Red State (2011)

31 Oct

Happy Halloween, yinz!

On Friday, Mr. Beez and I stopped by Best Buy with the hopes of picking up some Vincent Price films to watch during our get-together with pals on Saturday night.  (Note: Best Buy has dramatically reduced their stock of DVD’s and Blu-Rays…so we were out of luck).  Mr. Beez’ favorite director is Kevin Smith of Clerks, MallRats, Dogma, etc fame.  He heard that Smith just came out with a new film called Red State, and even without having seen it, he was determined to buy it.

Mr. Beez turned on the film on Sunday night while I was reading a book. I was planning to spend the evening reading, but the film quickly caught my eye.  Red State was stocked with the “horror” films, but that’s not an accurate characterization.  To be sure, it is terrifying in its reality–but I’d say it’s more drama than horror.

Red State depicts an ultra-religious militant group that has taken to not only protesting funerals of those it considers “sinners,” but also kidnapping and murdering said types. 3 teenage boys responded to an internet post, thinking they were meeting up with a woman to “party.”  On the way to her place, they sideswipe a car, but run from it.  When they get to the woman’s house, they are actually kidnapped by the sect.  The police come by to investigate the hit-and-run, and the whole thing snowballs into a standoff with the ATF.

The film doesn’t revel in violence, but there is certainly no shortage of it.  This serious story is a big departure from Smith’s usual humor films, but it’s skilfully done, and shows that Smith’s skills extend well beyond Jay and Silent Bob.

Big names in this film include John Goodman and Melissa Leo, and they all give stellar performances.

You (like me) probably haven’t heard of Red State at all– Smith is distributing it on his own dime, and the only theater it played in is Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema. (See comments below– I was wrong–Red State played in more than one theater, Smith personally took it out and promoted it, and it played in a theater each night).  It’s out on DVD now, so you can Netflix, Redbox, or whatever it.  According to Red State’s website, it’s also available on Netflix streaming.

It really is excellent and worth a view.

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4 Responses to “Red State (2011)”

  1. Sandy October 31, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    Kevin Smith is also Ben’s favorite director. I wonder if they know this about themselves. I have heard of this movie because I have been tasked to buy it for Ben for Christmas.

  2. beezuskiddo October 31, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    I don’t think they know this. I will tell Mr. Beez!

  3. Luke Keyes October 31, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Actually he took it on tour all over the country about 6 months ago. He would play it in a theater a night, and then come out and do a 90 minute Q&A afterwards. I got to see it in Seattle, and it was one of the things that inspired me to change jobs and move to Austin.

    • beezuskiddo October 31, 2011 at 11:25 am #

      I stand corrected! I had my info about his promotion of it from the ever-reliable wikipedia…

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