Empire (UK) - - PREMIERE -

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…


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