springfield runs red

On Monday I saw Kevin Smith’s new movie, Red State, at the Clark State Performing Arts Center in Springfield, Ohio. If you haven’t heard, Kevin Smith is doing this cool thing with his newest movie where instead of releasing it in the traditional way, he’s taking it on tour in order to distribute it independently. When I found out that the movie screening and Q&A tour was coming to none other than Springfield, I knew I had to go.

The only kink in the plan was that, despite their casual appreciation for the hilarious genius of Jay and Silent Bob and for my uncanny portrayal of Kevin Smith on two Halloweens in recent memory, none of my friends are really that into him or his movies. Definitely not enough to pay $67 for the ticket. So I had to convince Colin to come all the way from Connecticut to go with me, which wasn’t really that hard to do when I realized that he’s even more obsessed with Kevin than I am, and especially when I promised delicious bribes like falafel pesto pizza from HaHa’s and whole wheat donuts from Schuler’s. Springfield may be a shithole, but it does have a few redeeming things to offer in the vein of unhealthily awesome excess.

Attending a Q&A with Kevin Smith has been a goal of mine for a long ass time, and I’m ecstatic about the fact that I can now cross that off of my bucket list. I remember being obsessed with Kevin when I was like sixteen, when I would go to the video store and rent his movies and watch them by myself on the weekends alongside other 90s classics like SLC Punk and Freddy Got Fingered. My freshman year of college I bought a poster of Jay and Silent bob and hung it above my bed in my dorm room, and it has been in every room I’ve lived in for the past four years since then.

The thing that’s awesome about Red State is that it’s in a completely different ballpark from any other movie Kevin has written. Instead of being riddled with elaborate, witty dialogue and hilarious stoner/toilet humor, it’s like, serious and stuff. It’s based on the outrageous religious fanaticism of the Phelps family, who are also known as the Westboro Baptist Church. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re those assholes who picket at military funerals and parade around with signs that say “GOD HATES FAGS” and “THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS.” In a nutshell, they suck balls, and Red State is a totally awesome stab at the grotesqueness of their extremist beliefs. Not to mention that John Goodman is a fucking badass in it, and all around it was just a really well-done movie in my opinion.

I pretty much jump on any excuse to go back to Springfield, and also any excuse to convince Colin to come visit me, but going to see this movie and hear Kevin Smith talk was completely legit. The best weekend I’ve had in a long time. When Red State comes out in October, you need to see it, even if you aren’t a Kevin Smith fan. But if you aren’t a Kevin Smith fan then I don’t know what the shit is the matter with you, because he is fucking AWESOME and that’s just all.

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