LOS ANGELES -- In 1994, Kevin Smith took us inside the world of a convenience store in the now cult classic, "Clerks."
In 2006, he gave us "Clerks II."
The moment that ended, Smith says he was ready to start "Clerks III."
Now, 16 years and one heart attack later, Smith returns as writer, director and co-star of the third installment.
If you've seen the others, the familiar faces are still at the convenience store and they're still playing hockey on the roof.
But this time out, art imitates life - Kevin's life.
"It always helps if you're, like, 'Hey, I'm going back to the well, if you have a clever hook to bring to it,'" Smith said. "And my clever hook this time was, like, 'Randal's going to have a heart attack.' And people were like, 'You just had a heart attack!' I'm, like, 'Now you're thinking!'"
After the heart scare, the Randal character decides to make a movie set in the convenience store.
"By the time we get into the third act," Smith said, "we're going to give them a completely different movie than they're expecting and, hopefully, we're going to send them out of the theater with the feels, as the kids used to say on the internet."
And if you're a "Clerks" fan, you need to stay for the end credits because Smith has a message to the fans who've supported the "Clerks" movies for all these years.
"That came at the very end of the mix. What George is talking about, kids, is that at the end of the movie - movie ends and the credits are rolling and there's music playing and then the music cuts out and you hear from me," Smith said. "I come in and tell you a few things about me and the history of the movie. And it is pretty powerful."
"Clerks III" is in theaters for a short run, now through Sunday. It is rated R.