2000 AD Prog Slog

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pog 940 19/05/95

There’s nothing quite like a re-launch prog, except this one is relatively low key in comparison with others recently. I guess all of the brew-ha-ha is being saved for a couple of month’s time when the Judge Dredd movie is released.

This prog does boast about its exclusive pictures from the upcoming film though including this one on the cover. Inside are another five including Dredd riding his Lawmaster bike through a burning street, Mean Machine Angel adjusting his dial, a scar-less Rico standing in front of Hammerstein (?!) and Judge Griffen also standing by the “ABC Warbot”. There’s also the still that confirms that all of those terrible, terrible rumours are true; Dredd struts ‘round without his helmet on.

Director Danny Cannon is interviewed in Empire Magazine around this time saying that Judge Dredd fans need to grow up, accept that there is a real world and in it a movie version of the character would have to appear with his full face exposed. The little boy who had fan artwork appear in the Nerve Centre has grown up into a needy adult desperate for Hollywood’s approval. At one time at least, 2000 AD sold hundreds of thousands of copies to working class British kids who had real world lessons fed to them in imaginative, beautifully drawn and astutely satirical ways. They were not like those Star Trek fans you see on the news every now and then who speak only Klingon and have their living rooms decorated to look like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. To dismiss a Squaxx dek Thargo’s concerns over the dispensing of a Judge Dredd fundamental is bloody ignorant. We are entitled to be worried. After all, what other changes are going to be made if they are willing to show us the face of Dredd? Are the Lawmasters going to hover? Is Dredd going to have a comedy sidekick called Fergie who lacks the brain damage and dignity of the original character? Is Dredd going to smile and kiss Judge Hershey by the end of the film?

I’ve a lot to say about this movie and its impact on the relationship I and, I imagine, many readers had with 2000AD, as well as the contribution it made to the real world perception of comics, the art form I love, and many of the highly and under appreciated people that work making them. I guess I’ll write about some if not all of it over the coming weeks as The Slog covers those periods.

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  • Making the Angel Gang whacko God botherers always stuck in my craw. Guess that was an irony too far. Film has one or two moments though. I've always enjoyed the brief sequence near the start were Dredd's 'pacifying' the Block War - the Lawgiver demo capped with an execution reminds me of the rejected first Ezquerra strip with the bank robbery. Didn't that turn up in an annual?

    It's a shame the pre MPAA tinkered edit never got released. I doubt it's any better, but at least we'd get to see Dredd thump a few malformed clones.

    By Blogger Reds, at 6:40 pm  

  • Reds, you're a lot more accepting of the movie than me. All of the fundamental alterations (which would exist no matter who edited it) ruined any loyalties to the thrill that the film might have demonstrated for me.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:34 pm  

  • I saw it again fairly recently, the thing that struck me most as a positive was how well handled Mega City One was. The opening cab drive has a real sense of scale and a nice mix of the various inception artists building types.

    I understand what you saying about it fostering a public misconception about the material though. Mask-off missteps aside, it drains Dredd's universe of any sense of irony or even fascism. Instead you get one-note yuk-yuks with Rob Schneider. It's not even as arch as Stallone's other future shock policer Demolition Man.

    By Blogger Reds, at 12:54 am  

  • Maybe I need to see the film again but... it hurts too much :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:46 pm  

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