Kevin Smith has created his own sub-genre of movies. He is a fanboy making movies for other fanboys. Like Robert Rodriguez, he utilizes minimal financing to the fullest and has created iconic films that don’t need Marvel-like box office numbers. Three people can buy tickets and it wouldn’t be a failure as their movies spread years after years on the home video market. Smith’s films involve almost no risk for investors which allows him the creative freedom to venture into whatever genre he wants. He made the divisive Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez starting Jersey Girl during the Gigli fiasco. He ventured more than once into horror, most notably in Tusk, where Justin Long interviews a mad man hell-bent on turning him into a walrus. The movie is just as crazy as it sounds if you haven’t seen it.
One of Smith’s early entries was MALLRATS, a comedy with an ensemble cast of fresh faces, free to mouth off without losing sponsorship deals. Along with Matt Damon during this time, Ben Affleck was also known to hang with Smith, appearing in various projects together. Joey Lauren Adams shows up here before her breakout role in Smith’s Chasing Amy. Her unique voice and charming onscreen persona won the hearts of audiences immediately. Jason Lee, Shannen Doherty, and Jeremy London help round out the ensemble to produce some unique character dynamics.
Arrow Films played it smart and made sure to get Smith involved as he helps get together plenty of archival as well as brand new features for this new release. He provides a rather informative intro to the movie, delving into the box office numbers versus budget as well as how the high expectations led to plans for a sequel. “Hollywood of the North” is a comic book style making of special with animated interviews with local crew members. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a creative way to work around our current pandemic climate. Sporting a Twitch sweatshirt, Jason Mewes also provides a newly filmed interview, giving off that same fanboy vibe as Smith.
This already packed release also includes three cuts of MALLRATS. We have the theatrical cut that general audiences saw as well as the extended cut which adds around thirty minutes of material. On top of that, fans will no doubt love the TV cut which features intentionally funny overdubbing to censor the profanity. Fans will love that along with the booklet insert, there’s a physical reproduction that folds out of the operation blueprints in the film. All this comes housed in a sturdy collectible slipcover available in first pressings.
There’s a passion behind this release and Smith seems more than happy to be involved to bring the best release possible. Along with a cast and crew commentary, MALLRATS is a must-own for fans of both Smith and the film itself.
The 25th Anniversary Blu-ray of MALLRATS is now available for purchase.