Red State (18)

Starring: Michael Parks, John Goodman, Melissa Leo

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The Independent Culture

American Psychos, Part 1. The director Kevin Smith calls this "a parlour trick of a movie", which is one way of describing a Waco-style face-off between the FBI and a heavily armed clan of right-wing Christian fanatics.

Watch for the deceptive opening, seeming to concern the antics of three horny high-school friends before swerving off course into the death wish of a nutso pastor (Michael Parks). John Goodman plays the unfortunate Fed called in to deal with the siege. Smith, who made his name on low-budget slacker stuff (Clerks, Chasing Amy), decided not show this to US critics, but lifted that embargo for English ones, perhaps sensing our affection for heavy ordnance and the grotesque reaches of American fundamentalism. Funnily enough, it's his most watchable movie in years.

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