Kevin Smith is never afraid to take risks in his work. He’s not what most would call an auteur – yet his filmmaking choices indicate that he fulfils the role (he irks critics). Whether he’s alienating the right with foul-mouthed stoner antics (The View Askew Universe) or the left with antagonistic murderous rednecks (Red State), he continues to stir up debate, regardless. This is most definitely the case with his latest effort, Tusk.
With the movie set to debut at TIFF this week, the marketing team have been drip-feeding a ton of promo material to either tantalize or utterly perplex. Yesterday’s crop of new images further reiterated the bonkers premise. Justin Long’s character Wallace strapped into a wheelchair. Michael Parks holding a sewing needle. It’s like Smith’s own depraved version of Misery – with walruses. The brief clip is another slice into Wallace’s nightmare-turned-reality as he ponders the likelihood of surviving his ordeal while leaving a voicemail for his girlfriend.
Spawned from a lengthy riff on Smith’s SModcast, the story is as follows. Long plays Wallace, a co-host on a podcast who travels up to Canada to conduct an interview for the show in the hopes of keeping it fresh and lively. Out in the middle of nowhere, the interview is a bust, but he stumbles across an old homely seafaring gent who welcomes him. It’s no wonder – the guy’s madder than a horde of coked-out zombies (that idea is registered with the WGA – hands off!) Demanding that Wallace dress up like a walrus, things escalate into total insanity.
It’s a kooky premise that Smith’s clearly got the chops to handle. A somewhat erratic resume, from comedy to horror, if anyone can make you believe Michael Parks is crackers, it’s undoubtedly New Jersey’s finest export.
Tusk will premiere tomorrow at TIFF and is set for theatrical release on September 19th. I know I’ll be there on opening day. Will you?
Source: The Playlist