The People’s Joker

I'm the People's Joker, baby!

Filmmaker Vera Drew‘s queer-focused, satirical Batman send-up THE PEOPLE’S JOKER gained itself notoriety right out of the gate, when, following its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in 2022, planned screenings of the film were unceremoniously “pulled” due to “rights issues.” This dark, deeply funny coming of age satire also serves as an unofficial parody of the Batman universe, as it follows a law-breaking comedian who, while grappling with her gender identity, forms a new anti-comedy troupe with a friend before finding herself battling a fascistic caped crusader.

In addition to writing the film alongside her partner Bri LeRose, Drew also directed and stars in the lead role. The film also features Scott Aukerman, Tim Heidecker, Maria Bamford, David Liebe Hart, Robert Wuhl, and Bob Odenkirk.

“Not only is it damn funny, with each of the lines delivered by a dynamic [Vera] Drew landing perfectly, but it’s a genuinely incisive work of cinematic reflection that’s the exact type of kick in the pants the often empty genre could use.” (The Stranger)

“‘The People’s Joker’ is a fearless, gloriously funny, and moving act of cinematic anarchy.” (Austin Chronicle)

“An uproarious, truly transgressive piece of queer outsider comedy and art. And amid all the cancel culture nonsense, here’s a film in which forces are actually trying to suppress it.” (Tilt Magazine)

“Unlike many comedies — alternative and mainstream — ‘The People’s Joker is not so in love with its own satire to rob it of any emotional truth. Underneath the satirical madness lies a genuinely moving story of self-acceptance.” (indieWire)

Tuesday, May 14
Doors 9:00 pm | Movie 9:30 pm *Start time subject to change. Please arrive on time.
Advance tickets HERE


THE PEOPLE’S JOKER (Vera Drew, 92 mins / 18A) An aspiring clown grappling with her gender identity combats a fascistic caped crusader.


*Minors OK. Must be 19+ w/ID for bar service.
*Rio Theatre Groupons and Rio Theatre passes are OK for any single film screening only. Please redeem at the box office.
*Online sales end an hour before showtime; unless otherwise noted, tickets are always available for purchase at the box office prior to showtime.  Our box office is typically open 30 minutes before showtime. All seating is General Admission; please arrive 20-30 minutes prior to showtime to ensure great seats and time for treats.
*If you are looking to redeem either a Rio Theatre gift certificate or Groupon to any regular Rio Theatre screening: You can either email us in advance <[email protected]> and give us a “heads up,” or do it at the box office prior to showtime. (We seat 400+ people and our regular screenings are very rarely at capacity – you should not have issues being admitted.)

*All Rio Theatre tickets are final sale.

An aspiring clown grappling with her gender identity combats a fascistic caped crusader in writer-director Vera Drew's uproariously subversive queer coming-of-age origin story.

About The Rio

Voted the #1 Independent Theatre in Vancouver, the Rio Theatre is a multimedia venue featuring arthouse, mainstream and cult-classic cinemas as well as live entertainment. Built in 1938, the Rio has been fully restored with a state of the art digital projector, surround sound, a huge stage and 420 luxurious seats.

1660 East Broadway, Vancouver, BC

Phone: 604.879.3456

Info Line: 604.878.3456

Email: [email protected]

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