Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tusk (2014)

Starring: Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, and Genesis Rodriguez

Homicidal Maniac: Michael Parks as Howard Howe

Run time: 1:42:00

Quick Synopsis: After his trip to Canada doesn't go as planned due to the suicide of the subject of his story, a podcaster searches for a new story.  He will not like what he finds.  Most people don't like being turned into a walrus.


*Disclaimer: If you don't care about a lengthy discussion about making the movie versus not making the movie skip the first paragraph of pretty awful discussion.  My thoughts on the movie will begin after.

Going into Tusk, I really expected to really enjoy it.  Unfortunately, the movie just fell flat
for me.  I understood the route the Kevin Smith was trying to go.  I'm not one of those assholes that came into the movie thinking it was going to be a horror masterpiece and then gave it a 1/10 on IMDB because of the film about a man being transformed into walrus was not even scary.  I'm not some mark.  I understand that this movie is about its absurdity.  I think I just overestimated how the movie's conceptual absurdity would go over when it was created.  Talking about making a movie like this is great entertainment, but I just don't think it is possible to turn it into a successful feature length film.  Especially if its not something that is thought up organically.  This all started with a fake ad about free lodging as long as the tenant is willing to wear a walrus costume.  This turned into a "what if" like scenario and somehow involved into a twitter vote on whether the movie should be made.  And of course there is no way the fans would say no to any movie pitched to them.  All of this created a movie that is much more fun to talk about than to watch.

Now to the actual film, the movie starts off pretty well with some solid, entertaining dialogue that you expect from a Kevin Smith film.  The audience is given a decent introduction to the films main character, podcaster Wallace Bryton.  To this point, the film has a mostly comedic feel.  As the movie moves along, some elements of horror to pop up along with the absurdity that is all builds up to a fucking man being transformed into walrus using the skin of dead people and human bones.  In my opinion, this is would have been the perfect point to end the film.  This would have been a great short film.  Unfortunately, this is a feature length film and there is another hour that has to be filled.  I feel that given these circumstances, the route the movie goes down is really not a bad choice, however, that doesn't mean that the outcome was a positive one.  I just don't see to many ways that it would have been successful.  Maybe going full blown over-the-top absurdity would have been the same way.  Yeah their is an introduction of an over-the-top character and other silly scenarios but I just feel as though the movie just gets stuck into the middle of every successful possibility I could imagine.  I should make sure to acknowledge there is a lot of entertaining elements to the film, I really am not trying to make this review so negative.  I pretty sure I am trying to convince myself of why I didn't like the movie.  Tusk is a great short film that was made into an awful horror movie.

Fun Fact:  This is the first film of a Canadian-based trilogy that Kevin Smith plans on making.  The other two films are titled Yoga Hosers and Moose Jaws.

Hidden Gem:  There are a few connections to Bruce Willis in the movie.  Michael Parks character uses the word "chuffa" which Willis used to describe unnecessary scenes in the movie Cop Out.  Additionally, Bruce Willis has appeared in films with Kevin Smith (Live Free or Die Hard), Haley Joel Osment (Sixth Sense), Justin Long (Live Free or Die Hard) and Michael Parks (Grindhouse).  Due to the well-known issues Smith had working with Willis on Cop Out and the nature of Tusk this is probably not a coincidence.

Additional Gem: An A-list actor has a pretty lengthy cameo that goes uncredited.  I am assuming it is supposed to be a surprise so I won't spoil it for the viewers.

Total Kill Count:
Howard Howe- Michael Parks (1:22:00) Tusked to Death Gore Rating: 8

             Horror Film: 4
             Entertainment: 7
             Gore: 7
             Overall: 5.5