I've seen it three times now and my wife has watched it four times. If Fox had promoted "Idiocracy" the way they promoted "Borat," courting controversy, they would have had a "Borat"-sized hit.
From the Washington Times:
Puzzling fate of a film satire
By Kelly Jane Torrance
... Steve Sailer, a film critic for the American Conservative magazine, points out that Fox didn't tell Moviefone the film's name, so it was called simply "Untitled Mike Judge Comedy" on the listings site.
"Idiocracy" finally gets a nationwide release this week with its appearance on DVD, but Fox is still making little effort to promote the film.
Fox didn't respond to a request for comment, and Mr. Judge isn't talking, either. So we may never know exactly why the film was spiked, although there are plenty of theories. ...
Of course, one target of the film's satire is a division of the studio's parent company. In Mr. Judge's vision of the future, Fox News Channel anchors are bodybuilders and strippers, although barely more sensationalistic than they are today. Perhaps News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch doesn't have a sense of humor -- or maybe his executives fear he doesn't.
Mr. Sailer is one who thinks it's more about content than conflict. " 'Idiocracy's' extraordinary political incorrectness seems the most likely explanation," he says.
"Judge's obsessions have been consistent throughout 'B & B,' 'King of the Hill,' 'Office Space' and 'Idiocracy': IQ, class, masculinity and their complex interplay in America," says Mr. Sailer, who often writes about such issues. "Judge's admirable Hank Hill shows that you don't have to have a high IQ to be a good man and valuable citizen, as Luke Wilson's slack-off, 100-IQ Pvt. Joe Bauers learns by the end of 'Idiocracy.' But you need some traditional values, which Beavis and Butt-Head, whose single mothers let them be raised by MTV, never absorbed."
Such deep themes may make "Idiocracy" a tougher sell than the white-collar workplace satire "Office Space," whose subject was so much more universal. "This is more of a 'Sleeper'-esque Woody Allen smart-dumb comedy," Mr. Knowles [of Ain't It Cool News] says.
He believes that Mr. Judge's "edgy" creativity needs a "patron." "When Kevin Smith had crazy studio trouble with 'Mallrats,' he ended up taking up a shingle with [then-Miramax chief Harvey] Weinstein and has been happily making movies ever since," he says.
"He's one of the funniest men alive. He definitely understands how to make an audience laugh," Mr. Knowles says. "I'm not really worried about Mike Judge."
Mr. Sailer calls the director "one of the more interesting, insightful, and misunderstood figures in all of American popular culture."
But as Esquire's Brian Raftery asked, before Fox even spiked the film, "If the guy who made 'Office Space' has to kowtow to his ... boss, what hope is there for the rest of us?" [More]