Film

Kevin Smith: "Comics often play on the lowest common denominator"

With Yoga Hosers, director Kevin Smith has possibly made his strangest film yet. He explains why he's living in a dream world...

Just when you think Kevin Smith films couldn’t get any weirder, along comes Yoga Hosers. The plot involves a swarm of Nazi bratwurst sausages attempting to take over a convenience store. It stars Johnny Depp, naturally, and both Smith and Depp’s daughters as the plucky heroines of the film (pictured above). Smith is presenting his latest opus at the Edinburgh Film Festival and hosting a talk where fans are invited to ask questions, or just yell stuff at him.

Is it a better atmosphere watching a film like Yoga Hosers with fans?

Oh yeah. You got some hardcore fans in there, that always makes these screenings fun. These movies I’m making right now, nobody but me really likes so the fans are sweet about suffering through them. It’s nice to be able to walk out after the movie and explain yourself. “Buddy, where is Mallrats 2 already, enough with the sausage movies.”

We should be careful that the phrase “sausage movie” isn’t misinterpreted. 

Exactly. [Adopting the voice of a snooty critic] “I knew he’d eventually end up in porn, it’s all he’s good for! All his characters ever talked about was sex, now he just turns the camera on it. I bet he can’t even do that correctly.”

As a pop cultural commentator, how do you think 2016 has been going so far?

I’ll always remember 2016 as the year heroes started beating the shit out of each other. It seems like everyone went to some mass retreat and decided that’s what they were going to do this year. You got Batman V Superman, Civil War and X-Men Apocalypse.

Is this trend reflecting something going on in wider society?

It means we’ve made so many of these movies that we’ve run out of villains and we’re just going to have these fuckers fight each other. AND every superhero movie contained a character that got really really big for a minute or two. That was always a special effect you could pull off – it was a non-special special effect. Suddenly you’d get someone standing next to a cardboard building and they’d look very tall.

Competition is supposed to be healthy but is the fact that every film is a comic book adaptation maybe overkill?

As a long time comic book fan going way back, not every issue is going to rock your socks off, not every title is for you. Comic book movies, particularly the Marvel universe, have trained America and the world to be comic book readers. When I was a kid I knew how to follow that stuff – it starts here, you need to have seen this to understand this – now your mother and your cousin – who never gave a shit about comic books and beat you up for liking them – can do that. They’ve made a world I wanted to live in. This is the world I dreamed of.

But if these stories have become mainstream, have they normalised larger than life characters and paved the way for the rise of someone like Donald Trump?

He’s very colourful that’s for sure.

If he was a character in a film, you’d think he was too unrealistic.

Like a supervillain?

Yes, but not even a believable supervillain!

Most demagogues aren’t until it’s too late. We look back in history and go, “How did that happen? That will never happen again because we’re not stupid like these people were back in the olden days.” But you see how demagoguery happens, all you have to do is appeal to unrest, dissatisfaction, disdain, racism, hatred. Let’s play on the lowest common denominator. You see that in comics all the time.

Yoga Hosers screens at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on June 21 and 25. Kevin Smith will be ‘In Person’ at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh EH1 June 22

Watch the Pride special collection.

Our LGBTQ+ film playlist offers a new and interesting angle on LGBTQ+ love and struggle – giving an international overview by taking us inside some of the most and least sexually liberated countries in the world.  

Sign Up Now

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger – Scorsese's tribute to duo who inspired him
Martin Scorsese and Michael Powell, 1981.
Film

Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger – Scorsese's tribute to duo who inspired him

Filmmaker Melanie Manchot explains how her drama Stephen can offer hope to addicts
Stephen Giddings in Stephen
Film

Filmmaker Melanie Manchot explains how her drama Stephen can offer hope to addicts

She-Hulk star Tatiana Maslany: 'Fear is not necessarily the worst thing to feel'
Tatiana Maslany Image: Alexei Hay
Film

She-Hulk star Tatiana Maslany: 'Fear is not necessarily the worst thing to feel'

Much Ado About Dying filmmaker on social care and why we should all be exposed to 'good deaths'
Uncle David in Much Ado about Dying
Film

Much Ado About Dying filmmaker on social care and why we should all be exposed to 'good deaths'

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know