Let me begin by saying, in case the blog title left some doubts as to my feelings about this movie, that Tusk is bloody, fucking awful. Argh, no seriously argh. I have lost the will to communicate this movie was so bad.
Holy crap, what the hell was every single person involved thinking? What was Kevin Smith thinking? I frikin loved Kevin Smith but after this, well fuck, I may just have to pretend it doesn’t exist to continue being a fan.
Ugh, okay, here’s the story in a (large) nutshell. Horrible human being Wallace Bryton (Justin Long – who I normally love but…argghhhh) heads to Canada to get an interview for his podcast (The NotSee Party…wow…so very witty and original) with some poor soul who, while making a youtube video, cut off his own leg with a katana. Did I mention Wallace’s podcast cohost sees dead people…well no, not really, but it is Haley Joel Osment (who strangely enough I thought was dead…huh)
Anyways, the aforementioned leg cutter has taken his own life by the time Wallace reaches his home so he can’t get his interview, inconveniencing him to no end. He heads to the local bar to call his buddy Teddy (Haley J-O) and give him the bad news about the “Kill Bill Kid” being dead…argh.
Luckily, while visiting the restroom, Wallace see an ad for a room for rent, by a Mr Howard Howe, promising many wonderful stories about his adventures at sea. Naturally (cause who doesn’t love toilet ads) Wallace sets out to Manitoba to get an interview with Mr. Howe. Finally, Wallace arrives in the town of Bifrost and we meet (the seemingly disabled) Howard (Michael Parks).
Now allow me to pause here and say that Michael Parks is the ONLY great thing about this movie. I’ve been a fan for quite some time, but I have to say he really blew me away with his performance. Mr. Parks straight up pulled on his full length, sequinned crazy and owned the fuck out of it. Had this been a movie about something other than turning a person into a walrus, he probably would have elevated the whole to cinematic art. As it is though, he made a bad movie kinda watch-able…but seriously, only kinda.
From here on Wallace is drugged, shackled and then begins the arduous (and fucking stupid…couldn’t help it) task of transforming him into Howard’s beloved Mr. Tusk (a walrus who saved his life, who he then had to eat to stay alive…blah blah blah). Soooo, all his odds and ends are chopped off (arms, legs, etc) and the transformation begins. The whole process is kinda gross but nothing this blogger hasn’t seen before in term of effects, and the end result, if I can be totally honest, kinda looks like a big veiny nutsack with tusks (I kinda giggled uncontrollably every time the walrus was on screen cause of that). Plus, for a “monster” type movie, we don’t see the creature nearly enough, and when we do, it’s really…I dunno, anticlimactic…probably cause of the nutsack resemblance.
Even Michael Parks starts to lose some respectability when the “walrus suit” scene comes up. No seriously, I have nothing else to say about that one.
There is a second storyline unravelling simultaneously about Wallace’s girlfriend Ally (Genesis Rodriguez – who incidentally is ridiculously good looking) being sad because Wallace cheated on her and Haley trying to comfort her. They sleep together, and then get a phone call from Wallace and head to Canada themselves to rescue him…uhuh. So while in Canada they meet former cop Guy Lapointe (Johnny Depp…arggghhh) who has been tracking the serial killer/mutilator that may or may not be Howard Howe…gee I wonder. There’s also some b.s. about Wallace being soul-less since he’s unable to cry, but seriously, the guy’s a friking Walrus, right now crying is the least of his problems.
By the time the two storylines came together, I was kinda hoping everyone would perish in a freak volcanic eruption, but no such luck. And although I won’t give away the ending, I would like to say that it is, without any doubt, the worst part of the entire movie…and that is saying something.
Tusk is obviously inspired by recent mutilation themed, torture porn epics, most famously The Human Centipede. And much like it’s predecessors, I found myself wondering about Tusk, what type of person even thinks up this type of insanity, much less puts it on film. Of course, every movie has it’s advocates but in this case I find it difficult to believe anyone would find Tusk an enjoyable experience. As for me, I really wanted to like it, probably because I am such a fan of Smith’s and I did quite like his previous horror foray Red State. I was hoping for some scares, or at the very least some laughs, but disappointingly there were none to speak of.
Sadly, Tusk just doesn’t deliver, neither as a horror film, nor as a black comedy. I do seem to remember reading that Kevin Smith will continue making horror movies, and as long as he does, I’m gonna keep hoping that he’ll make a great one…just as long as he doesn’t make a Tusk sequel. Don’t get me wrong, I totally get what Smith was trying to do, he was trying to make a horror-comedy that was simultaneously really scary and really funny. With some tweaking, the funny may have been possible, but as for the horror, well that doesn’t work unless you first have something terrifying to really scare your audience with, and I’m sorry man, a big testicle is just not fucking scary.