Kevin Smith: I’ll make ‘Christzilla’ — but my courage ends at Muhammad vs. Mothra

Kevin Smith Mothra

Remember when Kevin Smith’s Westboro Baptist Church-inspired horror flick ‘Red State’ barely cracked $1 million dollars? Since portraying roughly half the nation as potential religious whack jobs worked out so well for him, he’s decided to up the ante by pitting humanity and Satan against a giant raging “Christzilla” figure. As usual, the “daring” filmmaker failed to disclose any plans to ridicule Islam.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Smith shared details about that project and updates on other movies in the works, and also revealed how he’s going to approach his film career going forward, in an extensive Facebook post on Monday.

The filmmaker wrote that he’ll soon start writing a movie about mankind teaming up with Hell to fight a rapturing giant Jesus.

Here’s what Smith said on his Facebook page:

“[R]ight now, the aim is to shoot CLERKS III this May — so this HELENA HANDBAG picture would still be a ways off anyway. But why sit around commenting on other people’s lives and art on the internet when I can try to make some NEW art instead? As for the title: If you heard the podcast, you know Scott suggested CHRISTZILLA in place of HOLY CHRIST! – the title of the fake movie in the original podcast. I asked the audience to offer up their suggestions at #BeatChristzilla and they were all really fun! But I’m going with the title HELENA HANDBAG – which comes directly from the plot of the flick (it’s kind of a nod to David Lynch’s unproduced ONE SALIVA BUBBLE screenplay, too — which was also about the end of the world and also carried a title that didn’t really prepare you for what the movie was about). So I’m off to write HELENA HANDBAG.

“Clerks III” followed by another attempt to get under the skin of religious folks? Perhaps in a few years “Clerks IV: Dante’s Inferno” can fuse Kevin Smith’s two primary go-to career options. Jay and Silent Bob can travel to the depths of Hell to save Brian O’Halloran.

For younger moviegoers, it is hard to explain how time has exposed Smith’s incredibly limited range as a writer and director. 1994’s “Clerks” was a truly inspired effort, and “Chasing Amy” solidified his reputation at the time as a witty guy with his finger firmly planted on the pulse of American pop-culture. People started copying his style, and instead of searching out new intellectual landscapes to explore he stayed in the same arena of thought with the usual creative teams. With each iteration, the “Kevin Smith” brand became more stale. Smith, however, doesn’t quite see it that way:

JERSEY GIRL, ZACK & MIRI, COP OUT – while I love them all, these are movies anybody could make. Like ’em or hate ’em, nobody else but me could’ve (or would’ve) ever made CLERKS. Or CHASING AMY. Or DOGMA. Or RED STATE. Or CLERKS II. Or MALLRATS. Or JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK.

  • Mall Rats — a funny movie about slackers. No one but Smith would have done that? The 90s would disagree.
  • Chasing Amy — a sharply written romantic comedy involving Lesbians? No one but Smith would make that? The growing Netflix section on gay and lesbian movies says otherwise.
  • Dogma — a critique on the Catholic Church. No one but Smith would make that? Okay.
  • Red State — a horror flick that blasts fundamentalist Christians. No one but Smith would make that? Gotcha.

Does Kevin Smith use the caps lock button to convince himself that his assertions are true, or does he think that talking loudly convinces the rest of us of the veracity of his claims? Will the sequel to “Helena Handbag” be called “Islamabad Burka”? Don’t count on it.

If Kevin Smith wants a movie that no one else would make, perhaps he could write a film that pits Giant Muhammed against Mothra. Giant Muhammed could also have a harem of topless women the size of The Sacred Mosque Al-Masjid Al-Haram. But Smith won’t go there because it’s easier to needle Christians with “Christzilla” than it is to make a film that lands on the radar of the world’s nuttiest Islamic clerics. Just ask Mark Basseley Youssef (formerly Nakoula Basseley Nakoula), the director of “Innocence of Muslims.” He’s the guy the Obama administration couldn’t act fast enough to pull out of his home for a perp walk. Crime? Daring to criticize Islam.

Kevin Smith is an intelligent guy with some good instincts. He was way ahead of the game when it came to podcasting and the format plays to his strengths. However, his role as screenwriter and filmmaker has suffered from years of staying inside his comfort zone. Worse, he still thinks that making jokes at the expense of devout followers of Jesus is edgy. It’s not. It’s just sad and, on some level, cowardly considering many of the real threats to the creative freedoms he enjoys as a citizen of the United States.

Kevin Smith doesn't want to end up like Mark Basseley Youssef (Nakoula Basseley Nakoula), the director of "Innocence of Muslims," so he sticks to mocking Christians.
Kevin Smith doesn’t want to end up like Mark Basseley Youssef (Nakoula Basseley Nakoula), the director of “Innocence of Muslims,” so he sticks to mocking Christians.

Related: Red State’s Kevin Smith Plays Silent Bob on Radical Islam

Related: Red State Teaser Trailer Hits Christians because Teasing Muslims Terrifies Kevin Smith

Red State’s Kevin Smith Plays Silent Bob on Radical Islam.

Silent Bob goes silent on jihad because it's easier to make fun of Christians (they tend not to murder you in broad daylight when they're offended).

Imagine if you will, a scenario where director Kevin Smith releases his indie horror film, Red State, in March of 2011.  Inspired by the infamous Westboro Baptist Church and the cultish followers of Fred Phelps, it causes quite a stir. One day as Smith walks the streets of Santa Monica, California after one of his popular podcasts an enraged Christian slits his throat and leaves a note behind, warning Lady Gaga that her advocacy of gay rights has endangered her life.

On the other side of the globe, a director by the name of Theodore Van Gogh releases a documentary titled Submission. Written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, it pulls no punches in its criticism of Islam.  Although irate, the Muslim community in the Netherlands essentially shrugs its shoulders, issuing a few press statements and holding a few sparsely-attended boycotts.  A Dutch-Moroccan Muslim by the name of Mohammed Bouyeri appears on The Hofstad Network, a Fox News of sorts, where he has a spirited debate with a Dutch version of Bill O’Reilly.  No one dies.

If you experienced such a reality it would be time to worry, as it would be apparent that you crossed over into The Twilight Zone.

The reality is this:  Theo Van Gogh was murdered by Mohammed Bouyer.  An ominous note was left on the stabbed, bullet riddled, and bloody body for Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The Hofstad Network is composed of a group of individuals who would like to behead Hollywood’s inspiration for Social Network, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali requires security guards close at hand.  In the United States, however, Christians respond to “art” like Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ with, essentially, a collective grumble.

And that is why Kevin Smith made Red State instead of, say, Islamic State.

Hollywood artists were great at patting themselves on the back for speaking “truth to power” when BushHitler (one word) was in the White House, but the dirty little secret is that their courage generally only rears its head when the power they’re confronting shows absolutely no interest in sending them off to gulags (i.e., North Korea), stoning them (e.g., Iran), or assassinating them in the vein of Theo Van Gogh.  The reason why Kevin Smith is able—by his own admission—to make a movie that is “so fucking vicious and nasty and mean and stark…” is because he lives in the United States of America.  The country’s Christian heritage paved the way for the kind of rights Kevin takes for granted.  Those same rights he thinks are at risk because of inconsequential nincompoops like Fred Phelps and his followers—so much so that he used his own limited time and resources to make a horror movie about them.

The most puzzling aspect of Kevin Smith’s War on Ostracized Christian Outliers is that he comes from New Jersey.  He was a hop, skip, and a jump on 9/11 (a Silent Bob jump, nonetheless) from Ground Zero to see the smoldering rubble, twisted metal, and shattered lives because of the machinations of Islamic terrorists.  After comparing that national tragedy with the battle scars left behind by the Catholic outrage over his 1999 movie Dogma (note: there weren’t any), one wonders why he’d return to the Christian-bashing well.  Fear and cowardice have already been mentioned.  The other — desperation.

Kevin Smith needs a hit.  Badly.  Even his stronger offerings in recent years (Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Clerks II), while ultimately making the studio money, haven’t been breakout successes.  Consider this:  Zach and Miri was beaten out its first week by High School Musical 3: Senior Year.

The easiest way for a Hollywood liberal to immediately get fawning coverage is to douse their work in condescension towards the conservative worldview; it’s an accelerant for positive reviews by liberal leaning critics.  However, what Hollywood types don’t get is that accelerants are often used to commit arson, and a movie like Red State will most likely leave a big black hole in Kevin’s career—what’s left of it—where conservative fans once stood.

While the knee jerk reaction might be to boycott the kind of tired, predictable, cliched Christian-bashing Kevin Smith offers with Red State, that kind of attention is exactly what he wants.  Instead, I wish conservatives would familiarize themselves with the movie and flock to blogs in droves to ask why Kevin Smith keeps playing Silent Bob when it comes to radical Islam.

Kevin Smith’s Red State Moves Forward. Career Continues Downward Spiral.

It turns out that Kevin Smith, director and threat to national security, is moving forward with the long talked about project Red State:

Plot via IMDB: A horror film in which a group of misfits encounter fundamentalism gone to the extreme in Middle America.

Or, as Smith notes of his pet project to paint half the American electorate as Westboro Baptist Church fan club members:

“It’s so f***ing vicious and nasty and mean and stark, and it’s not funny … It’s this weird f***ing dark little Seventies horror movie…that nobody wants to make.”

Note to Kevin: Maybe the reason “nobody want[ed] to make” your film was because conservatives like horror movies just as much as the next guy, and it’s tough to promote a product that says to half the nation: “Watch my movie; it’s one big metaphor showcasing my belief that you’re a monster!

Or, perhaps, no one was really psyched about making Kevin’s movie

Kevin Smith: Watch my movie because it portrays you as a monster. Is that blood splatter representative of my upcoming movie, or my hemorrhaging career?

because…he’s simply not a very good director.  Fact: Kevin Smith is a witty guy who’s quick on his feet, an astute observer of the pop culture landscape, and a capable writer who can turn out gems from time to time—provided he doesn’t stray too far outside his comfort zone. If you remember Cop Out (I think it lasted a few weeks in the theaters and couldn’t even break 50 million domestically, right?), his name was nowhere near the promotional material. When you factor in Kevin’s loyal following is usually worth at least $15 million, and Bruce Willis’ awesomeness should generate another $25 million (minimum), the honest analyst will tell you Cop Out was a stink bomb (bonus points if you got the Mallrats reference).

If Kevin wants to use his talent to cast aspersions on conservatism and the states that are friendly to it, fine. But I find it a little ironic that the liberal guy who actually has what many would call a cult following is now doing a film about extremist cults in the heart of Middle America. Go on any website overrun with Kevin Smith’s fans, offer up some constructive criticism, and watch their heads spin. Even Kevin has shown that he’s so uber sensitive to online critics that he’s willing to write his frustrations into his flicks in the form of teenager and clergy beat-downs… Again, I wouldn’t mind, but this is the same guy who hosts regular pod casts, spouting off his non-expert opinions and ruminations to anyone who will listen.

Note: Liberals are just as prone to the “do as I say, not as I do,” hypocrisy as anyone else. They just don’t want you to know it, because then their racist, redneck, homophobic red herring house of cards will come crumbling down.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go watch Bruce Willis do his thing in a Gorillaz video.

Update: The teaser trailer for Red State is out. For some reason there doesn’t seem to be anyone who practices Sharia Law in it. Perhaps that’s because it would have required courage on Smith’s part…