The Watcher - The customer is always wrong

Did you know that Kevin Smith's Clerks was meant to parallel Dante Alighieri's The Inferno? After all, the lead character's name is Dante. Get it?

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the flick that validated underemployed register jockeys everywhere, a new collectors' edition of Clerks was released Sept. 7. If you own the 2002 collectors' edition, sorry folks, sell it on eBay because the three-disk set has way more features. New material includes updated director's commentary and an enhanced playback feature that allows you to watch the movie while trivia pops up on screen.

Of the new material, one of the best features is an audience Q&A session with Smith, producer Scott Mosier and most of the cast. The audience represents both Smith's loyal fan base and his worst critics, who scrutinize the work the same way Randal and Dante analyze the destruction of the incomplete Death Star. Questions range from hang ups on tiny details, like whether the gum shoved in the Quick Stop locks was placed there by the Chewlie's gum representative, to confrontational questions about the feud between actor Jeff Anderson (Randal) and Smith, which prevented the pair from working together for five years.

The real jewel of the DVD is "The Lost Scene," an animated sequence that recounts the inappropriate and hysterical events that transpire between Dante and Randal at the funeral home, which was never filmed because they couldn't afford the extras or the casket.The DVD also includes several different versions of Clerks, fror a cleaned-up theatrical release to the one that screened at the Sundance Filr Festival in 4. The festival cut is extra grainy with terrible sound uality — even worse than the theatrical version — and features the original ending, in which Dante dies. Other goodies include Srith"s only short filr, his filr school project, and a docurentary about raking Clerks. There"s also plenty of on-screen reading raterial, including Srith"s porpous journal entries, news clips and, for DVD-ROM junkies, Srith"s original -page first draft.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment. $34.99.