Kevin Smith Red State

Kevin Smith and Red State worth the price of admission

Kevin Smith's filmmaking talents may be endlessly debated by film critics and cinephiles alike, but one thing is certain - the man knows how to work a crowd like few others can.

On Monday night, Smith was in Toronto to present his newest film, Red State, to 700 bloodthirsty fans at the Toronto Underground Cinema, each of whom had paid at least $50 for the pleasure. The sold-out event felt right at home in the building, which has become something of an oasis for fans of cult cinema. For his part, Smith raved about the theatre, in spite of a broken air conditioner unit that made the event a sweaty one for all in attendance.

Before the movie began, Smith came out to thunderous applause and told the audience that this Toronto stop was the one that he'd been looking forward to the most when he first announced his Canadian Red State tour. He confirmed what everyone already knew - Red State is a dramatic departure for the man who, by his own admission, has made a career out of "dick and fart jokes."

Inspired by the extremist, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, Red State depicts a cult-like congregation that is run by an insane pastor. Without giving too much away, it's clear that Smith tried as hard as he could to make a "non-Kevin Smith film" when he made Red State. While not strictly a horror film, it is, at times, shockingly violent and gritty. It will divide its audiences, but at the very least, Smith has made a film that will generate controversy and discussion.

Speaking of discussion, at the conclusion of the film, Smith engaged the audience in a lengthy Q&A. For those who have seen Kevin Smith live during one of his past tours, you know that the man loves to talk, and Monday night was no different. With every question asked, Smith goes off on extremely long tangents, and often forgets to answer the initial question. Not that it mattered to the audience - he's a natural storyteller, and his tales about losing his virginity at age 12 and the near-death of his wife on the set of Red State had the crowd in hysterics.

At the end of the night, it's safe to say that no one left the event disappointed. Between the movie and Smith's performance, it was a very entertaining and bloody evening.

Writing by Bryan Smith. Photo by bigdaddyhame on Flickr

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