Kevin Smith Makes “Red State” Cuts

Filmmaker Kevin Smith has confirmed to Bleeding Cool that he plans on tweaking his new horror picture “Red State” before he goes on his rolling roadshow tour with it starting in March.

The film itself received mixed reviews at its debut at Sundance, one common criticism being the length of a sermon by Michael Parks’ character than runs a full twenty minutes. That will likely be one of the things subject to some trimming. Here’s Smith’s explanation:

“The movie that I showed the cast and crew screening at wrap, two days after we wrapped, I showed them the whole movie, that’s the movie I pretty much showed at Sundance with end credits attached to it… I loved the movie, we knew what we were doing in terms of editing it, it was a beautiful running time and stuff… and then we go to Sundance and I sit in the back and for the first time I get to watch it with 1200 people who have no involvement with the movie, no involvement with me…

So I’m sitting there going “Okay, there’s something I thought would work, didn’t play with the audience”, “Something I thought would get a nice reaction just kinda laid there”, “Boy, that played way bigger than I ever thought it would, maybe we should shape something around there” and just found some time to take out… if I had to guess I’m saying five to ten minutes somewhere in there.

And John [Gordon, producer] fought me on it. John was just like “Why bother dude, we’re our own bosses, nobody’s telling you to take it out”, like back in the old days Harvey would be “I love it! Take ten minutes out,” no direction at all, just take the time out, so John’s like “We don’t have to do that now, we don’t have to really cut the movie at all” and I said “Yeah, but I’m a filmmaker first and foremost, dude, and I want the movie to play as gangbusters as possible” and if the length of Parks’ speech is making anybody remotely go “Maybe that speech is a little long”… I want them to love Parks as much as I do, so for me, right, I’m an editor, you kill your babies every step of the way as an editor.”