DVD review | Red State – Slacker comedy supremo Kevin Smith takes aim at America’s God squad

Red State - Michael Parks

Taking equal opportunity swipes at Christian fundamentalist bigots and the US government, Kevin Smith’s subversively satirical movie keeps its audience continually off balance.

Starting off in teen sex-comedy territory as three randy teenage boys barrel along Deep South back roads for a sexual assignation with an older woman (Melissa Leo), the film switches genres alarmingly after the boys discover they have fallen into the clutches of a crazed religious sect that has murderous intentions towards those it regards as sexual deviants. As the trio await their fate, the sect’s scarily charismatic preacher (Quentin Tarantino regular Michael Parks) delivers a long – very long – hellfire-and-brimstone sermon expounding his church’s hate-filled beliefs.

From captives-in-peril horror, the film then changes gear again, turning into a ferocious action thriller when a government ATF team led by John Goodman’s uneasy agent (the nearest Red State comes to a moral conscience) lays siege to the sect’s fortified compound.

Best known for foul-mouthed slacker comedies such as Clerks and Mallrats, Smith has made the strangest and boldest film of his career with Red State, a merciless satire on America’s religious right and a gripping horror thriller to boot.

Released on DVD & Blu-ray on Monday 23rd January by Entertainment One.

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