TUSK Review



Podcaster Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) travels to Canada looking for interesting stories to tell and finds a man with a sinister plot (Michael Parks) to turn a human into a Walrus. Seriously.

Kevin Smith movies, thank god, have their trademark. Throw it up on the screen and I know who made this. A stank. A good stank. Even if it’s bad, it feels good. (Insert dirty joke here, pervert) This because it reminds us of the script and characters beloved from Clerks or Mallrats as an asshole teenager laughing at boob jokes while being impressed by the deep intellectual talk of things before so trivial like food court placement. (See Mallrats)

The way his movies pick apart the shit we shouldn’t care so much about but do, the right sprinkle of F-bombs (Fuck) and heart. The “this fuckin’ guy will do/say anything” moments (a good trait for original horror, too). For that, Kevin Smith movies always have me excited to go to the theater. As much as you can sense a Quentin Tarantino movie from a mile away with the elongated, awesome dialogue scenes….you can also sense Kevin Smith coming. (Insert dirty joke here, pervert)

This is what makes Tusk such a breath of fresh air. Even when things get way too weird and the tone of the movie gets jarred in a shitty way we get a classic Kevin Smith script joke about a Walrus dick. It goes a long way. (Dick joke or metaphor? BOTH.)

Justin Long and Michael Parks are insanely great and it doesn’t feel like Tusk would have worked without these exact two people. Long fits the “funny asshole with an asshole mustache who cheats on his girlfriend but is still likeable and funny as shit” bill as well as his mustache fits 70’s porn. (Perfectly. For those who have never seen 70’s porn)   (Not saying I have or anything I just heard about it?)

Parks, (Insane Walrus lover abductor guy) is so well spoken and serious one minute, screaming in gibberish and going balls-out nuts the next that he’s actually terrifying and hilarious. Side note: It is really weird to see Haley Joel Osment (Longs podcasting partner in the film) as an adult. (I see dead people kid?) Fuck, I’m old. Genesis Rodriguez (with the help of the script) adds some insane depth for a character with such little screen time and is insanely hot to boot. (I am using these too much)

In Tusk we get the funny as shit Kevin Smith humor and make fun of Canadians! (Oh, don’t get your maple leaf printed panties in a BOONCH) The horror aspects are there in a bat-shit WTF sort of way and even carry that “I just feel bad about life after watching this happen” torture porn guilt. The music helps along with the shit your pants crazy to make this a legitimate horror movie in that Human Centipede movie-verse.

There is a cameo from a major movie star and if you know who it is then you know who it fuckin’ is but if you don’t know I won’t spoil it. I didn’t love it. Once you get past the holy shit they got THAT guy!?!? You realize it’s just too much. Things go from horror/comedy to horror/screwball/Naked Gun comedy and it just doesn’t fit.

The ending fits the same crime when the sharp tonal (I almost wrote toenail) switch is just too much. However, this is Game of Thrones, bitch. It’s the Kevin Smith movie world. We are watching a movie about a dude turning another dude into a Walrus. Anybody could die at any moment. Anybody could have sex with their sister at any moment. Any sharp curve in tone from comedy to horror to porno could happen at any time. It ain’t perfect. It ain’t even right sometimes. But it’s original and it’s got heart. It’s Kevin Smith. More than you can say for most of the shit coming out right now. 7/10 If you like Kevin Smith and realize this movie is insane before you watch it.

Mike Holtz


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