J.R. “Bob” Dobbs & The Church Of The SubGenius: Review

J.R. "Bob" Dobbs & The Church Of The SubGenius: Review

J.R. “Bob” Dobbs & The Church Of The SubGenius: Review – Sometime in 1978, Ivan Stang (Douglass Smith) and Philo Drummond (Steve Wilcox) decided to write a pamphlet satirising religious gatherings and cults that had become widespread across America.

Their ethos was to gather all the people that felt that they didn’t fit in, they wanted to find the weirdos who thought that the ‘normal’ people were the crazy ones and that they and their followers, the SubGeniuses should have their voices heard. Little did they realise, but over 40 years later their idea would gain such a gathering that they may have even become a cult themselves. Whether they liked it or not.

J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and The Cult of The SubGenius is a documentary that tells the story of a joke between two friends that kind of got out of hand and in many ways (both of which they’d deny and confirm) would become a religion.



Their main belief being that ‘f*ck ‘em if they can’t take a joke’ has run right through their religion and the documentary tells how their initial idea came to rise in popularity (something that they were against), with celebrity fans such as Nick Offerman, Richard Linklater and Penn Gillette. However, it also tells of the repercussions that they had not considered when the joke kept rolling.

Going through the 80’s, 90’s and into the 21st Century, their core group belief in fun and not taking themselves too seriously stayed the same, but the documentary doesn’t shy away from those people who took it more seriously.

Talking frankly and honestly about its ‘members’, J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and The Church of The SubGenius shows that although they never intended it, that view of ‘not everybody getting the joke’ could be harmful, particularly going into the changing climate of the 21st Century.

However, the documentary gives them a chance to tell their side of the story and admit to having to adapt as the world changes. J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and The Church of The SubGenius is an insightful look at the world today and the madness that engulfs us on a daily basis, and if you don’t get the joke then that’s ok. As for me, sign me up.


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Joel found out that he had a talent for absorbing film trivia at a young age. Ever since then he has probably watched more films than the average human being, not because he has no filter but because it’s one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching experiences that a person can have. He also has a weak spot for bad sci-fi/horror movies because he is a huge geek and doesn’t care who knows it.