With current election cycle being what it is, Idiocracy is a movie that gets cited a lot, so it’s somewhat surprising that when the movie was released almost 10 years ago, it got barely any kind of theatrical release. Wish you could have seen it in a theatrical setting? Well shut up. Sit your monkey ass down. Chill out. And listen. Apparently, the cult film is in the works for a traveling roadshow style re-release sometime later this year. According to one of the stars of the film, director Mike Judge is considering a tour of the film complete with screenings and Q&As in case you need anymore convincing that we’re maybe two elections away from voting for a man named Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.
Idiocracy is the story about a Beetle Bailey-like army slacker named Joe (Luke Wilson) who’s frozen for 500 years with a prostitute named Rita (Maya Rudolph) in a military experiment in cryonics. When they wake up in the 26th century they find that society has gotten exponentially dumber and that Joe, incredibly average in the 21st century, is the smartest man alive in the 26th. President Camacho (played by Terry Crews) uses Joe’s smarts – really common sense – to solve a growing crisis, reminding society that “People wrote books and movies, movies that had stories, so you cared whose ass it was and why it was farting.”
It all sounds ridiculous, but maybe Twentieth Century Fox had a sense in 2006 of just how close to home it was going to hit by the end of the decade. The film had absolutely no promotion, no trailer was ever cut, no press screenings were offered, and the film was quietly released in 135 theaters in the U.S. over Labor Day weekend, which is surprising given the success and cult status of Judge’s previous film Office Space. Idiocracy ended up making less that half-a-million dollars at the box office, but it did score a 73 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes from critics who sought it out and has only grown in infamy as the American political landscape’s been deteriorating.
So now, while talking to Collider, Maya Rudolph was asked about her role in Idiocracy, and how much she gets asked about its nearly accurate satirical view of the future:
Every time Donald Drumpf opens his mouth, pretty much. I saw Mike Judge recently, who I hadn’t seen in many, many years, and I said to him, “I can’t believe…” Because the movie was never properly released, it became a kind of cult favorite and over the years I noticed people must have seen it because people would approach me and say, “Oh my god, Idiocracy! That’s so great!” It was so many years later. But recently, it’s been nonstop. And it’s so crazy. I said, “We should do a road trip or something and then show the movie and talk about it on the anniversary of it.” When we were making the movie, it was so well-written and so sharp and so funny, but it felt like it was so far away.
Nothing’s written in stone yet about the potential roadshow though. “We’re working it out, we’re figuring it out,” added Rudolph. “We’d better hurry up on it, though.”
Despite the timeliness, it seems unlikely that screening Idiocracy nation-wide is going to change the course of the election. Michael Moore released a polemic about the Bush administration called Fahrenheit 9/11 in the summer before the 2004 vote and Bush got re-elected, Oliver Stone’s W. couldn’t have possibly hurt John McCain any worse in 2008, and Dinesh D’Souza’s doc 2016: Obama’s America, didn’t stop Barack Obama from being getting his second term. On the other hand, if you’ve only seen Idiocracy in the comfort of home, getting to see it in the theater will be it’s own reward.
We’ll keep you posted with details as they become available.