Clerks. (1994) Film Review 5/5

You know it. You love it. Some of us unfortunate fuckers actually live it. It’s the only movie in the history of movies that cost less to make than it cost to secure the rights to the soundtrack. You’ve never heard of anybody in the flick, save for two men who became pop culture icons. That’s right, I’m talking about Caitlin Bree and Snowball. Oh yeah, Dante never makes change for *anyone*.

“Clerks.” is, without a doubt, one of the most revolutionary movie comedies in this history of movies. It started the career of Kevin Smith. It inspired an entire generation of young filmmakers to max out their credit cards and accumulate crippling debt in the attempt to become the next him.

Despite his crippling lack of visual flair and camera manipulation techniques and despite being able to only afford black and white stock, Kevin Smith has made a movie that overcame its miserable beginnings and has become a massive cult classic. The flick succeeds as sort of a profane, verbose flick that comes across as a wildly hilarious, near-documentary portrait of Gen X (and every generation after it).

The first time I watched “Clerks,” I was probably 15 or so, renting R rated movies on my parents movie card. I’d heard good things about it, so I figured why not watch it? Then, of course, I got fucking addicted. I may as well have shot up with heroin when I popped that little black VHS tape in my VCR, because I haven’t stopped watching the flick since. Maybe I’d be less warped if I were a junkie.

I blame this fucking movie for my entire fucking style of writing. I blame this fucking movie for my entire style of speaking. I blame this movie for my predilection for dick and fart jokes, as well as my insane need to drop quotes from obscure movies into everyday conversation. I also blame this movie for the hours I’ve spent sitting in the cafeteria, bullshitting with my friends about zombie escape plans and which movie killer is the most dangerous movie killer, instead of studying.

Thanks for ruining my education, Kevin. Now I’m just going to write at a shitty website and work at a shitty video store all my life. (Aside: I have worked at both a convenience store and a shitty video store, and the movie is chillingly accurate) Now that I’ve worked at these sorts of crappy jobs, the movie has gotten even better.

The more I work shitty minimum wage jobs, the more I realize how much I’ve become a Dante or a Randal. More than likely a little of both. I’m not sure if the jobs have been what have done this to me, or the horrible effect the movie has had on my fragile psyche back when I was a teenager.

Kevin, you’re one of my idols. Not because you made a great flick on your credit card, and not because you’ve encapsulated the minimum-wage slave’s existence so accurately. Plus your wife is incredibly hot, especially considering you’re a fat and bearded guy like me. My sophomore year in college I was Silent Bob for Halloween, and I got second place in a dance contest doing the Silent Bob dance.

Thanks for giving a nation of fat and awkward kids hope.

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