Friday, June 22, 2012

Film Cemetery 
Case Study #3
Where we look at the more obscure
movies that bombed


Judge Dredd 

A film so bad that British Director 
Danny Cannon swore to never 
work with big-name actors again...

First off, I saw this flick in the theater, and I can tell you that - yes, it is indeed very lame and over-the-top. But then this movie is based on a comic book character, and more importantly, it's a Stallone vehicle through and through.

Remember, this was long before Nolan reset the bar with his Batman retooling.

But that's not what killed this movie, at least not financially. 

A tussle with the MPAA and too tight of a schedule for the film to be re-cut caused Judge Dredd to be released with an 'R' rating, and that kept a lot of kids at home that otherwise would have seen this disaster.

That isn't all.

The film composers, Jerry Goldsmith and David Arnold, both had to drop out because of scheduling conflicts, and Richey Edwards of Manic Street Preachers disappeared from the face of the earth. This left Danny Cannon without any of his planned soundtrack, although Goldsmith did compose enough music to be used in the trailers.

Bad luck all around. The police still don't know what happened to Edwards, even after all this time.

Dredd has many problems, mostly the incoherent story line. I'm not going to get into the meat of the plot, because there isn't one. But suffice to say, this movie is so awful, in a campy way, that you should watch it. So bad it's good, and really fun to watch Armand Assante ham it up as the former judge and murderer Rico.

Like I said, many problems plague this movie, and it hasn't aged well. But it can still be fun.

There is another problem as well....

Yep, this guy

It's always going to be a bad day when Rob shows up. To be fair, Rob Schneider gets the only laughs to be found in Judge Dredd, and those were totally improvised. Go figure. 

It gets worse when you discover that the Coen brothers turned down the chance to direct this masterpiece, and actors Joe Pesci, Christopher Walken, and Arnold Schwarzeneggar turned down roles in this film.

As a matter of fact, Stallone had never heard of Dredd until offered the role, and wound up demanding so many changes to the script that Cannon reported the original tone - including the ending - is completely lost.

Uhh, okay

If you are into useless trivia, then here is a fun fact....

Taxi cab from Judge Dredd

That's a Land Rover 101, a very old and capable military vehicle. Land Rover built the fiberglass shells, but the truck is empty inside.

It boils down to this: Judge Dredd was a flop critically and financially, but it is still a fun flick. If you compare it to other Stallone movies, though, - like Cobra or Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot - it is probably one of his better ones. Of the mid-90s era, this really is what you could expect in an action movie with a background in comics. James Cameron was putting out much better movies, and so were a lot of other filmmakers.

But then again, Chris Nolan hadn't shown up yet.

Danny Cannon is still with us, by the way. Last year he directed the FOX drama Alcatraz, which I liked.

What is your favorite 
Stallone movie?

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