Post by Ross Post by Agamemnon
So what was Stallone's Judge Dredd movie based on then?
Close as anyone who's ever read the REAL Judge Dredd can tell, a
couple of people in a bar who'd once seen a Dredd comic from a
distance through a dirty window speculating on what it might be about
and getting it wrong in pretty much ever concievable way.
Well, I dunno. I watched part of it the other day on Youtube, by
coincidence. It's actually got quite a lot of the comic in it. The main
mistake was some Hollywoodisation, which every movie has to do to some
degree- the trick is getting the right balance. Stallone was miscast- but
then he's miscast as anything but a punch-drunk boxer, what with the
dim-witted look and slurred speech. They added "comic" relief with Rob
Schneider. They had Dredd take his helmet off, unaware of how much hardcore
fans would bitch about that. Not many A-List actors would do a film with
their face covered all the way, at least back then.
I think Dredd is one of those things like Batman and (original) Star Trek
that has a whole mythology built up by fans that it was something it wasn't.
Like, Batman (or Bat Man, whatever) was this hardcore gritty adult thing-
then you look back and it wasn't, it was some guy dressed as a clown and
also the Joker. And "let's go down to the Bat Cave and polish the Batmobile,
Dick!". For kids. The "darkness" was Frank Miller's re-invention in the 80s.
But the idea it was always serious and dark acts as a justification for
being a fan of silly old Golden Age comics. Likewise, Roddenberry created a
myth on the convention circuit that Trek had been this great philosophical
thing, but when you watch the episodes, it never was- it was a fun sci-fi
adventure series in the classic 60s formula; it had one or two "liberal"
ideas in it, but as Harve Bennet said, when he was producer of Wrath of
Khan; Roddenberry talked his ear off about all these things the series was
supposed to have been, then Bennett went and actually watched the episodes,
and they weren't there.
Likewise, Dredd. It's a kid's comic strip, and a satire of police dramas
with everything turned up to 11. And you read the old comics (i did when I
was a kid) and there was all this wacky silly stuff in there, that created
this surreal universe. But then you get all these people saying, "it's
supposed to be deadly serious", and it's like they don't get the fact that
it was taking the piss. In that sense, it's quite disturbing that apparently
there are all these people out there who don't get that making a cop "judge,
jury and executioner" and having him pack people off to the cubes for
trivialities like jaywalking and the whole "citizen" tacked on there was a
reaction against the Dirty Harry type stuff- you know, where The Cop is
always right, and held back from doing justice by those pesky Constitutional
Safeguards and Due Process and that stuff.
So in that sense, Dredd was a quirky British take on the American style of
fascism; and it used a lot of humour, surreality, and quirkiness to make
that whole world work. Asking for it to be too serious seems to me to be
missing the point.