Mallrats Happened 25 Years Ago Today

Mallrats, Kevin Smith's second feature and the movie in which he established that many of his films would take place the same, interconnected fictional universe, apparently took place 25 years ago today. According to a Twitter account dedicated to determining the dates events happen in movies, the film -- which starred Jason Lee, Jeremy London, Claire Forlani, Shannen Doherty, and Michael Rooker -- takes place on April 14, 1995. In addition, Smith has previously said that Mallrats takes place the day before Clerks, his debut feature. Dialogue in both movies suggests that Julie Dwyer (a character never seen onscreen) had died the day before, but given that the information comes from Randal in Clerks, it's easy enough to guess he might be an unreliable narrator.

In Mallrats, Dwyer's death means that Brandi Svenning (Forlani) has to take the dead girl's place on her father's The Dating Game rip-off. In Clerks, Dante (Brian O'Halloran) reveals that he used to date Dwyer, and he and Randal Jeff Anderson) close the stores they're working at to attend her wake. It does not go well.

Since Clerks was filmed in 1993, and since it takes place in a convenience store where then-current magazines can be seen on the racks, it could be argued that the events of both Clerks and Mallrats take place in 1993, rather than 1995, but that seems like it's getting needlessly bogged down in minutia.

In a follow-up tweet, the "Dates in Movies" account addresses some of the inconsistencies in the timeline, saying, "We originally thought it was set in 1994. However, the dates in Trish's diary align with 1995, as does the fact the movie takes place over Easter weekend." When quizzed about the date, they added that they determined it based on a reference in one of the Clerks comic books which pegged Julie's funeral as taking place on April 15, while Mallrats explicitly takes place over Easter weekend.


Kevin Smith is currently writing a follow-up to Mallrats, which he recently indicated would specifically reference the novel coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing/quarantine that many nations around the world are experiencing now.