Newest Reviews
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Iron Mask, The
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
  Red State What The Hell?
Year: 2011
Director: Kevin Smith
Stars: Michael Parks, Melissa Leo, John Goodman, Michael Angarano, Kerry Bishé, Ralph Garman, James Parks, Stephen Root, Nicholas Braun, Ronnie Connell, Kevin Pollak, Anna Gunn, Kevin Alejandro, Patrick Fischler, Kyle Gallner, Jennifer Swalbach, Mark Blucas
Genre: Horror, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Travis (Michael Angarano) is late for school, but he has an excuse which is that there was a protest by a far right Christian group which slowed down his journey as his mother was driving him. He explains this to his teacher, who gets sidetracked from her lesson about the Constitution and starts warning her pupils off any involvement with religious fanatics, but Travis isn't really listening, for he has plans for that evening with his friends. The meet up at break and go to a website where women are offering their bodies and settle on one individual not a million miles away...

All the clues are there that this will be the worst decision of their lives, for what other reason could there be for introducing religious nutcases so early on in the film, but in spite of that there could be those in the audience caught off guard by the directions Red State took, especially if they thought they knew the typical oeuvre of writer and director Kevin Smith. Where his speciality had been ribald, plain-speaking but inventively rude comedies before, with this he changed his tune, and by going on the publicity trail to announce he was distributing this himself be created some amount of grumbling among those who thought he had ideas above his station.

Yet granted this was quite some departure from the norm, there were signs that it was indeed Smith who had been behind the camera, not simply the odd smartass line which the narrative refused to dwell upon, but other themes as well. One of his previous films had been Dogma, a Christian comedy which attempted to mine humour from an impending apocalypse, and there were echoes of that here, as the chief plot strand concerned itself with religion as well, although with far less welcoming considerations. Make no mistake, Smith was a religious man, but it was evident here one thing he detested was seeing his faith perverted by hate, and that translated into an anything goes, everyone suffers mood of oppressive menace.

The tiny church led by Abin Cooper (an exceptionally creepy Michael Parks) was obviously based on another, real life tiny church who gathered an out of proportion number of headlines for their message of hostility and malice towards anyone who did not accept their own insanely narrow reading of the Bible, and this had gotten Smith's dander up, so in a way Red State was a try at tackling those like them who used their ultra-conservative views to excuse the viler aspects of their worldview. Make no mistake, this was an angry film, and although Smith had shown he could get pissed off in public before, that was with critics accusing him of squandering his talents on unworthy efforts such as Cop Out.

Here, on the other hand, was a target which made far more impact than movie critics ever would, and it was as if the director had gone out of his way to make this was spiky and hard to get on with as possible, with nobody emerging from it well, particularly not the church but also not the government who fumble any attempts to soothe the situation and halfway through turn the crisis into a Waco-style seige, with bullets flying and bodies piling up as equally effective John Goodman in the G-Man role flounders. With its in your face approach, Smith's film was determined to mess with the audience, switching from coarse teen comedy to horror to thriller to outright action flick dynamics, but it was the excoriating nature of its politics which sought to take down the reprehensible bigotry blighting society. The result? Smith's best movie in years, one which moved beyond his usual talkfests - though Parks got his own spellbindingly ghastly monologue lasting a good ten minutes - to present not only food for thought, but a genuine zest for demolishing the issues. Be nice to each other - or else we're all headed straight to hell, was the timely message.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2312 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Kevin Smith  (1970 - )

American writer-director, by turns self-indulgent and hilarious. His first film Clerks brought him cult success, but he followed it with the big studio flop Mallrats. Chasing Amy was a return to form, and Dogma courted religious controversy. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was a tribute to the double act who appeared in every one of his films up until then (Silent Bob was played by Smith himself). Jersey Girl was a conventional romantic comedy that disappointed most of his fans.

Smith is also a writer of comic books, both established characters (Daredevil, Green Arrow) and his own creations. An attempt to turn Clerks into a cartoon series was a failure - but it was damn funny all the same. Fans of the characters could console themselves with the sequel Clerks II. He then offered sex comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno to mixed reviews, and Cop Out to downright terrible ones which led him to much public complaining. Self-proclaimed horror movie Red State, however, won him some of the best reactions of his career, though audiences were fewer in number.

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor


Last Updated: