At some point after Kevin Smith exited his tour bus with signs like "God Hates Mewes" and "I'm a Happy Jew;" after he paraded around the parking lot with protesters, cracked jokes on stage for ten minutes, and promoted his Smod Empire a few times, the lights went out and an actual film began to play. 'Red State' has been a long time coming for Smith. He wrote the script roughly five years ago; tried (and failed) to drum up support (and financing) from Harvey Weinstein, before finally managing to cough up enough money to make it himself, on his own terms with what turned out to be a very talented cast. In just four months Smith shot, edited and patched his film together with enough time to premiere it at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Yup. Four months.
Originally billed as a horror film about religious fanatics, 'Red State' isn't actually the type of horror film you expect. There's blood, violence and a lot of people getting shot in the head, but the horror comes from a different place; a place that's scared of how much hate can run through a person's soul; of how government can wipe out entire families by simply changing the definition of a situation. The problem with 'Red State,' though, is that all the politics, preaching and gotta-slide-them-in-there sex jokes sort of overwhelm the movie to the point that it feels scattered and a little unfocused. Not that there aren't moments that completely paralyze you, but unfortunately those moments become hard to hear and recognize over all the loud, obnoxious gunfire.