegger Presidential Library, well let's just say that one of the other running jokes in the movie is that bad things happened to America during the reign of President Schwarzenegger.  To which Sylvester Stallone incredulously replies, "Woah, that guy was PRESIDENT?"

First off, the reason this joke is in the movie is because Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone used to always take digs at one another in their movies.  In the movie Twins, Arnold scoffs and laughs when he sees a poster of Rambo on a wall.  In Last Action Hero there is a running joke about how Sylvester Stallone was the original actor who was supposed to be the Terminator.  So this is nothing new.  Sly and Arnie used to take playful digs at one another all the time.

However, in 1993 Arnold Schwarzenegger was most definitely not involved in politics.  He was nowhere near being in politics.  He was just some big dumb action star who was married to a Kennedy.  So to have a joke about him becoming President... and then in real life, fifteen years later, people are debating changing the constitution so he CAN become President... well that is pretty amusing in retrospect.

I can guarantee you though.  In 1993, nobody ever thought that this guy could be President.

4. The soundtrack - One of the things I love about movies from around 1990-1994 is that they always have that early 90's hip hop soundtrack.  Every single movie or TV show in America that wanted to be "cool" or have any "street cred" with the kids at that time would inevitably put in scratchy hip hop music just so they could fit in with everything else that was big in pop culture in the early 90's.  Hey kids, like In Living Color?  Love MC Hammer music?  Did you like White Men Can't Jump?  Well here in the future in San Angeles, look, they also have hip hop music!

Yes, there is no better way to identify when a movie was made than to listen to the soundtrack.  Half of Demolition Man sounds like it was a sketch on In Living Color.  It is all just scratchy hip hop music.  It just totally gives away that this movie could only have been made in the early 90's.

The costumes give it away too

5. The Three Seashells  -  And finally, we end with the single best running joke in the movie.  Yes, even better than the running gag of people constantly being nailed for committing a Verbal Morality Violation.  There is no way you can talk about Demolition Man without mentioning the three seashells.

What exactly are the three seashells?

Well, in the future, let's just say that people don't use toilet paper anymore.  Nope.  Toilet paper has long since been outlawed in America, because it is crude, because it is messy, and because it is barbaric.  Toilet paper in the year 2032 is seen as little more than a quaint thing that people used because they didn't know any better back in the olden days.  It would be like people today looking at a cotton gin.

In the year 2032, when you have to wipe your ass, you are expected to be much more civilized and sanitary about it.  When you are done in a public restroom in the future, you are supposed to use the three seashells.

What every bathroom in the future will look like

Now here is why this is one of my favorite running jokes in movie history.

I love the three seashells in Demolition Man because at no point in the movie DO THEY ACTUALLY EXPLAIN HOW TO USE THEM.  The whole movie is just people laughing and mocking John Spartan because he can't figure out what they do.  And this is a subplot that turns up more than once in the movie.

Again, there is no way you can talk about Demolition Man and not mention the seashells.  That is what everyone remembers.  Any time I find somebody who knows and loves this movie (which is rare), that is one of the first two things that will come up when we start talking about it.  We will start talking about the movie, and one of us will inevitably drop some reference to breaking the verbal morality statute.  

And then at some point one of you will openly wonder how the three seashells worked.

Demolition Man might not ever be remembered for much.  But it will always have the seashell legacy.

This is why the internet is great.  I found an FYI that explains how the seashells work.

In the end, Demolition Man is not a great movie.  It starts off strong, and it is an amazing comedy/sci fi parody for about 90 minutes.  But then it kind of falls apart as it starts to take itself too seriously.  By the end it is just like any other old action movie.  But man, those first 90 minutes are pretty awesome.  This is one of those movies that should have been remembered much more fondly than it actually was.  Like I said, it was a big hit for a couple of months in the fall of 1993, and then people just completely forgot about it.  Like they do with most Stallone action movies.  Which is a shame, because this one is so much better than the rest of them.

Again, all I can say about Demolition Man is that my wife wanted no part of it at first.  She wanted absolutely no part of a random Sylvester Stallone action movie from the 90's that she had never heard of or seen before.  But I got her to sit down and give it a chance, and she said that she liked it.  That's pretty high praise for a woman with a black heart who thinks that the Rocky movies are terrible.  

Give Demolition Man a chance.  It might not look like your type of movie on paper, but just like my wife, you will probably enjoy it.  Trust me, ignore the poster.  Ignore the marketing.  Ignore the fact that it is a Stallone movie.  You'll like it.  It's goofy.

Look who just figured out the seashells

P.S.  Quick story.  Demolition Man was the very first movie I ever saw in a theater after I moved to California in 1993.  And I will always remember that because of a funny incident that happened at the theater that night.

I went to Demolition Man on opening night in 1993 with a bunch of friends from mine from college.  I wasn't really expecting much from it, it wasn't like I was a big Sylvester Stallone fan or anything.  I only went because my friends were going and because it was a big event movie.  And because opening nights at big event movies are always exciting.  It helped that I was an 18 year old college student, and 18 year old college students really don't have a whole lot to do.

So anyway, we get to the theater that night, and we are waiting in this big long line to get in, and the manager of the theater comes around and he starts passing around a survey for everyone in line to fill out.  I got one, and I looked at it strangely, because I had never seen anything like this before.  "Focus Study"?  Huh?  What the heck is a focus study?

It turns out that, to the movie studios, movie premiere nights are way more important in California than they are in other states.  Because, you know, we are geographically closer to Hollywood.  So we get to be a part of all these marketing surveys because we can give the studios instant feedback.  This is why I had never seen an opening night focus study before.  In Seattle, the studios don't give a shit why you go to the movies.  But in California, for big event movies such as this one, they are interested.

So I took the survey and I read through all of the questions.  It was basically a "Why did you come to see Demolition Man tonight?" questionnaire.  Although if you read through the questions carefully, what they were really asking was "What do you think about Sandra Bullock?"  Most of the questions on the survey were interested if her name in the credits made any difference whether or not you came to see the movie tonight.  If you know your movie terminology, what they were doing was taking a young up-and-coming movie star, and they were trying to figure out her Q-Score.

Well I had never heard of Sandra Bullock before.  Shit, nobody I knew had ever heard of her.  Who the fuck is Sandra Bullock?  So as a joke I answered every question on the survey as if she was the only reason I was here to see Demolition Man tonight.  I answered the survey as if I had never heard of Sylvester Stallone or Wesley Snipes, and that I didn't own a TV or a radio so I didn't hear any commercials about the movie.  I said I was only here because I loved Sandra Bullock movies and because I had been watching them since I was a child.  Ha ha, I remember thinking.  I'm a smart-ass teenager and I am going to ruin their stupid survey.  Serves them right for asking me about an actress that nobody has ever heard of before. I am going to skew your results by making it look like I am a huge fan of an actress who nobody will ever hear from again.

Flash forward six months, and Speed comes out in theaters.  And Sandra Bullock is suddenly the biggest actress in Hollywood.

Uh, let's just say I didn't really see that one coming.

I made you famous, Wildcat

* My favorite IMDB user reviews about Demolition Man:

Why the hate? - 6 June 2009
Im not sure at all why people hate on this movie. In my opinion, it bridges a gap between mindless action movie and satire, and the result is pure gold.

Im not going to write this like a review "Stallone plays John Spartan etc" because you KNOW that. Id rather comment on the movie as it was made.

This movie halfway pokes fun at a 1984 style future, and halfway takes it seriously. And most movies that try to split things down the middle fail on both fronts, well as I see it this one pulls it right off and makes it great. The laughs in the movie don't come from "ha-ha" gags, but rather from biting satire and eerily prescient predictions. Tracking chips, omniprescent surveillance, making cigarettes illegal? Maybe we aren't there yet, but its been heading that way for a long time. It takes a lot to make an audience laugh at a ridiculous setup, then right after the laugh make them think "Wait... That could easily happen!"

The thing that I appreciate most about this movie is the fact that it doesn't forget its own gags. Most other movies, the first time a character was fined for the "Verbal morality statute", the movie would drop the gag, skipping the alarm tone and accusing voice. In this movie, every time someone swears in public within voice distance of whatever it is that "hears" them swear, in the background you hear the gag played out. This transforms it from a joke to a "Holy crap, that would suck" type of mindset, and it works!

And thats what I mean. This movie more than most others that I could name merges satire and a dystopian look with lighthearted gags and "mindless" action scenes. Thats hard to do, and more people should give the writers and director and crew credit for sewing it together and making it play.

One of the few action movies that I watch every time I catch it playing on my TV box, it works that well, and the gags still make you laugh. After all, absurdity is a very real way to highlight and satirize elements of society. It sticks with you longer that way.

Witty Sci-Fi Actioner - 22 June 2007
This movie comes close to having everything I want in an action flick. Great fight sequences - the museum is a standout - are only the beginning. The chemistry between Stallone and Snipes makes every interplay between the two characters a mix of humour and excitement. But, fifteen years after release, it is the futuristic elements of this movie that make it a standout. The outlawing of dangerous or unhealthy activities, the fines meted out for swearing ("you have been fined 5 credits for a sotto voce violation of the verbal morality code..."), the relentless pushing of the peace and tranquility message - many of these jokes have cleverly anticipated trends which are taking place in today's society. Every time I read about a government banning trans-fats, all I can think about is John Spartan chowing down on his "hamburger" with such relish. Whether by accident or design, this movie portrayed many future trends with eerie prescience. Can the Schwartzeneggar Presidential Library be far behind?

Perfect blend of action and comedy - 6 March 2009
Demolition Man is a movie that I love, but some others seem to have mixed feelings about. The main complaint I've seen is that people ask whether this is comedy or action. It is both. I think it is the perfect blend of action and comedy. You get great action, funny one-liners, more action, and more jokes. The comedy doesn't outweigh the action, and to me that is good. Its not impossible to have 2 genres in a movie. The Tremors series was horror/comedy. This is a good Action/Comedy. I love the action in this movie, it is top notch. Wesley Snipes was on top of things. He sold this movie for me and played the role of Simon Phoenix to perfection. Stallone is of course great as the good action hero. No complaints about any performance. The music is good as well. My only complaint is that it the movie is a touch long, but when I watch it I don't notice it.

"They'll let anybody into this century!" - 23 April 2010
Sly and Wesley Snipes wind up in 2030 after destroying everything in their path in the 90's. As respectively, a disgraced violent cop and a psychotic crook, they awake from 40 year cryogenic napping to find a world of docile sheep, and start to wreck everything once again. "They'll let anybody into this century!" Snipes says, as he and Rambo open fire at each other and everything else.

An early appearance by Sandra Bullock as a cop/90's history buff who has a romanticized Old West perception of the 90's plays the love-interest. It features some great culture satire bits a la Sleeper, as stuff like corny commercial jingles are sent up for satire. Look for an envisioned 2030 (prophecied by tongue-in-cheek), which has about as much chance of being fulfilled as a used-car dealer's promises. That is, except for the humorously accurate prediction about Sly's long time buddy, Arnold.

The cast are hilarious; the comedy, sci-fi, and /cops'n'robbers steroid action are blended together for a great ride.

Mind-numbingly fun - 2 October 2008
It's always nice to see an action-film which doesn't take itself too seriously. Demolition Man, in a way, is almost a parody of a cheesy action movie. The movie's depiction of a future-society works as a bit of an intelligent exercise while the silly pop-culture references keep the film with a firmly tongue-in-cheek mood.

Wesley Snipes provides a worthy foe for Stallone. Even though he comes off from time to time as a gag-villain, he provides an almost comic-book dynamic to the film which is what makes the movie so watchable.

Undoubtedly at times the movie seems to degenerate more into parody and at the end it's difficult to decide if the movie's comical direction was necessarily a good move. At times it feels there's almost too much camp to bear. For this the movie may be a turn off for some, but for lovers of cheesy action comedy Demolition Man is a real treat.

A delightfully successful action/comedy - 11 December 2006
Demolition Man was a childhood favorite of mine. In fact, I distinctly remember seeing this in the theater at 9 years old, my first theater going R-rated film experience. I loved it then, and like too few childhood favorites, I've just kept on loving it.

I appreciate Demolition Man for different reasons now. As a child, I loved the action and it's still great today. The action of this film actually feels very fresh now as this was made before CG became the industry standard. I love CG as much as anybody, but I'll always have a soft spot for just plain old gritty stunt work and this film has top notch stunt work.

One of the aspects that's continued to amuse me (and reveal itself to me as I've grown old enough to comprehend) is the humor and the sharp satirical edge. This is an action film that actually has a brain in its head and has something to say. The satirical element doesn't feel like a tacked on hanger for action scenes, and the two aesthetics are pretty affectively blended into one another such as in the museum scene.

Despite some small nit picky elements (like the 1996 LA in the opening) this film does not feel dated at all. Its take on censorship and free will feels as relevant now as it did 13 years ago (honestly, that's not that long, of course). Popular music seems to be inching closer and closer to the 30 second commercial sound bites of this film's future.

I'd say this is easily one of Stallone's best performances (though Rocky will probably always be his crowning achievement). Comedy is a tough and a frequently under appreciated acting talent and Stallone pulls it off here. He doesn't play it like he's in on the joke which makes it all the more effective. Snipes obviously had a blast as Simon Pheonix, chewing the scenery, and busting out some very impressive kung-fu. If there's a character who's in on the joke it's this one. Bullock is endearing in her awkward attempts at impressing Spartan with her shaky hold on action movie lingo.

Demolition Man is a real comfort movie. I can put this film on any time, no matter what my mood is, and it puts a big smile on my face and sometimes, that's exactly what everyone needs from time to time.


* My favorite trivia about Demolition Man:

* Sandra Bullock replaced Lori Petty after a few days filming.

* Sylvester Stallone wanted the Simon Phoenix character to be played by Jackie Chan. Chan refused, since Asian audiences don't like the idea of actors who have always played heroes suddenly playing evil characters.

* For some non-American releases, references to Taco Bell were changed to Pizza Hut. This includes dubbing, plus changing the logos during post-production. Taco Bell remains in the closing credits. In both the Dutch and Swedish releases the subtitles still use Taco Bell while the sound and picture have been altered as above.

* Wesley Snipes's kicks and punches sometimes look lurchy and awkward. Snipes is a black belt in real life, and his kicks and punches were so fast that they blurred on camera. Hence the producers asked him to slow them down.

* Lenina Huxley tells John Spartan about the Arnold Schwarzenegger Presidential Library, explaining that, based on the sheer popularity of his movies, a Constitutional amendment was passed in order for Schwarzenegger to run for president, which, according to Huxley, he did. In 2003, ten years after this film's release, Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor of California and shortly after his election, three senators separately proposed amendments to the US Constitution to allow naturalized citizens to become president.

* The two original choices for the roles were Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Van Damme was offered the role of the bad guy, but didn't want that role. He agreed to star in it if both the lead roles could be switched, the producers tried to get Seagal to play the bad guy, he declined.

* In an early scene, set after the first MDK (Murder Death Kill), the name Scott Peterson is listed as one of the cryo-prisoners. The name appears listed before Simon Phoenix on a computer display, which the character Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock) has called to the screen. This is merely a coincidence, however, as Scott Peterson was not a public figure until he was tried for the murder of his wife during 2004-2005.

* Though the movie was released in 1993, Simon Phoenix and John Spartan were supposed to have been imprisoned in the cryo-prison in 1996. In the scene where Wesley Snipes' character Simon Phoenix is releasing the other cryo-prisoners, he makes a reference to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Dahmer was killed in prison in 1994, after the film's release but before the cryo-prison would have been built. During TV replays, the Dahmer references were edited out because they seemed anachronistic.

* Sylvester Stallone has stated, in interviews, that the idea behind the three seashells was that two were used like chopsticks or to clamp together to pull waste out of the body and the third was used to scrape what was left over. No explanation was made about how they were to be cleaned or sanitized between uses.

Demolition Man at the IMDB

Demolition Man at Wikipedia

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