Many critics, including myself, feel that Kevin Smith’s peculiar brand of somewhat erudite gross-out comedy has finally outstayed its welcome. Although Smith makes it a point not to listen to critics – and even to openly deride them when they are mean to him – perhaps some of the criticism has finally reached him. His last major feature film was the decidedly non-comedic horror movie Red State, and he’s now following that up with the delicious and weirdly-plotted horror movie Tusk.
Tusk features Justin Long as Wallace, the co-host of a popular podcast that seeks to keep it “real and raunchy” by being vicious and mocking. Wallace heads up to Winnipeg to do an interview that comes up empty, but finds a flier that leads him to the home of an old seafarer (Michael Parks). But things are not right in Winnipeg, as it soon becomes apparent. The rest of the plot centers around the old man’s attempts to turn Wallace into a walrus because…well, why not? The film also stars Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez, and (maybe) Johnny Depp. We’re still not sure about that last one.
Tusk certainly sounds like a bizarre and disturbing departure for Smith, which is either good or bad depending on your perspective. It’s a creepy idea to begin with (I look forward to finding out why Parks’s character is so intent upon making a walrus), and is supposedly also an examination of American attitudes towards Canadians. Despite my reservations about Smith, I have to admit that I’m intrigued by what Tusk might have to offer. In this case, I’m once more willing to give Kevin the benefit of the doubt.
Tusk will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (how appropriate) before long, but you can check out a few new photos featuring our leads below.