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YMMV: Judge Dredd

The Comic:

  • Complete Monster:
    • Judge Death is the leader of the Dark Judges and Judge Dredd's arch enemy and evil counterpart. While all the Dark Judges are nasty pieces of work, Death is the only one who was shown as pure evil while alive. Born Sidney De'ath on an alternate Earth, he killed his whole family (but not before inheriting his father's love of torture), starting a career as a Judge so he and his followers could kill people for any excuse they can think of. Death made living a crime on his home world and destroyed it, becoming an undead monstrosity who seeks to spread the power of the grave to as many worlds as he can. This includes the conquest of Mega City One and killing off sixty million of its inhabitants during his rule; killing, torturing, and cannibalizing victims with the Sisters of Death; mind raping unfortunate people to kill others for him; slaughtering his way through orphan shelters and maternity wards to piss off Judge Anderson; and disintegrating Las Vegas with a nuclear missile. Death always returns to destroy any life he can, sadistically murdering those who cross his path while seeking the destruction of all that lives.
    • The leadership of East Meg One, specifically the Diktatorat (Supreme Judge Bulgarin, and Judge Snekov; not Judge Vlad though.) and War Marshal Kazan, The Dragon to Bulgarin. They cold-bloodedly planned the Apocalypse War for years, knowing full well that it would result in the deaths of hundreds of millions, including tens of millions from their own city, and that was the best case scenario. The only one of the group to show any concern was Judge Vlad, the main architect of the strategic attack against Mega City One, and this was because Judge Snekov revealed that, according to the estimates, they would expect to lose 12 per cent of East Meg One, or 60 million citizens, in the initial exchange. When Vlad proposed that the Diktatorat warn the public so that they would be better prepared, Supreme Judge Bulgarin sneered "The people? What have they got to do with it?" implying that the East Meg leadership only cared about their own power and glory and little for their own people.
  • Crowning Moment Of Awesome:
    • The visage of Judge Fear ("Gaze into the face of Fear!") kills any ordinary man from sheer fright. Dredd is no ordinary man. His response? "GAZE INTO THE FIST OF DREDD!"
    • He would later go on to be blinded, beaten, and in constant pain... and still crawled on towards his destination. "Because you are a Judge. AND IT IS YOUR DUTY."
    • Again more recently, when after decades of genetic apartheid, he forced the government of Mega-City One to allow mutants to be citizens, despite the damage this did to his career and the social strife... because something being hard didn't mean it wasn't the right thing to do.
  • Cwowning Moment of Funny: From "The Day The Law Died,"
    Walter The Wobot: That cweep Judge Dwedd has just been here, shooting guns and waising hell.
    Control: You're mistaken, robot. There's no Judge Dwedd on the force.
    Walter The Wobot: Not Judge Dwedd. Walter say Judge Dwedd.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Judge Death repeatedly proved to be the comic's most popular villain, to the point where fans complained that he wasn't the Big Bad in the film Dredd.
    • Public Defender 314's habit of hilariously calling his pauses for emphasis and other actions have endeared him to the fans.
  • Growing the Beard: "The Cursed Earth" is the story where the world really comes together, and was the first of the epic stories that lasted about half a year.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: One villain in an early story (from 1977) destroys the World Trade Center.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The Democracy Now quote at the top of the page seems a lot less like a convincing argument since Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, rescued a woman from a mugging that he happened upon while cycling pastnote . It seems an elected representative can work just fine.
    • Judge Janus' first name? Judy.
    • The Justice Department's Chief of Science? Judge Nye.
    • Justice Department's ban on smoking in public areas, barring designated Smokatoriums, is strangely prophetic of the smoking bans that arose around the European Union in the noughties.
  • Iron Woobie: Poor Tweak.
  • Magnificent Bastard: PJ Maybe.
  • Memetic Mutation: "I am the law!"
  • Misaimed Fandom: There are a lot of people who don't realise that the strip is a satire and think that the judge system is actually a good idea.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Dredd, on orders from above, crosses the moral event horizon to terrorize pro-democracy organizers in order to ruin a planned peaceful demonstration against the Judge system. The biggest moment of which is when he threatens to take the son of a man whose pro-democracy wife Dredd killed, and who was set to speak at the rally, and hand him over to the academy to turn him into a Judge (via indoctrination that borders on outright brainwashing) unless he denounces the rally and no-shows it. To be fair, this does shake Dredd's faith in the system and causes him to take the Long Walk.
  • Never Live It Down: Due to the sheer memetic-ness of his dedication to THE LAW, it can be surprising to new readers to find that Dredd is actually one of the more sensible Judges. Despite this fans still often portray him as being obsessed with THE LAW and arresting criminals.
  • Villain Sue: PJ Maybe can fall into this, mainly with his use of SLD 88, a perfect, untraceable mind control drug that can be manufactured entirely from legal, unmonitored ingredients that can be used to make someone do or believe nearly anything. For some reason, hardly anyone seems to notice how useful this is. In contrast, most of Maybe's other favorite tricks, such as face change machines or tiny robot drones, are widespread and have had a noticeable impact on Mega City One society.
  • The Woobie: Many citizens fall into this category. Bennett Beeny stands out though. He spends his life pining for America Jara. When he finds her again, she's become a terrorist and later ends up being shot by a judge and winds up brain dead. He later transfers his consciousness to her body and has a daughter. There's a good reason America is considered one of the best stories.

The 1995 Movie:

  • Canon Defilement: This film has Dredd removing his helmet and showing his face not once, but multiple times. In fact he spends more time without it on then with. This is considered just a step short of heresy by many fans.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny:
    • There are a few genuinely funny moments, like Rob Schneider getting the green light to do his Sly impersonation. Also, this:
    Hayden: Bitch!
    Hershey: It's JUDGE Bitch! [headbutts her]
    • And one of the few moments which captures the satirical streak of the original:
      Food Dispensing Robot: Eat recycled food! It's good for the environment and okay for you!
  • Hamand Cheese:Sly and Armand Assante's performances. The actors playing the assorted thugs as well.
  • Ink Stain Adaptation: Pretty much torched the franchise in North America. DC Comics tried and failed to get a run of the comics going, and the 2012 film adaptation was a Box Office Bomb despite good reviews from critics and garnering a strong cult audience.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    Dredd: You-betrayed-the-LAW!
    Rico: "Lawww!"
    • Sylvester Stallone's delivery of "I AM THE LAW!"
    • As well as his infamous charge of "TAWANTY YEERSH!"
  • Misaimed Marketing: The movie had a range of action figures. The movie was toned down significantly from the ultra-violent and cynical comic, but was still hardly for kids. More bewildering was the fact that in order to bulk the range out, it included several decidedly kid-unfriendly characters from the comic who didn't appear in the film, including Judge Death, an Omnicidal Maniac whose favourite modus operandi consists of ripping people's beating hearts out of their chests and who murders kids for fun.
  • Narm: Any time Dredd or Rico have to say the word "law". Since the movie deals with the law, this happens quite often.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: An interesting example in that the SNES/Mega Drive adaptation was more faithful to the source material than the film. Also, Fergie isn't in it.
  • The Scrappy: Fergie. Being played by Rob Schneider, this is no surprise.
  • So Bad, It's Good: As... off-kilter as it is, it's fun to watch, taking into account Armand Assante's bombastic acting, the poor drama and the fact that no one can seem to say "law" properly.
  • Tear Jerker
    Rico: I was your brother, your blood, your friend! They're (the clones) your family! I'm your family! (voice cracks) I was the only family you ever had!
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Chief Justice Fargo played by Max von Sydow, presumably in a case of Money, Dear Boy.
    • Ilsa Hayden played by Joan Chen?
    • Stallone as Dredd. The helmet was never meant to come off, damn it!
      • Though that's more Fanon, or at best a Running Gag that some fans decided was Serious Business.
      • Well, no. Whenever Dredd goes sans helmet in the books, it's depicted in such a manner that we usually can't see his face; He's either cast in shadow or a silhouette or something along those lines. Sure, the argument probably gets taken a little too far with the Stallone film, but the fact of the matter is that you've got a character with an iconic appearance.. And he spends roughly one quarter of the film or so in said iconic appearance.
      • It arguably doesn't help that the helmet's removal isn't well exploited for drama - had he kept it on until the scene where he was sentenced and stripped of his title, the change might have been better received.
    • Ian Dury?!
  • What The Hell, Costuming Department?: While the judge uniform is quite close to the comics, that codpiece drew plenty of criticism (Not to mention laughs).
  • Watch It for the Meme
  • What an Idiot:
    • Fergie casually walking into a broken-into apartment in the middle of a block riot, mere hours after getting paroled. It's like he wanted to get arrested again.
    • To be fair, it is supposed to be his apartment. He just figured he could ride out the block war inside.

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