Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Free marketing for Kevin Smith courtesy of the Westboro Baptist Church

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The poster for Red State
I'm trying my best to ignore the Westboro Baptist Church, in the name of starving them of oxygen (or nitrogen, or carbon dioxide or whatever it is they happen to breathe). But I think their latest protest deserves a mention, as it involves the tables being turned on them rather brilliantly. A group of them turned out on Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah to picket the premiere of Red State, a horror film about a crazed preacher, played by Michael Parks, whose hatred of homosexuality turns murderous. Directed by Jay and Silent Bob creator Kevin Smith, it's clearly inspired by the Westboro Baptist Church and their hate-filled leader Fred Phelps, prompting them to turn out and voice their objections at Sunday's showing (along, presumably, with their wider objections to every single thing in the world).

If the intention was to discourage people from seeing the film, it was a pretty flawed plan to begin with (I'm aware it may be stretching it a little to attach things like "intentions" and "plans" to the WBC), and it was exploited to great effect by the director himself, who organised a counter-demonstration attended by over 200 of his fans. I for one was yet to hear about Red State, but after discovering this story I've read up on the plot and watched the trailer, which I've included below for you viewing (dis)pleasure.

It's a nice piece of marketing – perhaps the Westboro Baptist Church have finally found their niche.

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