tusk movie poster

Kevin Smith weaves together a tale of sea creatures, podcasters and lots and lots of craziness – interwoven with a surprisingly superb cast to convey it all – with his latest film TUSK.

Riding the wave of podcasters who have turned their creativity into loads and loads of Bank– Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) & his best Friend Teddy Craft (Haley Joel Osment) have made a name for themselves as the NOT-SEE party, making jokes of everyone that seems to cross their path.   Excited to meet their latest discovery, a young man who likes playing with his Samurai sword as if he is remaking KILL BILL, who inadvertently cuts of his leg while videotaping, and of course the video goes viral!!!  Wallace decides he has to meet this crazy kid in person, so heads to Canada to find this exceptionally amusing young man– when he comes to find he has met a more unfortunate end than his last mishap prior to Wallace’s arrival.

Wallace decides that he needs to find another story while in the Canadian wilderness, when he happens upon a posting in the men’s room that promises fun and adventure at every turn.  He contacts the number on the listing, and is directed by the person on the other end of the line – Adventurer Howard Howe (Michael Parks), to travel to his breathtaking abode so that he can share his incredible adventures with him in person.

Wallace arrives to find a wheel–chair ridden Howe, who seems to be very peculiar, but none-the-less seems like the perfect person to interview for their next podcast.   When Howe offers Wallace some tea, he partakes and soon finds himself awaken to a startling revelation that he is incapacitated, and possibly missing a limb….is this FOR REAL?

Why didn’t Wallace let his girlfriend Ally (Genesis Rodriquez) come along on his excursion like she begged him to?  Did Ally and Ted get Wallace’s messages begging them to come find him in the wilderness and save him from certain death at the hands of this mad man?  And what, dear God, is Howe’s next step going to be?  Is he going to finish the job by making Wallace into the creature he keeps rambling on, and on, and on about from his adventures at sea in World War II – the creature that saved him from his demise by being better than any human he ever knew – is he really going to succeed in turning him into A WALRUS?!

I give TUSK a D:  Even though I did enjoy seeing Justin Long and Haley Joel Osment back on the big screen, this film was too disturbing for me to really enjoy.  The concept of this film seemed to be contrived from a weekend of too much drinking and smoking “wacky tabacy” – it states in the film it was based on actual events……and I am hoping that is just a sick joke just like in the film FARGO!  Parks portrayal as the insane master of “Walrus making” was truly believable, as he definitely plays CRAZY really well.  I was also surprised to see the greatest character actor of the last 20 years make a cameo appearance too (a.k.a. Johnny Depp), but I guess it only makes sense since he has commented on loving Kevin’s work in the past, so he would want to be a part of his next creation.  The most unbelievable part of this unfortunate film for me was the ending – which just cemented my dislike for this film – hook, line and sinker.  The only positive that I feel I must share with all of you, is that TUSK didn’t end up being as graphically violent as I was anticipating going in, which just goes to prove that if you try hard enough, you can come up with one small faint glimmer of something good in any situation.

Kathy Kaiser