Writer/director James DeMonaco’s forthcoming The Purge: Election Year, which is due out in theaters this year on Independence Day, marks the third film in the eponymous franchise that deals with gross acts of violent juvenile delinquency perhaps most closely associated with the kind of depravity found in Stanley Kubrick’s seminal drama of dystopian terror, A Clockwork Orange. Despite the fact that DeMonaco’s series of horror films might not be considered as controversial as Kubrick’s latter mentioned work of social satire, the cultural underpinnings that make up the basic rhetoric of DeMonaco’s films has served to make The Purge franchise reflective of certain underlying tensions of the contemporary political climate in America.
As seen in the first feature length trailer, the new movie is set to star Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost) as a senator seeking to repeal the 28th amendment to the United States Constitution that gave rise to the annual Purge, and inflicted severe damage to herself as a result. Obviously not everyone in DeMonaco’s film is on board with this course of action, and the latest TV spot cheekily plays up the supposed patriotism of the government sanctioned event with relevant aplomb.
In the footage featured above, distributor Universal Pictures has compiled a faux-political ad campaign with a series of seemingly staid and middle-class Americans extolling the virtues of the Purge event, and spouting the insipid catchphrase, “I Purged.” The latter mentioned slogan is plastered on the chests of all the actors involved in the latest TV spot in a manner synonymous with an, “I Voted,” electorate sticker, thus likening DeMonaco’s fictitious legal event with that other civic duty of national pride and political awareness – before the final screen closes with the foreboding, and ironic, message, “Keep America Great.”
The levels to which this latest bit of promotional footage for The Purge: Election Year serves to comment on the current American presidential race is certainly well aimed, and takes the groupthink mentality that stands behind the support of certain candidates to its terrifying and logical conclusion. As far as trailers go, this one might be even more unsettling than the far more graphic and explicit theatrical trailer that has already seen release, and should serve to attract viewers intrigued by the subtlety of the film’s underlying cultural commentary.
Even if The Purge: Election Year fails to live up to its initial promise intimated thus far, it will stand as a more subversive alternative to moviegoers looking for something a little edgier than Independence Day: Resurgence over the American holiday weekend come early July. DeMonaco certainly doesn’t appear to be losing any steam in regards to keeping the franchise alive and well, and the third film in The Purge series should offer fans of this series thus far plenty to keep them invested in the established narrative arc.
The Purge: Election Year will see theatrical release in the U.S. on July 1st, 2016.
Source: Universal Pictures