CLERKS is about a day in the life of two convenience store clerks
in New Jersey. It is an almost no budget film that was made on location
in New Jersey about an hour from where I lived for many years. If you
like quirky shows, the plot of this one has great potential.
Personally, I love this type of picture. In fact some of my favorite
movies are SHERMAN'S MARCH, ALWAYS: BUT NOT NECESSARILY FOREVER, MY
DINNER WITH ANDRE, 35 UP, EATING RAOUL, and HOUSE OF GAMES--which all
qualify as very strange and off-beat.
CLERKS was filmed in a grainy black and white that has numerous
contrast problems. The movie was written and directed by Kevin Smith.
The actors seem to all be fresh out of Acting 101, and I will not list
their names as I feel sure you know none of them. I read later that
the lead actor works in the mailroom at AT&T and is still waiting for
his break into a movie with a budget.
Movies like this either work for you or they don't. This one
frequently put me to sleep. I know there are better actors in New
Jersey, I remember seeing some excellent ones in the New Jersey
Shakespeare Festival every year. The minor characters in the movie who
play the local losers and drug dealers who hang out at the convenience
store are played by high school kids who appear have to have failed
CLERKS is not a waste however. It is done as a series of
vignettes. Some of them do work and are quite funny as written if not
as acted. We have the guy who gets his hand stuck in the Prinkels tube
while trying to get out the last few potato chips. There is another
scene where a guy talks people out of buying cigarettes by showing them
a lung of someone who has died of lung cancer--the mystery in this
scene is what is the guy's real occupation that motivates him to do
this. Many of the vignettes deal with long discussions of unusual sex
If you go to the movie, listen to the dialog and forget the
attempt at acting. Some of the material is good and for that I award
it * 1/2. I do not recommend this movie to anyone. On the other hand,
if you really like strange movies, you might go to this one and find it
works for you--good luck. It is the sort of show that could become a
cult classic. The movie runs a long 1:43. It has no nudity or
violence, but lots of explicit conversations and is correctly rated R.
I think it would be acceptable for older teenagers.
Copyright © 1995 Steve Rhodes