Screening Room: ‘The Purge: Election Year’

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By the time the July 4th weekend comes along, the primary season will be over and the media electoral circus will be gearing up for the conventions. In other words, it’ll be the perfect time for The Purge: Election Night.

My article on the Purge films and the current election cycle ran at Little White Lies:

What we’ve seen over the past year on the scorched-earth plains of American electioneering resembles less a return to the grand old days of two-fisted retail politics than another entry in the subversively political Purge series, set in a near-future America where every year all laws are suspended for a 12-hour-long spree of supposedly cathartic violence called “The Purge”…

Here’s the trailer:

New in Theaters: ‘The Purge: Anarchy’ Takes Aim at the One Percent

In 'The Purge: Anarchy' all crime is legal for one annual twelve-hour free-for-all (Universal Pictures)
In ‘The Purge: Anarchy’ all crime is legal for one annual twelve-hour free-for-all (Universal Pictures)

purge-poster1Just last year, a little sci-fi/horror film called The Purge lit up theaters with its canny blend of exploitation thriller jolts and subversive agitprop. Now comes the inevitable sequel, which ramps up the class-conscious revolutionary rhetoric in an expanded story about a near-future America where one night a year all crime is legal for 12 hours.

The Purge: Anarchy opens this Friday everywhere. My review is at PopMatters:

 In the first film, the ridiculous rationale left open the suggestion that the Purge’s real purpose was even uglier. What if the big night isn’t a means to purge unwanted impulses, but rather, a way to get rid of unwanted people? In Anarchy, the politics read loud and clear. Sergeant and his carload of charges face down everyone from flamethrower-wielding ATV rednecks to storm troopers cruising around in armored big rigs and nihilist skateboard punks with ghostface makeup and machetes…

You can see the trailer here: