Sandy K. Boone,
Douglass St. Clair Smith,
"J.R. 'Bob' Hobbs and The Church of the SubGenius"
Religion is not a funny matter to the faithful. Unless, of course, you happen to be a devoted member of one of the most prominent parody religions in the United States, The church of the SubGenius. “F— them if they can’t a joke,” is the Church’s mantra, one has been keenly observed for more than three decades by co-founders Douglass St. Clair Smith (aka Rev. Ivan Stang) and Steve Wilcox (aka Dr. Philo Drummond). Directed by the Austin-based Sandy K. Boone, the SXSW Film Festival entry J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and The Church of the SubGenius chronicles the creation of the “fringe cult” by the Dallas-based Smith and Wilcox as “a weird fringe cult for weirdos specifically for weirdos” as well as its improbable rise in popularity in the 1980s among those who quickly got the joke and were seeking a way to voice their anti-establishmentarian views. The documentary also provides a history of the church’s fictional leader, J.R. “Bob” Dobbs, and focuses on the church’s philosophy of “Slack,” a state of being that can only be achieved when a member is no longer harried by the establishment, as represented by the “normals.” J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and The Church of the SubGenius will screen during the SXSW Film Festival at 3 p.m. March 10 at the Atom Theater at the Austin Convention Center, 9 p.m. March 12 at the AFS Cinema, and 8 p.m. March 13 at the Zach Theatre. Austin-based director Sandy K. Boone previously served as the executive producer of Blaze, The Honor Farm, Tower, and the short film collection Jonathan Demme Presents: Made in Texas. Her late husband, filmmaker David Boone, was a member of the Church of the SubGenius.
Aired: Feb. 25, 2019