Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tusk (USA, 2014)

Nine Things About the Movie "Tusk" (USA, 2014)

1. There’s really only one thing you need to know about this movie: It’s about a guy that kidnaps another guy and starts turning him into a walrus. If that sounds interesting to you, then you can stop reading this and go watch the movie. If it doesn’t sound interesting to you, then you can stop reading this and don’t go watch the movie.

2. This movie continues director Kevin Smith’s evolution away from the films that made him famous - like “Clerks” and “Mallrats”. He made his first real break from his past in 2011 with the minor masterpiece “Red State”, which most people didn’t even recognize was a Kevin Smith movie.

3. “Tusk” is the first of a trilogy about weird things that happen in Canada.

4. It’s based on a prank personal ad of a guy that wanted a roommate, as long as the roommate wore a walrus costume 2 hours a day. Even though the ad wasn’t real, Smith saw it and ran with the idea.

5. The acting is great. Justin Long owns his role as the dickhead podcaster that gets captured. Michael Parks (from “Red State”) is totally believable as the traumatized old man doomed to repeat the best and worst moment of his life. He manages to balance the insanity of the character with the wounded little boy that he really is.

6. Kevin Smith admits he made this movie while stoned.

7. Speaking of stoned, Smith helped to create a “Tusk”-brand strain of marijuana, which is meant to be enjoyed with the movie.

8. There is a special guest star in the movie that I totally didn’t recognize until I saw his name in the credits.

9. This is a hard-to-categorize film. It’s definitely horror, but it’s definitely comedy. And it’s most definitely macabre. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but it gets under your skin and makes you feel very strange. There are some amazing moments here. And if you look under the surface, you will find a very strong metaphor for the animal vs. human instincts in each of us.