It has been one hell of a night in Park City for filmmaker Kevin Smith. Seems most of the film critics in town for the Sundance Film Festival checked out his first horror film "Red State" last night and the reaction was decidedly mixed at best.
Variety calls it "a dull blade slashing wildly, predictably and ineffectually at its target". The Playlist says it's "an ambitious, greatly flawed stab at horror". Cinema Blend claims it's a "messy, ambitious disappointment". Finally, /Film says "While it’s far from perfect, when he retires he can certainly be proud to have made something both surprising and thought-provoking".
Despite all this, many were there for the buzzed about event to take place afterwards - an auction for the rights to distribute the $4 million-budget film. The publicity stunt didn't end up happening as such because Smith bought the film himself for $20 there and then from the producer and announced a plan to self-distribute the film on October 19th in theatres through his Smodcast Pictures banner.
Before that he intends a rolling roadshow for the film kicking off March 5th at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Full details of what's being called the "Red State USA Tour" can be found at View Askew, the aim though seems to be to draw enough audience members in enough places to recoup the budget.
Smith will be on hand at each screening for post-film Q&As at each location along with actor Michael Parks. Tickets are expected to be pricey, think in the $50-100 range, and there'll be giveaways. If the tour does well, Smith will re-open it later on.
Smith also announced that once he finishes his next project, the hockey comedy "Hit Somebody" which will feature much of the cast of "Red State", he plans to retire from directing.