Cult Hero of the Week: Kevin Smith

Who’s your hero, baby?

Here at Mutant Reviewers we have a bevy a heroes, an entire Justice League of oddball personalities and crazed filmmakers who are responsible for some of the most beloved (if unwatched) movies of all time.  And it’s time to start honoring them.

Welcome to our new feature, Cult Hero of the Week!  In it, we’ll be highlighting a particular actor, director, writer, composer or artist who made their mark on the cult scene and will live in infamy for it.

Our first Cult Hero is no surprise to many faithful MRFH readers — Kevin Smith.  In 1994, Smith sold his comic book collection to help finance his first film project, a low-budget black and white comedy called ClerksClerks was a hit at both Sundance and Cannes, and even though it never blazed up the box office, by the time Smith’s second movie, Mallrats, came out, his ouvre was already deeply ingrained in the Gen X psyche.

Kevin Smith is best known for his so-called “Jersey Trilogy”, which now includes six movies and a heck of a lot of spinoff material.  While each of the six movies are different in tone, focus and even style, they are interconnected via characters, products, pop culture references, running gags and an almost obsessive focus on sex.  While at first the appeal of his films was for their shock value, they became beloved for hilarious dialogue and for peeking in on a subculture (particularly that of New Jersey) that was all but ignored by Hollywood mainstream.

He certainly hasn’t been slacking outside of the movies that made him famous, either.  Smith has shown up in acting roles (Scream 3, Daredevil, Die Hard 4), written several comic books (Spider-Man, Daredevil), tried his hand at animated television (Clerks: The Animated Series), a trio of Q&A documentaries, and other movie projects (Jersey Girl, Zack and Miri Make a Porno).  True to his roots, he even runs a comic book/merchandise store in New Jersey.

Most importantly, Kevin Smith became the face and voice of the indie filmmaker in the 90’s, “one of us” who wasn’t impressed with Hollywood’s typical way of doing things and dared to go another way.   He’s a geek’s geek, and we need more studios empowering people like him to enrich and stretch the stale movie conventions of the past century.

Essential Kevin Smith:

One comment

  1. Kevin Smith also made a small-screen appearance; in cult TV show Veronica Mars. He appears as a convenience store clerk in Season 2 episode 2. (followed in short order by Joss Whedon, in S2 ep7)

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