I think most critics are agreed that Kevin Smith’s Tusk is one of the weirder things to come out of the Toronto International Film Festival this year. The film features Justin Long as an American podcast host who goes to Canada in pursuit of one story and ends up pursuing another when he meets a reclusive Canadian seafarer with dreams of turning a man into a walrus. Early reviews have been largely positive, treating this film as a funnier version of Human Centipede, and more in line with Smith’s last darkly comedic horror story Red State than his earlier slacker efforts. Whether it’s ultimately loved or hated by the world at large, Tusk is bound to be a different cinematic experience.
A recently released clip and featurette give brief and tantalizing glimpses into Tusk, beyond just the basic (and bizarre) plot set-up. In the featurette, Smith details the evolution of the film from an ad he actually saw on Gumtree and talked about on his own podcast, to the finished product. It’s a short behind-the-scenes look, but it at least gives us some insight as to how Smith got into the idea of such an outlandish horror story.
Alongside the featurette is a clip from Tusk. There’s no walrus in sight here, as Justin Long arrives in Canada to be greeted by a very Canadian immigration official who details the “Cana-dos and Cana-don’ts” of etiquette in the Great White North. Yes, there are Canadian stereotypes here, but they’re pretty funny stereotypes that say more about America’s attitude to Canada than the nation itself. I’ll be sure to remember this helpful information the next time I visit Canada.
Tusk will open on September 19 (this Friday!). You can watch the new clip and featurette below, along with a new poster. Does this film look like all it’s cracked up to be?