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Judge Dredd (1995)

by on 2012/04/17

“Eat recycled food. It is good for the environment and ok for you.”

* * *

I am in the very, very lonely minority of folks who enjoyed this 1995 adaptation of the British comic Judge Dredd.

Hello? Is there anyone else out there? Ok, that’s fine…

Starring Sylvester Stallone (Rocky), this film didn’t do well commercially and it didn’t even generate much of a cult following. Apparently. Unless I can form my own cult.

Why didn’t more people like this movie?

I liked this ridiculous, over-the-top look at the post Atomic Wars world right off. Screening it again for Comic Book Adaptation month, I liked it again.

All good old school goths out there should need no more convincing than the fact that The Cure wrote a song for this movie called, “The Dredd.”

In a post apocalyptic world that recalls a discount, bargain basement Blade Runner, order is maintained by law enforcement officials or “judges” who are “judge, jury and executioner” – as we are frequently reminded.  I was very pleasantly surprised how well this gritty, dark and damp dystopic world held up. There were flying hover cars, chunky service droids – even the rusty kill-bot “Fido” was appealing to me.

It is a world where Rob Zombie (The Haunted World of El Superbeasto) music blares from hover car stereos. What’s not to like?

When the credits rolled, I had a feeling that my review would be more of a link farm than a real critique. Judge Dredd features so many actors in the films we’ve tackled and loved here on the site.

You get to see Rob Schneider (50 First Dates) playing Herman “Fergee” Ferguson covered in used spaghetti.

James Earl Jones (Conan) voices the hilarious, over-the-top opening narrative. Taking a page from the George W. Bush’s “How to Run A Country Through Fear” manual, psychopathic Armand Assante (The Road to El Dorado) is barking clone crazy. The benevolent leader of this messed-up New York of the future is Chief Justice Fargo is played by Max von Sydow (Strange Brew).

The only odd one out in this cast of cartoon crazies is Diane Lane as Judge Hershey. It made me wonder what a nice girl like Lane was doing in an apocalyptic universe like this? Nonetheless, she gives it her absolute, Ivory Girl all.

Judge Dredd is the law. Which is to say it is good.

And now as the Robotic Food Dispenser from the future would say: “Be kind and peaceful to each other.”

End transmission.

* * *

96 minutes

Rated R for big guns, bigger explosions, inbred wasteland cannibals and Rob Schneider

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