Exclusive: Kevin Smith on the Religious Themes of Red State

By  · Published on April 11th, 2010

Kevin Smith’s long talked about Red State may now finally be hitting the big screen. After years of trouble getting financing, Smith has actually landed backing. For a while now we’ve known very little about Red State. Besides the fact it’s a horror movie, the plot itself still remains a mystery. That is, until now…

“It’s very reminiscent of Race with the Devil,” Smith explained, citing a rather crazy B-movie from 1975. “That’s such a favorite movie of mine. When I was a kid it was just such a terrifying notion. It’s where you’re on vacation and you just happen to see some mother fuckers sacrificing a virgin, they kill your dog, and the chase you in your winnebago. There’s nothing more horrifying than that! You can keep your fucking thirty-foot shark, that’s terrifying! It’s certainly not that, but it’s very much in that spirit of people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead of going with devil worship we’re going the other direction. It deals with intense religious worship. It’s religious fundamentalism.”

Intense religious worship? Is this Smith taking a smack at all those crazy Jesus freak Dogma protesters? Sadly, no. “No, not at all. I’m not talking about Catholics, man. I already got the shit kicked out of my by Catholics eleven years ago. I don’t need that again. It doesn’t even go after… It’s tough to explain.”

Smith started to seem a bit coy at this point with discussing details. Being the pushy guy that I am, I pressed him for more and asked why he’s playing this so close to the chest. That wasn’t the case, but Smith did say this departure will still be a “Kevin Smith” movie and that it’s going to be something that plays with expectations.

“It’s not even to give away too much,” the director insisted. “It’s that, what I like about the movie is that it’s not like anything I’ve ever wrote before, but it’s still me without being seemingly me. The movie constantly re-invents itself about every twenty minutes. Every twenty minutes when you think you have a beat on the movie it becomes something else. It’s going to keep becoming something else. We’re always with the same people, but it’s all kinds of boxes for short.”

When Kevin says, “it’s not like anything I’ve ever wrote before, but it’s still me without being seemingly me,” it begs the question: how much of the Smith we all know will actually be in Red State? It’s great to see him working out of his comfort zone, but who wouldn’t want to see Smith’s usual characters thrown into a bleak horror movie? How cool would that be to see Dante and Randal being tortured a la Hostel style? Wouldn’t that be fantastic? That’s obviously not going to happen, but just imagine the possibilities.

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Longtime FSR contributor Jack Giroux likes movies. He thinks they're swell.