October Extras 2: Idiocracy (2006)

OCTOBER 8, 2008


One of the best things about moving to LA was having the ability to be among the very few folks who got to see Idiocracy during its brief, unadvertised theatrical run. FOX was so douchey to the film that it never even got a premiere, and in fact a couple of the film’s stars were there, buying tickets like everyone else, just so they could see the damn thing.

The irony, of course, is that FOX figured the movie wouldn’t find an audience, and the movie is about how fucking stupid the country is. Doubly ironic? The top movies that weekend were Invincible (uplifting sports movie #45596), Crank (Speed on a guy), and The Wicker Man ("NOT THE BEES!!!"). Not that there’s anything wrong with those movies, but smart? Satirical? Original? Those words describe only one movie mentioned so far in this review.

Mike Judge suffered the same fate with Office Space (I also got the chance to see that one in theaters), but while that film has gone on to have a huge following thanks to DVD, Idiocracy still hasn’t really caught on; the DVD was marked down to practically nothing after less than a year on the shelves. And it’s a shame too, because it’s a hilarious movie, and the satire is even more significant today. A President’s cabinet made up of random choices? Next month that could be a reality.

Not since Airplane has a film packed in so many great sight gags that you might not catch the first time around. Like the Surgeon General warning, which alludes to the fact that the SG has one lung and will kick your ass. There are also some great bits in Frito’s TV screen and the hospital “menu” (hurrah for pause button) that almost require careful observation. And I don’t think anything has ever made me laugh so hard as the sight of a skyscraper being held up because it’s tied to another one. There are also a lot of jokes that they don’t even really draw attention to. For example, the entire criminal justice system refers to criminals as “particular individuals”, which is a sly reference to the (still-running, somehow) show COPS.

And Christ, Brawndo is so funny they actually made it for real (and yet, still no Duff beer, FOX?).

The movie’s only real flaw is how short it is. Not counting credits, it’s less than 80 minutes, which is a shame when you consider how many other people/notions Mike Judge could have attacked. There’s hardly any jokes at the expense of people’s reliance on technology (ipods, cell phones, etc), for example. Had FOX put some money behind it, this could be a franchise, a sort of live action South Park in which we would get our satire in the form of R rated “dumb” comedy. Oh well.

The DVD only has a few deleted scenes (none very good), and I can’t imagine FOX putting money into a better edition down the road. But the movie should not be missed. All particular individuals should turn off Ouch My Balls, stop ‘batin, and watch it ASAP.

What say you?


  1. I love this movie - and I guess I was one of the three that bought the DVD when it first became available. I know I paid more than 1.00 for it anyway.....

  2. You wouldn't believe the number of times I've used the phrase "Go away! 'Batin'!" in real life.

  3. i love this movie. its a shame more people havent seen it, because i have no one to talk to about it.

  4. I can't tell you how many times I ahve used "but it's got electrolytes" HA HA :)

  5. This is actually probably the scariest horror movie you've ever reviewed.

  6. Great Movie. I finally got to see it a few months back. The skyscraper sight gag is one of the best sight gags I've ever seen. It's the first thing I think of when this movies pops into my head. I'd spend a dollar on the DVD.

  7. I think FOX cut off the money before it was even finished. Judge was tight with Robert Rodriguez and he pitched in to get the FX finished (they look like something he did between editing his own flick, hand delivering prints to theaters, and making tamales for the the entire cast and crew). Hilarious flick, but the way FOX treated Judge it shocks me he's even making another movie at all.

    What I wouldn't give for a commentary track on that fucker.

    "It's what plants crave!"

  8. great movie!
    one of my favorite dumb (but still somehow aims high) comedy

  9. I have a friend in England who works for the BBC or some film/television related business, and he claims to have seen an earlier cut of the film that was even more biting and funnier. Of course, I have no way to verify this. But it's nice to inflate the shameful legacy of this film.

    I think it's hilarious from go, and the perfect role for himbo Luke Wilson, sort of befuddled and without discernible passion.

    It surprises me not all the shabby treatment this got from FOX. After all, this is basically one long piss take onf a significant portion of FOX's audience and a lot of FOX's programming. What surprises me is that this got green-lit by FOX at all.


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