Friday, 3 March 2017


RED STATE, d. Kevin Smith (2011)

I'll start by saying that there are few film makers I dislike more than Kevin Smith. I don't like his point of view, or his sense of humour. I don't like his face. But I like Red State*, I like it very much, not least because it is absolutely nothing like a Kevin Smith film.

The plot centres around a radical church group who picket gay funerals in public and, in private, kidnap homosexuals and other people they don't approve and execute them. When they are visited by the police on another matter, a violent siege begins that only concludes after a government approved massacre and the baleful sound of the seven heavenly trumpets that announce The Rapture.

The film moves quickly and erratically and feels as if it's unfolding live as you watch it, aided and abetted by washed out visuals and unshowy mumbling performances*. It made me think about the off the map parts of America and the churches and clubs and families within those neglected places that are armed to the teeth and waiting for Jesus and, for the first time in a long while, I felt glad to be living in the UK. It won't last.

*  A 'red state' is a Republican Party stronghold.

** Michael Parks is quite amazing as the leader of the cult, but resists numerous opportunities to chew the scenery to instead create a terrifying but nuanced character.   

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