Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled A special effects legend reminisces about creating iRoboCop 2/i’s Cain

In a hypothetical ranking of evil robots hellbent on crushing humanity between their cold, mechanized fingers, RoboCop 2’s cyborg drug lord Cain would be pretty high on the list. Cain is also, according to its co-creator Phil Tippett, “the most elaborate stop-motion puppet ever made,” which is probably why the engineering dorks at Tested  like it so much.


Tested recently visited Tippett, the Academy Award-winning special effects animator behind The Empire Strikes Back, RoboCop, and Jurassic Park, in his studio. There, Tippett showed off the full-sized Cain puppet from RoboCop 2, as well as the insanely detailed models used for stop-motion scenes in the film. According to Tippett, designer Craig Hayes was so upset by the ED-209 model kits that hit the market after RoboCop that he deliberately created a design that “no one in their right mind would try to reproduce” for RoboCop 2.

The result was the cyborg colloquially known as Cain, and watching the amiable, grandfatherly Tippett reminisce about his team’s bloodthirsty creation is a treat for RoboCop fans and lovers of practical effects in general.  Fans can also meet Tippett and see the Cain model for themselves at San Diego Comic-Con next week, where Tippett will give a talk about his career in visual effects Saturday at 7:30.

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