The movie you love to hate….but love the wardrobe! “Judge Dredd”

No its not “The Spirit”. The decoration on your screen should have given you a clue. This week we investigate the beauty that is the “Judge Dredd” wardrobe. 1995 seems to far away but little did we know Stallone would take off his helmet, making the first 15 minutes of this film probably some of the coolest stuff ever committed to celluloid for some….and then dive bomb into the ground for the following 70 mins.

Amazingly this was one of my very first experiences on a movie set. I spent a Friday evening inside the mega city apartment that Dredd shoots his way into, got locked in the Chief Judges chamber by accident, and saw a rolling cage full of prop weapons that blew my socks off. It was awesome and I had high hopes for the production. Walking on that 1/4 mile Mega city street set one could not be impressed by the sheer scale of the production. The movie actually released in th UK on my Birthday in July 1995. I loved it….but mostly until he took his Stallone took his helmet off, and then it just became meh. Such a shame.

But…and its a big one…I still have a passion for the beautiful wardrobe and props used in this film. They really are some of my favourite designs ever.  So lets take a look into the standard Street Judge uniform, one of which I own, purchased in December 2008 at Profiles in history. The outfit was hidden at the back of the “collectors bookstore” portion of the sale. Here is the original listing:

3004. “Street Judge” female costume from Judge Dredd. (Disney, 1995) This “Street Judge” costume was worn on screen by various actors and stunt players during filming. A full costume, it includes a jacket, jumpsuit, helmet, chest and shoulder armor, gloves, gun belt, gun, boots and toe shields. The helmet has an internal M.B.A. Ltd, London costume tag typewritten Street Judge 06035, Judge Dredd. The helmet and armor exhibit scratches from production use. The jacket has an internal M.B.A. Ltd. London costume label typewritten Street Judge Woman Extra 6, 5′ 6″ 34Bust 26Waist, Judge Dredd. The jumpsuit has an internal M.B.A. Ltd, London costume label typewritten Female Extra, 06035, Judge Dredd. Overall the condition is very good with only minor production wear. $200 – $300

The astute eye and those familiar with the film will notice that the costume features the wrong boot covers, incorrect gloves and the under armor is that of a Judge Hunter costume. Those I sold seperately to re-coup some of my initial cost.

Judge Hunter armor

The rest of the costume was in good condition. The boots plastic had been smashed in places and was repaired, and one piece of trim on the shoulder armor was missing. The knee pads, gloves, wrist armor and belt buckle were also missing. All in all though the costume was tagged correctly and was a mix and match of various actors, stunt and double pieces. The badge which is held in place with double sided tape is marked for “Rowe”. These badges were cast metal, just like the ingnia on the helmet which is fully lined with foam and cloth for the comfort of the wearer. A rare treat for the actors who usually would not experience such luxury from a costume piece.

The costumes were originally designed by Emma Porteus, a prolific designer who perhaps is best remembered for her work on “Aliens” with Terry English. Here is one of the early designs for “Dredd” from, “The Making of Judge Dredd”.

Here is a shot of the jackets interior. The jacket is worn over a black/blue sleveless jumpsuit made from spandex.

Interior jacket label

As can be seen the costumes were manfactured by MBA London. Martin Adams is also a Jeweler by trade which is why from his costume work on “Doctor Who” thru “Highlander” to “Titanic” his work has consistently been amongst the highest standards of all costume makers in the United Kingdom. There is a small write up here for those who wish to know more.

The holster above is rubber, and stretches to accommodate the gun which is held in place by the sides gripping against the prop. There are two side pieces missing from the holster. This next picture is of the Hero Stallone gun sold by “Propstore” This one is slightly different but gives an idea of the layout.

Propstore hero holster

There are also some wonderful pictures over at Screenused where a Judge Cannon costume original sourced from Propstore was resold. Here are some pictures, but link over to Desi’s site for more information under the “archived” pieces.

This costume featured several pieces that I am missing, as can be seen above. It seems that of the few examples to come to auction that the pieces all exhibit fairly heavy wear and tear. So far this costume, and the male and female sold at Profiles seem to be the only outfits that have come to auction/private sale, although various pieces of Dredd armor have surfaced including helmets, eagle armor and weapons.

When i originally saw the film in 1995 I knew that I had to own one. Some 13 years later I achieved that goal. Thanks for taking a trip around this costume. Ill leave you with a couple more pictures.


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