When it was announced Kevin Smith was to delve into the world of horror for his next movie, like most, I was riddled with both fear and excitement. The comedic genius that gave birth to the infamous Jay and Silent Bob was to begin shooting the most clichéd of all genres, and like most fans I feared it could be his downfall. I am happy to say, I am sorry I ever doubted him.
The Five Point Church, set out by the loveable yet chilling Preacher, Michael Parks leads his family on a self-riotous crusade against the homosexual population of a small County. All this hatred not being enough for a growing family, they set their sights on unruly teenagers, and with the promise of a good romping on the Preachers daughters part, lure them into the middle of nowhere to be drugged and bound. As the story unfolds you find yourself yawning at the thought of the cliché killing order of the characters we’ve seen a hundred times before. But give it a minute; a little further through you get a few good jumps telling you not to be so silly, this is a Kevin Smith movie.
A true-to-life tale paired with Smiths satire against the Catholic religion make for a unique viewing. But what else would you expect? The disgustingly obvious plot set out in your everyday horror is nowhere to be seen, with the death of characters actually bringing a blow instead of a dismissive ‘I told you so’ from the audience. And the gory joy doesn’t end with the storyline. The Preacher’s chilling fifteen minute rant about just how much he hates all this fornicating business shows Parks for all he’s worth. This smooth talking Preacher with his calm and rhythmic speech leaves you slightly nonsensical to the stuff he’s spouting, but hypnotised by his mannerisms and soothing voice. Then he decides it’s time to get down to the killing.
Other than Parks and the brilliant John Goodman, Smith doesn’t really leave much time for the rest of the characters. But as the teenagers are stupid enough to expect a forty-something woman to let three greasy kids slobber all over her, you find yourself not all that bothered. Stuck somewhere between a dark comedy and a horror, you find yourself at a bit of a loss of how to take the film. But then that may be part of its charm. The loud and fast-paced story line ultimately reverts back to a medley of cheap cracks and well-timed insults, but then that’s what we love him for. The last five-minute rant laid out by Parks makes you thankful that Smith disposed of the rest of the characters so carelessly, because this guy deserves all the screen time he can get.