Kevin Smith, the director of the 1994 cult-hit Clerks as well as several follow-up films such as Mall Rats, Dogma, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back and Chasing Amy (as well as playing Silent Bob in many of those same films) has made a new movie. Titled Red State, this horror/thriller is about a group of sex-crazed teens who encounter a gay-hating minister and his group of fundamentalists with a sinister agenda.
While this genre is a bit of a departure from Smith’s prior efforts, his method of marketing and distribution for the film harkens back to his Clerks days when he sold his comic book collection and maxed out credit cards in order to achieve independent film maker status. This time around, he is completely bypassing the Hollywood machine – instead choosing to use his fan base through social media to release the film, as well as a fifteen-city screening tour that will make a stop at Kuss Auditorium at the Clark State Performing Arts Center on March 14th.
Smith plans to work directly with movie theater owners in order to get the movie on screen by the targeted October 19, 2011 date, a plan he unveiled at the film’s Sundance Film Festival premiere this past Sunday where he had originally indicated he’d be auctioning the film to a distributor live on the stage. Instead, he “bought” the film himself for $20 and gave the proverbial middle finger to Hollywood. As an added twist, the film is supposedly based on the Christian fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church, infamous for picketing soldiers’ funerals with “God Hates Fags” signs. That group predictably protested the premiere and will likely be in Springfield in March for the screening.
Tickets to the local screening go on sale for $67 this Friday at 10am in person at the Clark State Performing Arts Center, with online tickets available that same day at noon.