Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Written and Directed by Kevin Smith (Harvey Boys/Smodcast Pictures)

Right in time for Halloween is one of the most suspenseful movies I have ever seen in the form of Kevin Smith's new movie, RED STATE. Earlier this year Smith (CLERKS, CHASING AMY, DOGMA) caused an uproar at The Sundance Film Festival when he announced he was going to stop making films entirely. He took his finished film on a D.I.Y. tour across the country, holding his now familiar Q&A sessions to raise money to release it himself. I took in the film some months back at a screening At The Wilbur Theater hosted by Smith. Between the tour, pre-release paid VOD viewers and special packages, he has already made back his money in time for a limited wide-release.

Michael Parks as
Rev. Abin Cooper
Based on the controversial Westboro Baptist Church and their leader Fred Phelps, Coopers Dell is set in the rural Middle America and is home to the Five Points Church. Led by fanatical Rev. Abin Cooper whose views are so extreme that even the KKK distanced themselves from him. The church gained national attention by protesting the funerals of reported homosexuals. Although those actions are deplorable enough, it is what goes on inside the compound that is real cause for alarm. Church goers abduct suspected local sinners and torture them and worse. When an investigation uncovers the truth, the ATF is called in. A fracas breaks out and quickly devolves into a Branch Davidian-type, no-win scenario. Undergoing a third stylistic change in under an hour and a half, several shocking plot twists and turns are revealed as the film comes to a gripping end.

Smith does a masterful job making a huge feeling film with just original script writing and fine camera work for a mere four million dollars. There are many great performances in the film such as Michael Parks as Rev. Cooper, John Goodman as Agent Keenan, Melissa Leo as Sarah Cooper and in lesser, but worthy roles Kerry Bishe', Stephen Root, Kevin Pollack, Matt L. Jones and Kevin Alejandro. Virtually the entire cast will return in Smith's final directorial turn (in 2 parts) HIT SOMEBODY, due next year.

Smith and his hetero life-mate Jason Mewes will
be at the Wilbur Theater on October 7th.

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