10. Paulie’s Robot
Film(s): Rocky IV
Everybody kinda hated Paulie. The hanger-onner in-law smoked, drank, wore beaters while around family and company in a million-dollar mansion. He barely talked to Adrian as the series progressed. Rocky’s son taunted him a bit, too. Rock likely had enough of Paulie come part IV, so what better way to unload the problem of Paulie than by getting him this. Take a moment to appreciate the wonderfully wtf robot of Rocky IV. That bulbous monster on wheels helped Rocky with Paulie; it could clean, serve beer, even allow for phone calls. All things considered, Sico, the robot’s real-life name, was not all that useless for Rocky.
Curiously as well, the robot made it into the movie for real and personal reasons for Stallone.
Robert Doornick, founder of International Robotics, developed Sico as a tool to explore and study autism in the 1980s when it still mystified researchers and was stigmatized by people. Doornick hypothesized that a robot could aid in communicating with autistic children and promoted the robot on TV. Stallone, whose son, Seargeaoh, was diagnosed with autism, reached out to Doornick about trying Sico, and Sly loved the big-headed bot. Apparently, Stallone wrote tons of scenes that were cut out, but according to Doornick, there was stuff like Paulie and the Robot getting into Oscar and Felix-like fights and the robot complaining about Paulie’s offensive cigar smell. What we’d give to find that footage in the MGM vaults.
What we’re left with is a vague, suggestive human-robot relationship that’s been haunting and fascinating audiences for 30 years … and one of the campiest elements, a pop culture fart, tied to the Rocky movies. Also, it’s fun to imagine the conversations between Stallone and Sico.
“Yo, Mr. Robot, I like your work, and I thinking maybe I got a part for you in my movie.”
“You. Have. A. Call.”
Parting Wisdom: When you become an athlete, if you become really successful and make enough money, eventually you can pawn off bad relatives on robots.