This will be one of many reviews during this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival, to keep up with our latest coverage, click here.
As much as it’s focused on films belonging in the spectrum of horror, sci-fi and fantasy, Fantasia is a festival known to highlight the strange – and oh boy, does this fit that criteria well – in a good way! The idea of a fake, satirical religion that attracts a very obsessive crowd that turns it into a cult is what we’re talking about. Thankfully, J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius, a film discussing the church of the SubGenius goes much further than the outrageous idea, creating a truly fascinating portrayal of a joke gone too far.
More than anything, huge props here goes to Boone for besides the story, making for a really engaging viewing experience. J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius blends archival footage, interviews and strange imagery in a unique way that adds a lot to what was an already intriguing story. The way the film was put together also allows for plenty of intrigue – the way the story develops makes for a whole new level of interest.
There’s two somewhat significant issues in J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius. For one, the story of the SubGenius is tackled in a way that seemed one-sided – we only hear from members and people who praise the church – and it feels like seeing the controversy or seeing people against it was a missed opportunity. In addition, there’s a point about two thirds into the film where it starts to get really redundant, and the information is almost being repeated to the audience.
The real wackiness of J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius makes for one of the lighter and more entertaining documentaries you’ll see this year.
*still courtesy of SXSW*