When I first sat down to watch Kevin Smith’s Tusk, I didn’t really know what to expect. I mean, I kindav knew what it was about (a guy tries to turn another guy into a walrus) and I was familiar with how it came to be (it was sparked by an idea that Kevin and cohost Scott Mosier riffed on during their Smodcast podcast), but I had no idea if this was going to be a serious approach to horror or if it was going to make fun of and poke at the genre.
Immediately the movie drew me in, as I was able to identify with the main character, Wallace, because he is a podcaster. A podcaster, you see, is something that I do as well. Perhaps you have heard of my podcast, ZombieMall.net?
Oh? You don’t know of it? That’s okay, I suffer from not being consistent with it. I also have discovered that I do much better when I have someone to riff with as opposed to just jabbering away solo. Being stuck out in the middle of nowhere, it’s difficult to find someone who will consistently hang out with me to do a weekly podcast… Sorry… I digress…
Wallace.. a podcaster.. has a cohost played by Haley Joel Osment of Forrest Gump and The Sixth Sense fame. Together they riff back and forth cracking vulgar jokes and having laughs. And fuck me if they don’t boast that they made $100k on their podcast. I’m going off on a slight tangent here so please forgive me… Yes, Tusk takes place in a fictional world. With that said, I have to believe that many elements included were based on some form of reality. One such is that a podcast CAN make $100k! I actually have to pay to keep mine up and going. I need to be schooled so bad on the concept of how to make money with a podcast.. Okay, okay, sorry for that. Back to topic.
Tusk also features Michael Parks, Johnny Depp, and Genesis Rodriguez. For those paying real close attention there are some cool scenes with others in Smith’s world, Johnny Depp’s daughter, Lily-Rose Depp. Kevin Smith’s daughter, Harley Quinn, and his wife Jennifer also show up. There is also a cool cameo appearance by Epic Meal Time’s Harley Morenstein.
Wallace has a hit podcast and travels to Canada to interview the Kill Bill Kid, a guy that posted a video online showing him goofing off with a sword and accidently chopping his own leg off. Once in Canada, Wallace finds that the KBK killed himself, leaving Wallace with no interview content for his podcast.
While taking a piss Wallace runs across a flyer from a man, Howard Howe, who has a room to rent, and in exchange he just wants to be able to talk about his past adventures at sea. Wallace feels that this could be a gem in the rough for his podcast and takes a trek out to meet this guy.
Wallace meets up with Howard and begins a conversation. From that conversation things pick up speed and holy shit… and what the fuck… A walrus with TUSKSSSs!
About ¼ of the way into the movie I started to suspect that perhaps Kevin Smith was making fun of the horror genre. A little further in and I was no longer sure of that. By the time it was over I could not decide what I had just watched. Like I mentioned, at first I kindav suspected he was poking fun at the horror genre, but upon finishing it, there just was no evidence that he was doing that. This was not a parody film, it was a very serious take on horror.
I think I might classify it is a dark horror peppered with a shade of humor?
I will say this, the buzz on the internet drops viewers into two categories:
Those who love it and those who hate it.
I fall into the 1st, I loved it. It actually went where it teased to go. You don’t see that happen in movies very often. You know, where the bad guy makes a threat but the good guys stop him in time? Yeah, well, Tusk follows through, and I think that is why I like it so much.
The extra features (both DVD and BlyRay have the same extras) are certainly worth getting this movie for. Several behind the scene videos, hosted by Jason Mewes, show how Tusk came to be. Certainly great material for those looking for extra insight as to how movies get made.
We also have 2 deleted scenes, both of which are introduced by Kevin explaining why they were not used.
There is also a commentary track from Kevin Smith.
If you are looking for something fun and something bizarre, Tusk is certainly a movie to add to your collection.