Dom Robinson reviews
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
- Cat.no: BUA 0003701
- Running time: 89 minutes
- Year: 1994
- Pressing: 2005
- Region(s): 2, PAL
- Chapters: 18 plus extras
- Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
- Languages: English
- Subtitles: English for the hearing-impaired
- Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Super 35)
- 16:9-Enhanced: Yes
- Macrovision: Yes
- Disc Format: 3*DVD 9
- Price: £19.99
- Extras: Clerks Lost Scene: Animated Short, The Flying Car, MTV Spots with Jay and Silent Bob, Theatrical Trailer,Music video, Clerks Restoration, Auditions, DVD-ROM features, Classic Commentary, Enhanced Playback Track,New 2004 Audio Commentary, The Snowball Effect feature, Mae Day: The Crumbling of a Documentary,10th Anniversary Q&A, Outtakes from The Snowball Effect, Still photo gallery, Original Kevin Smith Journals,Articles and Reviews.
- Kevin Smith
(Chasing Amy, Clerks, Clerks 2, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl, Mallrats, Red State, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, TV: Reaper)
- Scott Mosier and Kevin Smith
- Kevin Smith
- Dante Hicks: Brian O’Halloran
Randal Graves: Jeff Anderson
Veronica Loughran: Marilyn Ghigliotti
Caitlin Bree: Lisa Spoonhauer
Jay: Jason Mewes
Silent Bob: Kevin Smithn
Willam Black/Angry Hockey Playing Customer/Angry Mourner: Scott Mosier
Woolen Cap Smoker/Egg Man/Offended Customer/Cat Admiring Bitter Customer: Walt Flanagan
Rick (Trainer): Ernest O’Donnell
Indecisive Video Customer: Donna Jeanne
Caged Animal Masturbator: Virginia Smith
Clerks is a film set around the everyday life of the customers that comeinto a convenience store and the clerks that have to serve them, the former including a man, who we assume tobe a Doctor, who is carrying round a diseased lung in his bag and after showing it to a guy who just wantedto buy a pack of cigarettes is asked to leave, but he doesn’t and the day just goes from bad to worse fromthere, especially since Dante (Brian O’Halloran, right with Jeff Anderson as Randal) has had to open up after pulling a late shift the nightbefore and was expecting to be taking the day off…
Of the random happenings in his life, after a heated debate between Dante and his girlfriend Veronica (Marilyn Ghiglotti) where shetells him she only slept with 3 men including him but she’s sucked 37 dicks, he shouts at the next customer,“37!! My girlfriend sucked 37 dicks!”, to which comes the inquisitive and calm reply, “In a row?”
We also learn of Caitlin Bree (Lisa Spoonhauer) who he dated for five years and clearly still has a thingfor, but it’s been announced in today’s paper that she’s getting married…
Elsewhere, a discussion takes place about the construction of the second Death Star, in Return of The Jedi,and how it was only half-finished at the time so this made for a worse situation as thousands of independentcontractors were killed as part of a war they had no part in. There’s an obsessive man who checks all the eggsin the store to find the perfect dozen, and this is also the first of many films that saw the presence of Jayand Silent Bob, played by Jason Mewes and its director Kevin Smith, respectively (together in thepicture below)
Made for just $27,000, we see great long exchanges between characters, done in a single take with fantasticcomic timing. There’s the occasional hitch as someone comes in late with a line, but that’s better than havingto retake and the rest of the conversation sounding less than natural as a result.
And who could forget Dante’s loquacious best friend Randal, who runs the video store next door, who sums it all up with,“This job would be great if it wasn’t for the fucking customers.” In fact, that reminds me of the timeI spent in the hellhole that was a Little Chef. Like a convenience store, you saw all manner of crazies from7am to 10pm…
The picture is presented in an anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen ratio and was shot in black and white for budgetaryreasons, as has been explained in the low figure, but while it’s a bit grainy this does not detract from the filmin any way and actually ads to the starkness and boldness of the picture. The sound is in Dolby Digital 5.1 butthis only really benefits the music. Dialogue remains clear throughout.
Extras wise, disc one is as follows:
- Clerks Lost Scene: Animated Short (10:05):Including a 90-second introduction about it being too expensive and prohibitive for a number of reasons, sothe equivalent was done in an animated version, and it’s also possible to watch the film with this includedin the right place.
Either way, it makes for an excellent little interlude and is a style that could fit in well with films madein future.
- The Flying Car (8:16):A short film made in 2001, with Dante and Randal and it’s hilarious!
- MTV Spots with Jay and Silent Bob (18:00):Eight random pieces of amusing nonsense, with an intro first.
- Theatrical Trailer (1:55):Presented in 4:3, with an assertion that in 1994, only this and Pulp Fiction had the best trailers made thatyear, both having been made by the same man. Hmm… Pulp still has the edge, for sure.
- Music video (5:41):Soul Asylum: You Can’t Tell, introduced by Kevin Smith.
- Clerks Restoration (12:54):Three featurettes, about the restoration of the sound, the look of the film (short but sweet at 36 seconds),and also an intro to the Theatrical Cut.
- Auditions (14:01):An intro from Kevin Smith (this is a habit on here), plus auditions for Brian O’Halloran (who went on to playDante), Jeff Anderson (Randal), Marilyn Ghigliotti (Veronica) and Ernest O’Donnell (Eric, the trainer).
- DVD-ROM features:Even more bang for your… er… pound.
- Classic Commentary: An audio commentary from 1995 featuring various cast members.
- Enhanced Playback Track: View the film with a Bonus trivia track.
Special editions give a film a new breath of life, and disc two presents the original cut with a newcommentary from 2004.
Moving on to disc three and there are even more supplmentals for your delectation:
- The Snowball Effect (1:30:31):A long feature with just about everything you need to know about Kevin Smith and his progression of Clerks,from start to finish, its subsequent success and it begins with comments from the fans about the film.
Presented in 16:9 letterbox, like most of the footage on here, it’s a must-see for all fans of Kevin Smith who want to know more about him. Cut upinto 39 bitesize and easily accessible chunks, it’s the best way to present such a feature, but it’s a shamethere are no subtitles for this.
The term ‘The Snowball Effect’ is explained as the culmination of Smith’s achievements, but something very similaris mentioned in the film…
- Mae Day: The Crumbling of a Documentary (11:38):
- 10th Anniversary Q&A (42:09):Extensive and does exactly what it says on the tin.
- Outtakes from The Snowball Effect (41:29):13 clips taken out of the aforementioned feature, the total length continuing the fact that Kevin Smith isdedicated to giving his fans what they want.
- Still photo gallery:Many an on-set picture.
- Original Kevin Smith Journals:Before the internet, these were what blogs are now called, and there’s one from his days prior to makingClerks and one about presenting it at the 1994 Sundance Festival.
- Articles and Reviews:Eight of them here.
On top of that, the dialogue and subtitles are in English only, the latter being for the hearing-impaired,there are 18 chapters which is fine for this length of movie, and the menus contain inventive uses of soundclips on occasion.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.