CORPORATE LINE: Made for less than the cost of an SUV, Kevin Smith’s first film finds 22-year-old Quick Stop clerk Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) called into work on his precious day off. There he is besieged by customers ranging from the agitated to the insane, not to mention Randal (Jeff Anderson), the clerk from the video store next door whose commitment to service is made clear when he observes, “This job would be great if it wasn’t for the [email protected]&%!#* customers.” Dante’s love life is a shambles, and the situation at the store goes from bad to worse, but he and Randal are never so beleaguered that they can’t find time to discuss why the destruction of the Death Star in RETURN OF THE JEDI may have been morally dubious (uninvolved contractors were probably aboard). In fact, it was the clerks’ clever dialogue, saturated with pop-culture references, that elevated CLERKS to cult-hit status among Generation-Xers and transformed Kevin Smith from film school dropout to indie auteur. Smith himself plays Silent Bob, while Jason Mewes plays Jay, his drug-dealing other half. Together the duo provide added comic relief, continuity, and wisdom in each of the director’s films.
THE FILM: The one time that profanity isn’t overdone—if anything its close to reality. How many of us in our thirties remember being twenty and swearing-up a storm with our friends? This is a film for generation x-er’s and college kids—not for mom or the kids. There is a wonderful simplicity to Kevin Smith’s film—and actually underneath all the cursing there is also some heart.
DVD FEATURES: This is one of the best extras you’ll find when it comes to box sets.
Disc One: There is a commentary from the original release on Laserdisc. You’ll also find that the third subtitle is actually trivia that pops up throughout the film. The “Lost Scene” features an animated short with the characters at the funeral home. Also, there are spots including Jay and Silent Bob on MTV and Kevin Smith’s only short film “The Flying Car”—not very interesting.
Disc Two: Here is the original cut of the film. The video and audio are raw—fans will love the original ending. There is a new commentary that runs without the movie—so basically you watch them talk in the studio.
Disc Three: It all starts with the featurette “The Snowball Effect: The Story of Clerks.” A nice set of interviews with most of the cast and a very interesting documentary as it covers Kevin Smith’s life from high school to selling the film to Miramax—great for those aspiring to be filmmakers. You also get a chance to read Kevin Smith’s journals from the film and during his time at Sundance.
FRANKLY: Clerks is already a great film but with the addition of the bucket loads of extras how can you pass this up?
+ Charlie Craine