Rick Genest Doppelganers in DREDD?

Arresting Judge: Judge Francisco
Plea: 2 = CONTEST    Finding: 412 = INSANITY
Sentence: 71 months(s) isocube, no parole
Probation: 3YRS    Appealed: Y = YES, Rejected


I believe that’s the lead singer of Sküllböï

I was initially pleasantly surprised to see that in the new Dredd movie, Zombie (Rick Genest) seems to play the part of a Peyote Kings gang member, although it’s a brief part because he is almost immediately murdered by the rival Ma-ma gang. Every rigger, gaffer, muffin wrangler, and fluffer is listed in the credits, but for some reason they decided Rico wasn’t worth including among them. Then I realized an odd thing (and maybe someone more familiar with the Dredd franchise has an explanation) — there is more than one person in the movie wearing his skullface tattoos. At first I thought it was a reflection in a mirror, but no, it’s a doppelganger (different hair, and one has stretched ears and the other thin hoops) — and then I realized that the mugshot above likely isn’t Rick either, judging by the throat tattoo. And then I started to become convinced that none of the characters are actually Rick!!!

rick-genest-dredd-screencap-1-t rick-genest-dredd-screencap-2-t rick-genest-dredd-screencap-3-t

Like I said, Rick doesn’t appear to be listed in the Dredd credits. I can’t find any mention of him appearing in Dredd anywhere online, and while I’m willing to accept that my google-fu can be weak at times, I find it highly dubious that Rick would make a major appearance in a movie as big as Dredd and not mention it on his blog or facebook page. But ripping off his character rights seems like a shocking oversight for a major film to make… Isn’t it? I think it’s important to note that this isn’t “coincidental”… It’s not as if it’s just someone tattooed like a skeleton. Many specific details of his tattoos have been copied — for example, the spiderweb on his right ear — in a way that makes it obvious they’re exploiting the theft of his character and likeness, and ensures almost everyone will believe it is him.

Here are some side-by-side comparisons… what do you think? Am I imagining this?



But then I reminded myself that it’s pretty common to see people “draw inspiration” from Zombie’s tattoos and mimic him in various mediums. It’s no big deal if someone makes a YouTube video of themselves in makeup looking like him, but it becomes a problem when a movie rips off the character that Rick has created without getting his consent first — and this is just what happened in the first episode of the first season of the show American Horror Story. One of the characters in the show appears with Rick’s tattoos done so precisely that it’s obvious that it’s been directly copied and he’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see the image. Here’s a pair of screencaps of the episode:


They might have gotten away with this if Rico was still a Montreal gutterpunk, but now that he’s ascended into one of the glitterati he had his lawyer slap them silly and Fox settled out of court for what I assume is more money than Rick had made in his entire life up to the point he was first unleashed on the world with that glib “you call yourself a misfits fan” ModBlog post back in 2006. Perhaps that is what’s happening right now — an ongoing legal matter would certainly explain the complete lack of mention of this online. Ah, the wages of fame.

Well, if anyone knows the truth as to what’s up with ol’Skullboy’s presence in Dredd, please let me know. Either way, Rico really is one of my favorite rags to riches stories — what a wonderful unexpected adventure his tattoos are bringing him.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

16 thoughts on “Rick Genest Doppelganers in DREDD?

  1. The use of actual details from his tattoos are what really make this messed up – there is precedence (possibly older than Rico, definitely older than his tattoos) in Dredd lore and comics for such thematically modified characters (cult of death, etc) but the movie design seems to have lazily and/or intentionally just ripped off his tattoos instead of creating their own – hell they could have just used the ones that the artists who drew the comic previously created.

  2. LHY — You may be thinking of the second case mentioned in the post, when AMERICAN HORROR STORY used his tattoo on Tate. There are lots of stories online about that case, which ended up being settled out of court, but nothing (so far) on the Dredd case.

    And I agree 100% with The Lizardman — if this was just a gang that tattooed themselves with skull faces (a motif that I’ve seen with MS-13 for example, as you can see here: http://news.bme.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/ms13-skull.jpg), then it would likely be a non-issue. It’s not like Rick owns the entire concept of skull-themed facial tattoos. But like The Lizardman said, they didn’t do makeup of a person that looks like a skull — they specifically tattooed a person to look like Rick, with many of the little nuances that specifically identify it as him rather than, for example, the MS-13 fellow.

    Lucky for them, Rick settles things more civilly than MS-13.

  3. I thought the guy from American Horror Story WAS Rick until now… I’ve only seen screencaps of that and don’t watch the show and just thought Rick decided to grow hair… God at least they tried instead of using eyeliner to obviously copy the exact same design, but poorly…

  4. It kind of makes you wonder, if someone did a temporary design on their body exactly copying someone else’s design, and then committed a crime, what a mess it could make for the real owner of the tattoo. Because think about when you hear on the news about the description of a perpetrator – they list identifying marks! Theoretically, you could get “framed” by someone attempting to disguise himself with your tattoo design. That person would go home after the crime and remove the design, leaving you stuck as a possible suspect in the crime! Makes you think!

  5. Yawn….it’s one thing to sue, it’s another to win the suit and come out ahead monetarily. If Rick or his artist(s) didn’t copyright the design or overall image, they are somewhat public domain. If any legal action was brought against any person or corporation, it was likely settled out of court.

  6. I’m glad you posted all these photos, since it shows that Rick’s tattoos are infinitely better than the ‘Dredd’ imitations! As for American Horror Story… the ‘makeup’ only looks decent because it is a carbon copy of Rick’s design. I’m so happy to hear he made a killing off of fox. Great post.

  7. This is disappointing to read (took me damn near long enough to come back to this site) since I only half paid attention to dredd during the scene where they ripped off of rick… and because i only glanced i thought it was him and got really excited… and failed to watch the end credits. At least i got to teach my fiance about some of the cooler mods out there.

  8. I mean, the only way he should be possible to sue is if he patented this idea for that tattoo– because no once can really own an idea involving the transformation of the human body, in that manner at least. Besides, he is TECHNICALLY the creator of the tattoo because it could be falsely claimed that someone else was the designer of the tattoo. I think he should take this as a compliment considering the “mainstream” Hollywood would actually consider adding in “his” creation into theirs.

  9. I don’t have time to look it up right now, but in one of the Judge Death comics there is a gang that tattoos themselves to look like judge death and use his reputation to scare people..I’m not sure which prog it is in, but I’m pretty sure it was one of the ones that came out in the 1980s.

    The gang in the comic is more black and white and less orange in their skin color and tattoo, so if anything, they look more like Rick Genest than the Peyote kings do.

  10. I totally agree that this is wrong. They COULD have characters tattooed like skeletons and/or with OTHER decorations, but to so precisely copy the look is a kind identity theft and a theft of the tattoo artist’s work.

    When I saw Dredd recently, I honestly thought it WAS Rick Genest.

  11. When I first saw AHS use Zombie’s image in the show I had originally just thought it was him, which was the reason I started watching the season! Because I had thought he’d grown his hair out and would be appearing in the season. Boo!

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