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Does the Judge Dredd slot compensate for the 1995 shocker ‘Judge Dredd’?

The first image of Judge Dredd that probably comes to mind is Sylvester Stallone, with his bulky shoulder pads and, well, prominent codpiece. And while at first sight it appears that director Danny Cannon’s wardrobe team had made a dire mistake in dressing Sly like a keen bouncer on his first night on the doors, it was ultimately the only thing they got kind of right (kind of, it was still wrong). Everything else from ‘I. AM. THE. LAW’ (or ‘WAW’), the sliced and diced five minute overview of Megacity One, to two judges romantically embracing (would never happen), Judge Dredd was an abomination that made every 2000AD fan cry.

Just take the set as an example of how unmemorable Judge Dredd was; courtrooms, prison cells, locker rooms, and even the beige boredom that is the Cursed Earth. Nothing apart from the skyline introductory shot — and when Rob Schneider is attacked by spaghetti — is visually stimulating. If Cannon had made the decision to film the remainder of the move in a self-storage unit, nobody would’ve noticed. Compare the set of Judge Dredd to other sci-fi moves of the same decade. We’re talking Blade Runner and Alien (okay, both directed by Ridley Scott, point accepted), not only two of the 20th century’s greatest sci-fi movies, but all-time greats. The one thing they both got right was the set.

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The gorgeous Megacity One overview from the 1995 masterpiece.

Take the Nostromo. From the pure white stasis chamber, the eerie industrial under-compartment, to the passageways that although looked the same, had their own individual feel; the fantastic use of a secluded space made Alien memorable. Likewise with Blade Runner, the dilapidated run-down home of Rick Deckard is explored not through a mere birds-eye view of the city, but by spending short periods of time in multiple locations. From the eerie sub-zero eye store, Tyrell’s penthouse, and Sebastian’s penthouse, each area was memorable in its own right. On the contrary though, and while there was scope to do so, everything, from where Rico (the quintessential moral-compassless baddy) was incarcerated to Dredd’s home, everything hd the same colour pallet — bland. The comics offered Cannon boundless scope to work with, and instead he wasted it on shoddy set-design.

I. AM. THE. WAAAAW, and other things Cannon got wrong!

While the movie might have looked bland, nothing was worse than the portrayal of Dredd. In the comics he was tall, had a booming, authoritative voice and never, ever revealed his face (nobody knew what he looked like). Sylvester Stallone is short, stupid and incredibly famous and so, the perfect choice to play Dredd. During the opening credits we are introduced to flickering pages of the original comic, which of course, sets us up to expect judges that wear small black shoulder pads and, sure codpieces, but much smaller ones. Instead we are graced with giant golden shoulder pads and huge, huge codpieces. Nothing about the way he looked was correct. Nothing.

Megacity One is, if you have read the comics, portrayed as the generic futuristic city we have come to expect in Hollywood films. Not for one moment does it ever appear to be under perpetual darkness and constantly on fire. Again, something else Cannon got very wrong.

But nothing, nothing compares to abomination that is ‘I am the law’. What should have been a powerful line was delivered in a soppy, slurred manner. It was almost like Sly forgot he was playing Dredd for a second, and was instead playing Rocky. Compare ‘Adrian, I did it’ to ‘I am the law’ and honestly, there’s little difference. The execution of the line becomes adorned in shame when you know that Fergee’s mocking of the famous line wasn’t scripted, but ad lib. Sadly, Schneider was doing an impression of Stallone, and not Judge Dredd, which just adds insult to injury. Injury, which was just too much in the end for 2000AD fans.

But then came Dredd to heal old wounds

Moving away from Cannon’s Judge Dredd, there has been a host of new media related to the franchise. 2012’s remake Dredd was a gritty insight into the character, and while as commercially successful as the 1995 film, received incomparable positive critical praise. The reanimation of the franchise led to, as you would expect, a brand new dedicated slot game, Judge Dredd.

judge dredd

Judge Dredd is a 20-payline, 5 reel Vegas-style slot machine with a variety of cool bonus features. It’s, as you would expect, based in Megacity One and uses the same dilapidated imagery that is present in the original movie. The area surrounding the reels takes the form of the Judge’s gun, with the barrel hosting the superbet feature (which is a nice touch). Below that you have the green play button, the autospins feature to the left, the gamble feature next to that and on the far left you have the option to increase/decrease your stake.

In the showboating way of Judge Dredd, his name sparkles, creating a nice focal point. During wins, symbols animate, with the activated payline shooting across from left to right. Again, we feel this a nice touch. Judge Dredd takes position as the wild symbol, waving his baton when activated. The free games feature (10 free spins) is activated by landing 3 or more badge symbols (engraved with Dredd) on any reel. And, of course, ‘I am the Law’ makes another appearance, this time in the form of a random bonus. At any point during the game he could pop up, say his popular catchphrase, and award the player a random cash prize.

And finally, with the superbet feature, you get the opportunity to play with enhanced spins, alongside the potential to land extra prizes. Bet 25 coins with the superbet feature and you’ll get an extra wild in reel 3; bet 35 coins and the game will add two extra dredd wilds in reels 2, 3 and 4 and 50 coins will add extra wilds in reels 1 to 5. Something that should definitely be taken advantage of.