25th Aug2019

Frightfest 2019: ‘Madness in the Method’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Teri Hatcher, Vinnie Jones, Danny Trejo, Gina Carano, Jaime Camil, Mickey Gooch Jr., Stan Lee, Brian O’Halloran, Esther Anderson, Blake Harrison, Matt Willis | Written by Dominic Burns, Chris Anastasi | Directed by Jason Mewes


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.

Whilst Madness in the Method may feature Jason Mewes playing an alternate version of his own persona, it doesn’t stop Mewes’ film from being something of a retrospective on his real-life career AND life; perfectly blending truth and fiction, life and movie, in a way that makes this film akin to the likes of JFK, American Animals and a myriad other “based on a true story” films…

It doesn’t hurt that there’s an autobiographical aspect to the central character of Mewes here (the opening even touches on his real-life relationship with his mother and his pre-Clerks life and hus rise to fame… and notoriety) – like the actor himself this character is typecast as Jay, to Kevin Smith’s Silent Bob, and wants desperately to break out of that persona. The Jason Mewes of this film is so close to the persona that the public knows of Mewes and the rest of the View Askew universe gang that is could be entirely true. Though if that were the case the public at large, and Kevin Smith and co., should be very worried!

In fact the entire cast of this cameo-filled film plays along with this mix of truth and fiction: actors playing against type, as exaggerated versions of themselves, and themselves. Madness in the Method even uses the ovewrought trope of “film within a film” to labour its point – that Hollywood and the Hollywood system, the trails of being an actor in a cutthroat industry, and the narcissitic nature of being a performer, can be deadly. This is a Hollywood satire at is most snoogans!

Featuring murder, mutilation, dance numbers and more, Madness in the Method escalates with the intensity of a drug-induced fever dream… Wait a minute? Drug-induced? Are they trying to say that if Jason Mewes hadn’t kicked his habit back in the day this is the type of career-killing madness that would’ve ensued? Or is that, like the rest of the film, part of the fine line between truth and reality… Who knows?

All I know is that for fans of the View Askew universe Madness in the Method offers a skewed (pardon the pun) look at that shared universe, passed through the eyes of a mad man with a keen sense of satire and visciously black comedic streak. And as such is essential viewing for fans of Smith and more importantly Jason Mewes – a man who, with this film, actually proves he’s much more than funny quips and weed jokes… He’s actually a bloody good storyteller!

**** 4/5

Madness in the Method screened on Saturday August 24th as part of Arrow Video Frightfest 2019.


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