Red State: politics, sex and religion in Kevin Smith's Molotov cocktail

Red State: politics, sex and religion in Kevin Smith’s Molotov cocktail

Extremist Catholics who kill homosexuals, virgins who want to have an orgy and cops transformed into hired killers… We must absolutely that we eatrole of Red State.

Kevin Smith made a remarkable entry into independent cinema in the mid-1990s with his first feature film, Clerks, model employeesthen quickly imposed itself as a cultural and popular reference with the construction of the View Askewniverse, of which his character Silent Bob is a part.

His schoolboy and metafictional comedies have enabled the filmmaker to rise among the greatest Hollywood geeks, but it is paradoxically with a film a priori very far from his favorite style that the director has delivered his most mastered and powerful work: Red Statewhich tells how three teenagers are trapped by a religious cult after answering an ad to sleep with a mature woman.

This tenth feature film was presented in 2011 at the Sundance Film Festival where it was rather well received, but suffered from Kevin Smith’s self-distribution with a few theatrical screenings during a tour, followed by a VOD exploitation and a landing in the DTV bins. The film therefore went rather unnoticed at the time of its release until it was unjustly forgotten..

“That’s not what the ad said”


If the starting point of Red State suggests a raw and gritty comedy like those that made the reputation of Kevin Smith (The layabouts, The Clerks II, Jay & Bob Strike Back), we still have trouble guessing his presence behind the camera. After having shaped an entire fictional universe and having maintained his image as an eternal nerd and very second-degree fanboy, the filmmaker embarked on a first thriller – although sold as a horror film – without burlesque jokes or references. to his previous works.

The film also makes no strong nods or mentions to popular culture and its ambassadors Marvel, DC or Star Wars (although the pastor Abin Cooper and Darth Vader do have some points in common), thus logically imposing him as the UFO of his filmography. Yet, even though Red State effectively gets rid of the buffoonish imagery of the View Askewniverse, the film respects the components of Kevin Smith’s cinemabut by pushing the sliders all the way.

Red State: PictureNote the neon lights that form a cross in the armory


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