COMING UP TRUMPS
THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR COULD CHANGE THE WORLD
OST SATIRICAL films hide their points about sticking it to The Man under the guise of something completely different. Let’s talk about subtext, baby.
Not The Purge: Election Year. The third (and possibly final) part of the low-budget but successful Purge trilogy about a near-future America in which all crime is legal for 12 hours once every year, James Demonaco’s movie is about a female politician (Elizabeth Mitchell) who wants to change the system, and is targeted by a hardcore right-wing element. Sound familiar? “I wanted to do genre movies that had a little social commentary,” says Demonaco. “That’s what we were doing, sneaking ideas into this genre piece. But we’re not sneaking anymore — now we’re openly saying shit out loud, and nobody’s stopping us!” Subtext is for wimps.
Demonaco claims that the release of Election Year in, well, an American election year is actually serendipitous. “I had no idea it would all tie in timing- wise with the election,” he protests, possibly too much. “That it’s coinciding with Trump and Hillary, or whoever it’s going to be, is pretty fascinating.”
Still, it’s a coincidence the film’s marketing team is grabbing with both hands — an advert for the movie ran during a recent Republican debate and generated huge buzz. So, does Demonaco think his movie, which stars Frank Grillo as the badass fighting to save Mitchell and defend democracy, might have an impact on the November election? “Will it have an actual effect on who people vote for? I don’t know, but people may be able to blow off some steam,” he says. “It’s a very stressful time in America. When people see the film the reflection will be clear, how there are parallels between all the characters that are in play right now. Hopefully it’ll start a discussion.”
Then again, it could have a negative impact. “For the first time, we have someone who would probably look at the Purge movies, nod his head and go, ‘That’s actually a pretty good idea!’” laughs Demonaco of a certain Republican candidate. “That’s terrifying.” A real Purge? Perhaps the next movie could be a documentary…
THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR IS OUT ON