December 5, 2014

VOD Review: Tusk (2014)
(aka #WalrusYes.)
Release Date: September 19th.
Country: R. 
Rating: Unrated.
Written & Directed by: Kevin Smith.
Starring: Justin Long, Michael Parks, Genesis Rodriguez, Haley Joel Osment, and... Johnny Depp?

The one thing you need to know going into Tusk is that it's a total goof.

Kevin Smith and his long-time partner Scott Mosier came up with the idea for Tusk after reading a fake Internet ad (read about that HERE), and it struck them as so insane, that they started talking about how they could make it into a movie.

Laughing his ass off at the prospect, Kevin Smith asked his fans to take to Twitter and vote #WalrusYes or #WalrusNo on the idea, not imagining that there would be much of a response to such a silly idea...  Well, apparently, the answer was a resounding #WalrusYes, because here we are a little over a year later, watching the very movie that Smith and Mosier joked about making.

And it was pretty damned entertaining.

Wallace Bryton is a failed stand-up comic turned D-bag Podcaster, who makes a living by making fun of people who star in Viral Videos, because he is a D-bag. He travels to Manitoba, Canada to interview an Internet "Celebrity" called The Kill Bill Kid -whom he and his Podcaster partner made endless fun of after seeing a video in which he cut off his own leg with a sword while pretending to be a ninja or something- only to find that the poor little bastard has killed himself, most likely because of the fact that he was ridiculed on some shitty Podcast hosted by a guy with a shitty moustache.

Sad that his big story is now dead (not that he basically drove a kid to kill himself), Wallace finds himself taking a piss in some Canadian bar, where he finds a handbill above the urinal which offers "a free bed and a lifetime of stories" to anyone willing to travel to Bifrost, Manitoba, and keep company with a lonely old man. Given that Wallace's moustache looks like something straight out of gay porn, he's naturally intrigued by this totally legit offer that doesn't at all sound like some sort of bathhouse code for "gay gang-bang at my place, woo!"

Wallace travels to Bifrost to the mansion of one Howard Howe; a wheelchair-bound, retired seaman who speaks eloquently, quotes famous authors with ease, and seems to have a special fondness for walruses. They have tea together, during which Howard Howe recalls fantastic tales of his youth, in particular the story of how a walrus named Mr. Tusk once saved his life, and how he misses him so... and them Wallace passes out from the drugs in his tea.

When Wallace wakes up, he not only finds that his leg has been amputated, but that Howard Howe is intent on surgically turning him into a walrus. Yes, from this point forward, things get even weirder than they have been up until this point... and we're talking Johnny Depp weird here, folks.

Tusk is a movie that you absolutely can not take seriously, mainly because writer/director Kevin Smith doesn't even take it seriously himself; he made it for a goof folks, and he knows just how ridiculous and stupid the entire thing is. Thankfully for us, he also knows how to make the ridiculous and stupid things in life play funny on-screen, which makes this bizarre movie an oddly entertaining effort.

I've come to accept the fact that most people either really love Kevin Smith (and his movies), or they just flat out hate the dude. There's probably a middle ground there somewhere, but I've just never heard anyone say "Kevin Smith is alright, I guess." No, it's either "I love Kevin Smith!" or "Fuck Kevin Smith, he's a fucking hack!" We've always loved Kevin Smith (probably because we have the minds of 12-year-old boys, and dick and fart jokes make us laugh), but the fact is that the guy knows how to make a decent movie. Tusk may be a goof in many ways, but it's also pretty funny and fairly disturbing, and it entertained us from start to finish. Maybe it's just one of those "this might just be crazy enough to work!" type of scenarios, because it is, and it does.

The bottom line is that Tusk is a crazy movie that plays mostly like a black comedy, but it has just enough creepy and nasty bits thrown in there to make it a legitimate Horror flick as well. If you're familiar with Kevin Smith's work, then you pretty much know what to expect here.

Justin Long is great in this movie. His character is a complete tool, and we couldn't wait to see him be turned into a walrus so that he'd shut his snarky, idiotic ass, the hell up. Long is a pretty funny guy, and he plays the role of annoying Podcaster fucktard perfectly in this one.

Even better than Justin Long, is the display of acting magnificence that Michael Parks put on in Tusk. I'm really not sure how the man isn't cast in 20 movies a year, because he's great in everything that he does. Parks has a hypnotic, fierce quality about him, and the way that he goes about tackling his roles is just mesmerizing to watch. He's one of the best actors that Hollywood has ever seen, that isn't celebrated as such, which is really a shame; the guy is a living legend who was at one time blacklisted by all of Hollywood because he refuse to compromise himself artistically. He was also good friends with Johnny Cash, which probably gives you a good idea of just how much of a bad-ass he is.

The point is, Michael Parks is a scene-stealer of the highest order, and if you see Tusk for no other reason, see it to watch him do his thing. Then go watch We Are What We Are, because he was brilliant in that too.

Genesis Rodriguez and Haley Joel Osment are solid in their supporting roles too, although we have to admit that seeing how much the little kid from The Sixth Sense has grown up, makes us feel a bit old. And did we mention that Johnny Depp is in Tusk as well? No? Because he is.

Tusk is a movie that is a silly as it is fun, which is made into something respectable by its lead performances. While we had a good time with this movie, we totally understand that it won't work for everyone. You pretty much already know which side of that fence you'll land on though, so watch or avoid Tusk accordingly.


Tusk is available now on VOD, and will hit Blu-ray & DVD on December 30th.

Hello, Genesis Rodriguez. You seem to have some cream on your belly...


  1. The reveal of Mr Tusk is one of the funniest/dumb things put on screen in a long while.I also really liked the scene between Depp and Parker very much,the absurd voices on both ends.

  2. I have to check this movie out.

  3. Just lately I've been feeling like a grumpy old jaded shit when it comes to films.... to my surprise & delight I really enjoyed 'Tusk'. 'Is man indeed a walrus at heart?' - I'm still reflecting on that question 48hrs after watching, a memorable film. Parker was great as the deranged raconteur. On a side note this film entirely validated my life long policy of not responding to invitations posted in the mens-room!

  4. That's a good policy to have, Anon! LOL

  5. If it wasn't for Johnny Depp and Michael Parks this would have been unwatchable for me. One of the main issues for me is that if your main character is a former stand up comedian with a supposedly popular podcast you might want to have him say something hilarious once in a while, instead of just having a crony character laugh at every stupid thing he says. Lazy writing, lazy plotting and no pacing. A one trick pony with a pretty bad trick. With that said, I loved reading this review and agree whole-heartedly about Michael Parks. What a weighty actor.

    1. Yeah Jim, without Michael Parks, the things about this movie that didn't really bother us, would have probably driven us mad.

      And I'll tell ya, I had no idea that was Johnny Depp until his part was almost over. Blew me away.