RT-UK Exclusive: Kevin Smith's Horror Project Revealed

Rotten Tomatoes UK can exclusively reveal that Kevin Smith's next project - a horror movie - is called "Red State". Up until now Smith has revealed little about the film other than the fact it's a horror movie and it'll be decidedly less joke-y than his back-catalogue. But, in addition to the title, Smith was keen to give us a head's up on the plot of the film.


If you've seen any of his "An Evening With..." DVDs, you'll know how much fun it can be to sit down in an audience and listen to "Clerks II" director Kevin Smith talk. In London this past week with his family - his daughter Harley is missing Johnny Depp's daughter Lily-Rose while he's in town working on "Sweeney Todd" so they arranged an international play-date - Smith took to the stage of the Prince Charles Cinema just off Leicester Square for two of his infamous four-hour Q&As.

But even in the relatively small company of five hundred that packed into the cinema on each night, getting a question in proved difficult as Smith worked his trademark tangential style around topics as diverse as his favourite dinosaur, why he hasn't yet seen Firefly and what happens to a Dachshund post-coitus.

So RT-UK naturally leapt at the chance to spend some time with Smith one-on-one while he was in town and he graciously allowed us a whole two hours to riff on whatever came to mind. We'll be sharing the full conversation very soon but we did want to rush this item to your attention right away.

UK audiences recently saw documentary journalist Louis Theroux spend time with members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, a controversial church group made largely of members of the Phelps family and run by preacher Fred Phelps. Infamous in America for taking a supremely homophobic stance and for picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, the group see media interviews as a platform for airing their views and the word of their founder, Fred Phelps.

"That dude has always fascinated me and he's really informed the horror movie that I'm working on," Smith told us, "The movie's called 'Red State' and it's very much about that subject matter, that point of view and that position taken to the absolute extreme. It's certainly not Phelps himself but it's very much inspired by a Phelps figure."

But while Smith is convinced that "horror" is the right definition for the film, he's not so sure audiences will agree. "To me there's all kinds of horror, and killing someone's not the absolute worst thing you could do to another human being," he said, "The death in a horror movie has always been the money shot in a very exploitative manner. Stabbing somebody and splashing blood all over them is the equivalent to some dude exploding over some broad's face.

"And to me, too, the notion of using a Phelps-like character as a villain, as horrifying and scary as that guy can be, there's even something more insidious than him that lurks out there in as much as a public or a government that allows it and that's the other thing that I'm trying to examine in a big, big way. It's weird because for a few months I've been saying 'horror movie' and technically it is, but it's also not a very traditional horror movie in the sense that people have been asking me, 'Is it a slasher movie? Is it like the Japanese horror flicks?' It'd be much easier to just show it to them when I'm done and be like, 'This is what I meant.' At which point I'm sure there'll be people saying, 'This ain't a horror movie!' But to me, it is."

Smith is planning to write the film in the next few months before shooting it later in the year. "We're going to shoot it somewhere in the middle of the country, in a true red state." And it's not the only feature project on the horizon, as Smith told us he's in the middle of writing a comedy to shoot in the winter. "It takes place in the middle of winter in Minnesota so we have to wait for snow," he said.

Our full conversation with Smith, including more about "Red State", is on its way, but for now why not have your say on the forums or visit Smith on the web at silentbobspeaks.com and viewaskew.com.

Many, many thanks to Kevin for being so generous with his time, on Good Friday of all days, and to his wonderful assistant Gail Stanley we are enormously indebted for the late nights she's pulled putting us in touch across time-zones.

Comments

FILMCZY

First Last

You mean "Mallrats" WASN'T a horror movie?

Apr 6 - 11:14 AM

Zap Rowsdower

David Smith

This sounds like Jersey Girl 2.

Apr 6 - 11:27 AM

WeaponAndy

Andy Nix

It sounds interesting enough. Kevin Smith loves his movies, so, we'll see.

Apr 6 - 11:29 AM

Scarborough Fair

Kyle Beaudette

I have to agree here, kevin smith is ok and all, but other than chasing amy i can't really think of a film of his i like? at all?

Apr 6 - 11:39 AM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

Seriously? You guys are insane. Kevin Smith is awesome, funny, self deprecating and self aware. And his films (ok, i haven't seen JG) are supremely watchable and entertaining. What directors in the same milieu do you like better?

Apr 6 - 11:48 AM

Now it's dark

Kirby K

There are lots of indie/comedy directors out there who are as good or better. Terry Zwigoff, Todd Solondz, or the Coen Brothers are a few. Only they don't need to promote themselves as a celebrity. I seriously wonder if Smith has ever turned down a gig or interview. But that's what works for him, so whatever.

Apr 6 - 12:09 PM

dagreenman18

Brian Lorenzo

I like where "Red State" is going. I've actually seen the BBC2 special in question, and Phelps scares the shit out of me. He makes me think"What if people like this monster actually had power? How quickly will it destroy this country?". And that is scarier than any chainsaw wielding killer.

Apr 6 - 12:09 PM

Now it's dark

Kirby K

There are lots of indie/comedy directors out there who are as good or better. Terry Zwigoff, Todd Solondz, or the Coen Brothers are a few. Only they don't need to promote themselves as a celebrity. I seriously wonder if Smith has ever turned down a gig or interview. But that's what works for him, so whatever.

Apr 6 - 12:09 PM

lavatory love machine

juan carlos petruchi

I like kevin smith and all, but this horror thing bothers me

it is like they gave up on making scary movies, meaning movies that can actually make you want to turn the light on if you are watching it at night, and filmmakers only try to make horror movie, meaning bloddy, disgusting, sick and sadisctic, but not scary at all

I remember that scene on the shinning with the guy on the teddy bear outfit giving a blowjob to the guy on the tux, that was more scary than all the horror movies of the last ten year put together

Apr 6 - 12:18 PM

ThatKevinSmith

Kevin Smith

"it is like they gave up on making scary movies, meaning movies that can actually make you want to turn the light on if you are watching it at night, and filmmakers only try to make horror movie, meaning bloddy, disgusting, sick and sadisctic, but not scary at all"

Did you read the piece above, sir? That's exactly what I'm NOT doing.

"I remember that scene on the shinning with the guy on the teddy bear outfit giving a blowjob to the guy on the tux, that was more scary than all the horror movies of the last ten year put together"

See - THIS is what I'm going for. Bu we'll see if I achieve it. More than likely, I'll just f*ck it up.

Apr 6 - 01:37 PM

Mikeal420

David Goldman

If a fake Kevin Smith can say f*ck, I should be alowed to repeat Jay's song from the opening of "Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back"

On second thought, I love this site too much to be booted.

Apr 6 - 01:58 PM

ThatKevinSmith

Kevin Smith

"If a fake Kevin Smith can say *****, I should be alowed to repeat Jay's song from the opening of "Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back"

Sorry - forgot about the non-cursing thing. It's been corrected.

But as for being a fake Kevin Smith...

http://viewaskew.com/theboard/viewtopic.php?p=2113969#2113969

Apr 6 - 02:10 PM

JBourne

**** off

Kevin Smith spends more time on RT than I do. And that's why I love you, sir.

Also, I'm disappointed this is the 38 post. So fuck the person who posted above me.

Apr 7 - 11:22 PM

lavatory love machine

juan carlos petruchi

Hi, Kevin

I did read the article, but I was not talking about you, I was talking in general, that most filmmakers seem to have realize that they are no talented enough to scare people so they try to shock them instead

the last scary movie in english lenguage that I remember is The Others by Alejandro Amenabar

but you doing this kind of film reminds me of another director that I like a lot, Alex de la Iglesia, he went out of his thing and tried to do a scary movie without any funny stuff like usual and it sucked, it-s la habitacion del nino, you should check out to see if you can avoid some of those mistakes

Apr 6 - 04:11 PM

sox1919

Ryan Kolar

[b]ok then[/b]
"'I remember that scene on the shinning with the guy on the teddy bear outfit giving a blowjob to the guy on the tux, that was more scary than all the horror movies of the last ten year put together'

See - THIS is what I'm going for. Bu we'll see if I achieve it. More than likely, I'll just ***** it up. "

I'll give the man credit, he backs up what he says, and even KS talked about the first 15 minutes of Jersey Girl, which was the closest thing he's made to Capra or Hughes so far IMO.

As for the scariest things in film, I am a pretty big horror film fan, ever since Halloween was shown to me at age 8 and Alien soon there after. But to be honest, the word here is CREEPY, not scary. I can scare anyone if I catch them offguard, which equates to parlor tricks on film, i.e misdirection. Creepiness stays with you.

Apr 6 - 05:30 PM

ThatKevinSmith

Kevin Smith

"it is like they gave up on making scary movies, meaning movies that can actually make you want to turn the light on if you are watching it at night, and filmmakers only try to make horror movie, meaning bloddy, disgusting, sick and sadisctic, but not scary at all"

Did you read the piece above, sir? That's exactly what I'm NOT doing.

"I remember that scene on the shinning with the guy on the teddy bear outfit giving a blowjob to the guy on the tux, that was more scary than all the horror movies of the last ten year put together"

See - THIS is what I'm going for. Bu we'll see if I achieve it. More than likely, I'll just f*ck it up.

Apr 6 - 01:37 PM

Mikeal420

David Goldman

If a fake Kevin Smith can say f*ck, I should be alowed to repeat Jay's song from the opening of "Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back"

On second thought, I love this site too much to be booted.

Apr 6 - 01:58 PM

ThatKevinSmith

Kevin Smith

"If a fake Kevin Smith can say *****, I should be alowed to repeat Jay's song from the opening of "Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back"

Sorry - forgot about the non-cursing thing. It's been corrected.

But as for being a fake Kevin Smith...

http://viewaskew.com/theboard/viewtopic.php?p=2113969#2113969

Apr 6 - 02:10 PM

JBourne

**** off

Kevin Smith spends more time on RT than I do. And that's why I love you, sir.

Also, I'm disappointed this is the 38 post. So fuck the person who posted above me.

Apr 7 - 11:22 PM

lavatory love machine

juan carlos petruchi

Hi, Kevin

I did read the article, but I was not talking about you, I was talking in general, that most filmmakers seem to have realize that they are no talented enough to scare people so they try to shock them instead

the last scary movie in english lenguage that I remember is The Others by Alejandro Amenabar

but you doing this kind of film reminds me of another director that I like a lot, Alex de la Iglesia, he went out of his thing and tried to do a scary movie without any funny stuff like usual and it sucked, it-s la habitacion del nino, you should check out to see if you can avoid some of those mistakes

Apr 6 - 04:11 PM

sox1919

Ryan Kolar

[b]ok then[/b]
"'I remember that scene on the shinning with the guy on the teddy bear outfit giving a blowjob to the guy on the tux, that was more scary than all the horror movies of the last ten year put together'

See - THIS is what I'm going for. Bu we'll see if I achieve it. More than likely, I'll just ***** it up. "

I'll give the man credit, he backs up what he says, and even KS talked about the first 15 minutes of Jersey Girl, which was the closest thing he's made to Capra or Hughes so far IMO.

As for the scariest things in film, I am a pretty big horror film fan, ever since Halloween was shown to me at age 8 and Alien soon there after. But to be honest, the word here is CREEPY, not scary. I can scare anyone if I catch them offguard, which equates to parlor tricks on film, i.e misdirection. Creepiness stays with you.

Apr 6 - 05:30 PM

Mikeal420

David Goldman

If a fake Kevin Smith can say f*ck, I should be alowed to repeat Jay's song from the opening of "Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back"

On second thought, I love this site too much to be booted.

Apr 6 - 01:58 PM

ThatKevinSmith

Kevin Smith

"If a fake Kevin Smith can say *****, I should be alowed to repeat Jay's song from the opening of "Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back"

Sorry - forgot about the non-cursing thing. It's been corrected.

But as for being a fake Kevin Smith...

http://viewaskew.com/theboard/viewtopic.php?p=2113969#2113969

Apr 6 - 02:10 PM

JBourne

**** off

Kevin Smith spends more time on RT than I do. And that's why I love you, sir.

Also, I'm disappointed this is the 38 post. So fuck the person who posted above me.

Apr 7 - 11:22 PM

ThatKevinSmith

Kevin Smith

"If a fake Kevin Smith can say *****, I should be alowed to repeat Jay's song from the opening of "Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back"

Sorry - forgot about the non-cursing thing. It's been corrected.

But as for being a fake Kevin Smith...

http://viewaskew.com/theboard/viewtopic.php?p=2113969#2113969

Apr 6 - 02:10 PM

JBourne

**** off

Kevin Smith spends more time on RT than I do. And that's why I love you, sir.

Also, I'm disappointed this is the 38 post. So fuck the person who posted above me.

Apr 7 - 11:22 PM

jake stephans

Jake Stephans

horror flicks need a serious re-working... i hope you can shake it up. there's a lot of hate around here... feels like high school

Apr 6 - 02:24 PM

Mudhole

Andrew Goodridge

Kevin -- I'm a film school grad and I'm almost through with my masters in film . I need a job. Willing to relocate. Willing to fellate you if necessary (or even if just allowed). Will accept a starting salary of $0. Let me know.

Apr 6 - 02:29 PM

Joe Utichi

Joe Utichi

It's definitely that Kevin Smith. Welcome back to the boards, sir, and thanks for a kickass chat today.

As for me, Red State sounds like the sort of horror film I've been wanting for since The Shining. The Descent came pretty close, and I've gotta say I kind-of dig the horror porn flicks of late as a bit of fun, but damnit I want to be scared in the cinema again. I miss it. Best of luck with the write, sir, and I look forward to hearing more.

Apr 6 - 02:33 PM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

[b]Holy Crap[/b]
Wikipedia Fred Phelps and see why Smith's idea of a Phelps-based horror flick is truly, appropriately frightening.

Apr 6 - 02:43 PM

MarkMortimer

Paul Parker

Never heard of him, heard of a few of his films and they didn't appeal to me, so I'm not interested in what he's doing next, but interested enough to show disinterest :)

Apr 6 - 02:58 PM

the prophet

First Last

I?ve never really been a Kevin Smith fan (although I do love and often quote the line ?it?ll make House party look like House party 2?) so I guess it comes as no surprise that I?m not really wild about this movie. Phelps is certainly a scary guy, and his theatrics and rhetoric at funerals is insulting, but turning his life into a horror movie called ?Red State? just seems like a cheap shot at conservatives and Republicans, especially when you consider that the title is essentially equating homophobia and turning religion into an ideology with being a conservative. Unless this movie is to some degree satirical my guess is its going to turn Phelps into a flat character and come across as preachy in the process. The thing that makes Phelps Scary in real life is that on the one hand he can have a family yet on the other hand he can treat everyone else including total strangers who are grieving like crap. He?s completely removed all ideas of forgiveness and hope from Christianity and turned it into weapon for blaming and punishing others. It would seem to me that the best way to get this across would simply be to make a documentary about him. Furthermore, he needs to realize he'll never top the modern political/horror classic "Uncle Sam".

Apr 6 - 03:28 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

OK Kevin, I'll ask the question that's on every View Eskew fans mind. Now that Lee is a bigshot over at NBC, when is the made for TV Mallrats sequel gonna get made? My piss poor attempts at humor aside, I loved Mallrats. I know it's probably not the most technically sound or groundbreaking movie you've done, but every time Jay hits LaFours over the head with the baseball bat and delivers the Superman II line I'm useless for about 15 minutes laughing. Don't let the haters get you down.

Ass kissingly yours,

bigbbrother

Apr 6 - 04:08 PM

lavatory love machine

juan carlos petruchi

Hi, Kevin

I did read the article, but I was not talking about you, I was talking in general, that most filmmakers seem to have realize that they are no talented enough to scare people so they try to shock them instead

the last scary movie in english lenguage that I remember is The Others by Alejandro Amenabar

but you doing this kind of film reminds me of another director that I like a lot, Alex de la Iglesia, he went out of his thing and tried to do a scary movie without any funny stuff like usual and it sucked, it-s la habitacion del nino, you should check out to see if you can avoid some of those mistakes

Apr 6 - 04:11 PM

sox1919

Ryan Kolar

[b]ok then[/b]
"'I remember that scene on the shinning with the guy on the teddy bear outfit giving a blowjob to the guy on the tux, that was more scary than all the horror movies of the last ten year put together'

See - THIS is what I'm going for. Bu we'll see if I achieve it. More than likely, I'll just ***** it up. "

I'll give the man credit, he backs up what he says, and even KS talked about the first 15 minutes of Jersey Girl, which was the closest thing he's made to Capra or Hughes so far IMO.

As for the scariest things in film, I am a pretty big horror film fan, ever since Halloween was shown to me at age 8 and Alien soon there after. But to be honest, the word here is CREEPY, not scary. I can scare anyone if I catch them offguard, which equates to parlor tricks on film, i.e misdirection. Creepiness stays with you.

Apr 6 - 05:30 PM

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