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Red State Review

Kevin Smith - now THERE’s a guy I admire. I agree, his style of humour isn’t to everybody’s tastes and he’s often accused of selling out, but really - who wouldn’t like to have his lifestyle? Think about it - he writes and directs his own movies, he appears in movies other than his own, he owns and runs his Secret Stash comicbook stores, he writes bestselling autobiographical books, he does guest speaking engagements, he has his podcasts - and when he’s not doing any or all he writes scripts for Marvel and DC Comics. Having written story arcs for Daredevil, Spider-Man, Green Arrow, Batman - the Smith is certainly living the dream of any geek Truthfully, there’s no escaping the fact that Kevin is one of us, who did good.

As I recall, the first of his movies that I saw was Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. Within hours of seeing that, I was online chasing down his earlier work. Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, the controversial Dogma, the outrageous Clerks 2, which still has me helpless with laughter, despite having watched it five or six times, Zak and Miri Make a Porno, are all cult classics. Cop Out seemed not to find the regular audience, which is somewhat baffling because it’s pretty damn funny and plays to its cast’s strengths.

Even his more straight faced film Jersey Girl, which was given a hostile reception from his fans and critics alike has something to offer and was a bold choice of direction.

So, for the first time since 2004 Smith decided to wander outside his usual comedic realm and veer toward grimmer territory with Red State a horror story or religious fanaticism, which I saw about a week ago.

BUT - just as Smith wanders outside his usual field and does something unexpected, so, on this occasion will I.

Dani Knight is one of the cool and interesting people I’ve been fortunate enough to become friends with over my years of writing, and he dropped by the site with his own insight on Red State.

Dani’s credits include writing  movie reviews and articles reviews for horror web sites - so without further delay, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Dani:

Ok, lets get this out of the way first. I am a huge Kevin Smith fan.

Seeing as in my humble opinion, the guy has only ever made two dud films (Jersey Girl and Cop Out) I have to say I was really looking forward to his first foray into horror territory, and while Red State is an ok movie, it kind of left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Red State tells the story of 3 young men who find an older woman on the internet looking to have sex with them.They travel to a trailer to meet her, where she plies them with alcohol, but then they fall unconcious.

When they awake, they find they have been abducted by the Five Points Church, who are a riff on the Westbourough Baptist Church with their picketing the funerals of homosexuals with offensive signs and their blatant homophobia. This is where the film changes a gear, and becomes a lot darker, with bouts of violence that shock, and a lot of preaching - some of which you will find yourself agreeing with in a strange way.

The main character is Pastor Abin Cooper played very ably by Michael Parks (the sheriff in From Dusk Till Dawn and Pulp Fiction to name but a few).He walks a fine line between playful and psychotic, and I have to say, his restrained performance is definately the films best. The ATF show up at the church after a tip off that the church are concealing automatic weapons and sure enough a gunfight breaks out. This is where the film shifts again, moving into Robert Rodriguez action territory - but it's still a lot of fun.

Where the movie fell foul for me was the ending.To me, it felt rushed. I got really excited, only for something to happen that kind of took me out of the movie, which I found really disappointing. The film is incredibly talky, but alas I didn't feel there was much of Kevin Smith's wit in the script at all.
For what it is, it's an ok film, but for the ending that feels tacked on. I really feel it could have been so much more.

If you like Kevin Smith movies, give it a go. But please, don' t expect too much.

As ever, clicking on this link will take you over to Amazon where you can learn more about the film and make that all important purchese, which'll earn some money to keep this website going strong. 

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