Home Movies Kevin Smith Will Release “Red State” Horror Film On His Own

Kevin Smith — director of “Clerks,” “Chasing Amy,” and “Dogma”–caused a stir last night at Sundance with his new “Red State.”

Smith–always looking to mix it up–had announced that he’d sell the movie in a public auction at the Eccles Theater right after the only screening. Of course, the place was packed with potential bidders. In the end, Smith bought the film himself, for $20 and announced that he’d release it on his own. The first show is March 5th at Radio City, followed by a limited tour to famous theaters in hospitable cities.

The tour makes a stop in Kansas, home of crazy right wing “reverend” Fred Phelps, upon whom Smith’s main character–a crazy right wing evangelist played beautifully by legendary actor Michael Parks–is based. Last night, Phelps sent protesters to picket the movie. So Smith had his own counterprotesters, who carried their pown provocative signs. Nothing like getting a little publicity. “Maybe we’ll protest at his house,” Smith joked.

“Red State” is partly about Reverend Cooper, who kidnaps homosexuals and kills them viciously in his remote family compound. It’s also about how the ATF and FBI handle domestic terrorism. Neither group will be happy with Smith, who manages to depict the inadequacies of both sides. We did learn that bible study sometimes includes being handy with an AK47.

On other hand, “Red State”–made quickly this past fall–may be Smith’s best work. It looks terrific, has a talented cast including Melissa Leo and John Goodman, and moves very efficiently It’s violent, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. It is surely an indictment of the “red states”–although the red is also about blood. This is a horror film, after all, albeit one with a definite goal and point of view.

PS In his long remarks after the film, Smith praised his “rabbi,” Harvey Weinstein for teaching him everything about the film business. We’ll have a video later this morning of the whole shebang.

7 replies to this post
  1. doug, that’s because fred phelps was a civil rights lawyer and didn’t turn into a gay hating reverend till the 2000’s. the VAST majority of bible-thumping gay haters are republicans. the vast majority of states that wanted to keep slavery are red states. lets face it most things that want to retard civil rights in general happen in red states. most gay hating evangelists who get caught with male prostitutes are from red states. because the vast majority of intelligent people go to blue states where the best colleges are. bible thumping republicans retard everything!! if bush let stem cell research get funded we’d already have cures to so many physical and neurological diseases and injuries. you can disprove things in the bible over and over and people continue to be sheep!! if there is only one god and he is a christian god why is there not a majority of any religion in the world? religion is just a crutch for the weak-minded!!

  2. I don’t think Kevin is trying to make anybody guilty by association. Grow up. It’s comments like that, that will continue to divide us. Let me guess…you’re a Republican. You’re a tea party supporter. You hate taxes, homos, and the poor. LOL.

  3. Smith is kind of following the career arc of George Lucas since the commercial failure of Zac and Mari- increasing drug use, increasing paranoia, and an increasingly detached and insular view of movie making.

    Both of these guys continue to milk a devoted fan base with reissues, special additions, endless merch and new projects that are clearly divorced from reality.

    And what is with Kevin Smith threatening to retire at 42? Yet another manifestation of his persecution complex.

    He is as much in need of an intervention as Lindsey Lohan or Amy Weinhouse.

  4. So, this means Red State won’t have a wide release? Crap, this probably means I’ll have to wait until it’s on DVD or BluRay to see it. Lame!

  5. By saying, “It is surely an indictment of the ‘red states,'” I take it you mean that Smith is going to try and make Republicans guilty by association with Fred Phelps. I don’t suppose it matters that Phelps has fundraised for Democrats (most notably Al Gore) in the past, and has run for office as a Democrat no less than 4 times, most recently in 1998.

    But why let that get in the way of a chance to smear the Republicans, right?

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