The Westboro Baptist Church is a group of homophobic baptists that preach out of a congregation in Topeka, Kansas. They hold inappropriate signs at protests in some of the most sacred of venues; Gay Rights Conventions, Veterans Hospitals, Concerts, Sporting Events, High Schools, Jr. High Schools, Elementary Schools, and even Funerals. They are mostly known for the latter in that laundry list. You can almost be certain that when their leader Fred Phelps Sr. (and mouthpiece Shirley Phelps-Roper) caught wind that indie film director Kevin Smith would be making a horror film based on their church. They were angry.
Red State is a horror movie that is based on the Westboro Baptist Church. There are some little differences, as the movie actually points out for you in a phone call. This group of hate-mongers actually kidnap "homosexuals" and kill them in front of their congregation as part of a big ritualistic thing. They also have a heavily guarded compound, and are ready to fight to the death for their cause. That God is going to come down from Heaven and wipe away the fag lovers in America. God's Country.
This movie uses the terror of something very real and exploits it. You aren't going to see Red State at the Academy Awards winning best Picture (or even Best Writing, Best Acting, Best... well anything). The enjoyment that you get out of watching this movie is the same type of enjoyment you get when you see Hitler getting his brains scattered all over a Jewish owned theater in Inglorious Bastards. It just makes you feel good. You get to be present when "Fantasy Justice" is being served to whom ever is receiving it.
Kevin Smith is mostly known for his twenty-something comedies of the 90's where he flexed his "Graphic Content" muscle as much as possible. He paved the way for tons of DIY film students and "slackers" of the 90's generation. That was about the extent of Kevin Smith's pop culture reach. Going into the New Millennium Smith's films started to really wind down. Almost to a distinct halt. Movies like Jersey Girl, Zach & Miri Make A Porno, and Cop Out have served as a nail in the coffin for this New Jersey film-makers career. So he decided to make Red State for himself. "It won't ever see a wide release," says Smith at San Diego Comic Con in 2011. "This movie will tour the country with me for as long as we can ride it out." (I paraphrased just a bit)
Did ya know...
This is Kevin Smith's lowest budget movie since Chasing Amy. The Westboro Baptist Church attended the films screening in Topeka, KS. It was filmed entirely on ADRC (All Digital Red) Great for giving amazing quality while being amazingly portable. Smith advocated for this at San Diego Comic Con earlier in 2011.