Reviewed by: Gabriella Trybalska

"Smith's first film, partly funded on his credit card, is a hilarious one."

Clerks is the thoroughly entertaining comedy that saw the arrival of writer/director Kevin Smith. Smiths' debut sees a day in the life of shop clerk, Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran), as he copes with the stresses of having to come to work on his day off.

The film is filled with running gags, such as every customer coming in and asking for a packet of cigarettes, now one of Kevin Smith's trademarks, along with the intertwining stories that are explored in the films that he followed with, Mallrats and Chasing Amy.

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Clerks also introduces the infamous Silent Bob (Kevin Smith himself) and Jay (the childlike Jason Mewes), who brings the phrase "comic timing" to a new level.

Silent Bob is, well, exactly that: silent, speaking only when least expected. Jay is like the annoying adolescent brother, purely interested in hanging around outside shops, listening to rock music and smoking cannabis.

Dante shares the screen with Randall (Jeff Anderson), his friend who works next door in RST Video. Randall is the exact opposite of Dante in every possible way and encourages his usually responsible friend to shut shop twice in one day as they first play a hockey match on the roof then attend a wake, where they subsequently knock the casket over.

Smith's first film, partly funded on his credit card, is a hilarious one that not only shows how brainless we can be when shopping but how mind-numbingly funny it can be when somebody sticks chewing gum in a shop window's shutter lock.

It is shot on black-and-white, which can at first be off-putting, but you suspect it wouldn't have been any funnier in colour. And try to keep a straight face again when somebody utters the immortal line, "It smells of shoe polish in here!"

Reviewed on: 08 Apr 2001
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Clerks packshot
A day in the life of hysterically negative gutter-waged slackers in the debris district of New Jersey.
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Angus Wolfe Murray ****1/2

Director: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith

Starring: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Lisa Spoonhauer, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier, Walter Flanagan, Scott Schiaffo, Al Berkowitz, David Klein

Year: 1994

Runtime: 103 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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If you like this, try:

Clerks II