The countdown to Frightfest 2019 is ON, with less than a month to go until the UK’s biggest and best horror festival takes over Leicester Square. In the weeks leading up to the festival, our intrepid reporter Joey Keogh will be taking a look at some of the most anticipated movies on this year’s jam-packed schedule. For this installment, she takes a look at Madness in the Method, the directorial debut of one Jason Mewes.
It feels like I’ve been waiting forever for Madness in the Method, though that may have something to do with the 50-odd Kevin Smith podcasts I inhale each month. The directorial debut from Jason Mewes, Smith’s hetero life-mate and the Jay to his Silent Bob, is highly-anticipated for a small subset of weirdo fans like myself, the same kind of people who can’t wait for Jay and Silent Bob Reboot to drop this autumn. Everyone else is probably wondering why it’s playing Frightfest in the first place.
The film, co-written by Dominic Burns and Chris Anastasi, sees Mewes sending up his persona as a version of himself so desperate to be taken seriously by the Hollywood elite that he descends into madness by, well, going Method. Along with big-name actors including Teri Hatcher, Vinnie Jones, and Danny Trejo, the first-time director has roped in Smith himself to appear alongside Clerks’ Dante, AKA Brian O’Halloran, so it’s evident this is a Smith-style family affair. The late Stan Lee, who showed up in this year’s Captain Marvel practicing his lines for Smith’s Chasing Amy, also features.
Madness in the Method might seem an odd choice for the U.K.’s biggest and best genre film festival, but Mewes’ directorial debut might just be a dark little delight, as per its predictably madcap trailer (which you can check out below). It’s worth remembering, too, that Mewes himself is no stranger to horror, having appeared in underrated vampire movie Bitten as well as the brilliant, and sadly short-lived, Canadian TV series Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, both of which offered hitherto unseen sides to the actor’s repertoire. Madness in the Method should give more insight into who he is as an artist, on both sides of the camera.
The official synopsis, from Frightfest, seems to understand the appeal of the movie:
Jay and Silent Bob are reunited, along with Teri Hatcher (Lois) and Dean Cain (Clark), plus Marvel icon Stan Lee making his final performance, in Jason Mewes’ hilarious directing debut. Playing an alternative version of his persona, and tired of Hollywood’s perception of him, Mewes embarks on a quest to reinvent himself as a serious actor. Upon advice from his best friend Kevin Smith, he tracks down a secret book outlining all the mysteries of the Method Acting process with disastrous consequences. On his quest, Mewes also interacts with Casper Van Dien, Judd Nelson, Vinnie Jones and Zach Galligan.
There have only been a handful of reviews thus far, with a justifiably mixed reaction from critics. Brian Frederick, of Pop Culture Leftovers, heralded it as a “solid first directorial entry” with “enough laughs and surprises that I was thoroughly entertained,” while Brian Orndorf of Blu-ray.com noted, “There’s something in the self-aware approach that’s worth exploring” even if Mewes doesn’t necessarily go full force with it. Elsewhere, The AV Club‘s Jesse Hassenger points to the film’s messy structure and intentions, noting, “As bodies pile up and Mewes becomes more frazzled, the movie’s already-modest sense of gravitas slips away in favor of overacting, smirky violence, and a misplaced sense of amusement over men acting in any way effete.”
Check out the trailer for Madness in the Method below, and sound off in the comments about whether you think this is the start of something huge for Mewes or if he should stick to standing next to Smith in comedy movies (though he should continue to do that also). Stay tuned to the site for all the must-know Frightfest 2019 reviews and interviews from the festival.
Madness in the Method plays at Frightfest 2019 at 8.45/9.15 PM on Saturday, 24 August 2019 on the Main Screens. The full festival line-up of films is available on their official site, where all ticketing information can also be found. Wicked Horror will once again be there to bring you all the must-read reviews and exclusive interviews from this year’s festival. So stay tuned.