Man or Walrus: A Review of Kevin Smith’s Tusk


Kevin Smith knows how to connect. That’s been proven time and time again. Even if the story doesn’t connect with you, he, as a person, will. He’s quite possibly the most social media adept film maker at the moment. That’s actually why we even have Tusk. 

Kevin Smith has always been a controversial filmmaker.  His dialogue is filthy but always has some intelligence behind it.  He does things no other filmmaker does and probably has the biggest balls in Hollywood right now.  His first big controversy was over his film Dogma.  He got death threats from fundamentalist Christians for the themes he explored in the film, same goes for Red State.  However, after Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Smith became very jaded with the Hollywood system.  They spent so much money on selling a film, no matter the actual budget that it became hard for him to get paid and pay his crew.  There is also the fact that Smith’s films are so far from mainstream that trying to sell his movies the same way you do blockbusters that the return investment isn’t great.  No one really got paid during Clerks 2. So he retired and said he would only do podcasts.  Smith also announced that his final film would be Clerks 3.  This all changed in June 2013 when Kevin sat down with his producer and long time friend Scott Mosier and did SModcast #259 “The Walrus and the Carpenter”  in which Smith read a Gumtree.com (UK craigslist) ad about a person looking for a  lodger in there house.  There would be no rent, but the lodger had to dress as a walrus for 2 hours a day and entertain them.  This sparked Smith’s imagination and through a goofy and hilarious conversation, Kevin pitched a movie.  However he left it up to his fans and twitter followers whether he should make the film.  #WalrusYes became a battle cry for Smith as pretty much everyone said he should do it.  And a film was born.  Let’s just say it did not disappoint.

Tusk is a horror comedy about an asshole who gets turned into a walrus.  It was everything I had hoped it would be.  I have been following this movie since the episode of SModcast was released and I am so glad Smith made it.  The film is goofy, disturbing, brilliant and stupid all at the same time.  It is probably one of the most original films to come out of Hollywood in years.  We live in a world where sequels and remakes are the big thing now.  They’re the films that make the big bucks.  And as fans we, cry that Hollywood is no longer even trying to be original.  I think this movie, which is about as mainstream as an early David Lynch film,  should be praised.  Finally, a movie that was birthed from a podcast and has podcasters as the main characters.  I have yet to see that on screen.  The acting is phenomenal all around: Michael Parks, who also played the villain in Smith’s Red State was enchanting. Anytime he speaks, you listen, and the dialogue porn given to him is to die for.  There is also a special guest cameo by Guy Lapointe, who is probably one of the best things in the film. He is a goofy, crazy, and talkative French Canadian stereotype.

The film is also littered with references to SModcast and the SModcast network.  If you are a big fan of Smith’s podcasts (as I am, having listed to nearly every podcast he is involved with at least twice), then you will pick up on some inside jokes.  This is a film that was made specifically for fans of Kevin Smith, especially those who love his podcasts.  The best part is that Kevin is the only one who could have made this movie. No other director would have, or could have pulled it off.

Last but not least, the effects in the film are spectacular and actually rather terrifying.  When the walrus suit is is revealed you will either have constant nightmares or laugh your ass off. And honestly both of those reactions would be accurate.

Even though the film’s pacing can be a little off at times and the editing feels like it is all over the place (to intentionally disturb you), Tusk is a fantastic B-Movie by Kevin Smith and belongs in the same category  as Rocky Horror and Evil Dead 2. The film will make you laugh and say WTF? And for that I love it. I give Tusk 9.5 Margaritas out of 10. 

-Coty

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