Kevin Smith staged something of a circus for the Sundance premiere of his religious horror film, “Red State” — and it’s rubbing a lot of people the wrong way.

First, guests entering the Park City screening had to wade through as Westboro Baptist-style protest, with mocking banners and poster boards with phrases like “God Hates Press Screenings” and “I Am A Happy Jew.”

Inside, things got much weirder. The Huffington Post reports Smith announced there would be an “auction” to purchase the distribution rights for the film after its screening. “Red State” producer Jonathan Gordon opened the bidding at $20, then saying that it was sold… to Kevin Smith.

This is apparently how Smith decided to tell the film community that he’ll be releasing the the film himself. The move hasn’t earned him much good will at Sundance, with Deadline reporting a particularly angry account of the night.

So is the movie any good? The Hollywood Reporter is in the slight minority, praising the film’s direction, cinematography and pace. HitFix is not so generous, calling the movie “a failure on every level.”

It’s the sort of thing that totally turns you off or makes you morbidly curious. We just haven’t decided which yet.

Posted by:Mikey O'Connell