From 1994-present filmmaker Kevin Smith has taken on everything from working as a clerk to the interweb.
Tusk was discussed on Smodcast Podcast episode 259 The Walrus and the Carpenter. What started off as a bizarre comedy about an man obsessed with walruses transitioned to an Human Centipede knock off. No that is a bad thing. Kevin Smith is good at talking movies. Where the characters just talk.
Tusk deals with a lot of things. One of them discusses humanity. Justin Long plays Wallace Bryton, failed stand up comedian – turned shock jock podcaster. His “deal with the devil,” is coming to an end per say. Wallace along with his hetero- life mate Teddy Craft played by Haley Joel Osment. They’ve created a podcast called The Not See Party. Pretty much Wallace watches people on youtube make idiots of themselves and then describes it to Teddy.
A fan of the show called The Kill Bill Kid (A Canadian who accidentally cut off his leg with a Kill Bill sword prop), wants Wallace to interview him. So Wallace decided to go to Canada by himself without Teddy or his Girlfriend Ally Leon played by Genesis Rodriguez. After he finds out the Kill Bill Kid committed suicide, Wallace feels that it has become a wasted trip. While drowning his sorrows at a local bar he finds a post on an bulletin board . It states that a Pre/Post WWII cook has fantastic tales to tell, for anyone who will listen.
Veteran character actor Michael Parks plays Howard Howe. Who does spin fantastic tales, about how he met Ernest Hemingway. To being saved by a walrus after his ship sank post D-Day. Howard Howe’s character works for a lot of reasons. He comes off as sane, soft spoken, and well rounded. He has developed a love for walruses after one has saved him from a watery grave. He has also collected many…well shall we say “memorabilia,” from his travels. As he continues to tell his story, you wonder if all is true or just fabrication. It’s hard not to…well “semi-spoiler,” this film. So if you don’t want to be spoiled…finish reading this review….now.
Howe believes that mankind are the “true animals.” That mankind should be a walrus at heart. He was orphaned at age ten and has been the victim of psychological, sexual, and physical torment. So he lures human victims into his home, and sews walrus pelts on them. All while trying to recreate the supposed bond he had with the Walrus that saved his life at sea. Sadly one of the many problems is that the trailer and Smodcast Podcast gave a lot away before the film was ever green lit. Problem number two is that I don’t care that Wallace will be another victim.
First of all his name is Wallace…with a thick accent…it could come off as Walrus. He has a mustache that comes off as tusks. He has “no real human soul.” As I stated before he makes fun of people for his podcast. He thinks the Kill Bill kid killing himself was selfish (so he doesn’t have an podcast episode this week). The podcast is called the Not See Party, which he closes out the show in a German accent. Here’s a bit of trivia Nazi Doctors were notorious for “experimenting on their victims without any remorse. Oh one more thing he doesn’t want his girlfriend to come with him to Canada because he enjoys cheating on her.
So the bottom line is what is the movie really about? On one hand, it’s about a man who has sold his humanity and turned inhuman. Followed by another man, who due to mankind destroying his faith on humanity he has turned on man. On another hand it’s about making a deal with the devil. Now it’s time to pay the piper. OHHHHHhhhhhh the “deal with the devil,” stories I have read, or seen on T.V. The biggest problem is that no one ever reads the contract. They just quickly sign it. I remember a friend telling me that if you sign “the contract,” the devil can collect anytime.
A person doesn’t need to die from old age. The Devil can change fate to collect early. Then there are times that the soul may not burn in hell. The soul can be a minion, or something else. In Wallace’s case he states that he glad he sold out. Being a failed stand up he went nowhere. Now he is a podcaster with cooperate sponsorship’s making 100,000 a year. Also are we entirely sure Wallace is in Canada? Again, I once saw two Twilight Zone Episodes where one dead soul thought he was in heaven. Another was an hillbilly who died and almost got tricked into walking into hell. We find out that Howard Howe goes by many names, and changes his appearance in a flashback. It may all be a coincidence, and Howard’s stories still have question marks…so you never know.
Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier did give away a lot of information on Smodcast Episode 259. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey. As film buffs who are familiar with these types of films, we want the A$%!^&* character to get what’s coming to him. I won’t give away the ending…or the surprise cameo by another A-List character Actor…I will say though once he came into the picture he became “distracting.” The movie is predictable, and again my hypothesis about the deal with the devil is just my opinion. It would’ve been more satisfactory than a man sewing pelts onto human flesh. I mean if Howe has turned his back on man…then why turn man into animal. There are phases on Howe’s justifications…again…I don’t want to spoil everything. You won’t be looking at your watch, Iphone, ECT. asking to yourself “When does Justin Long turn into the Walrus.” There is a strong sense of irony…just not for everyone. It’s a shame that the movie opened less than 1,000,000 at the box office. Especially since Smith’s fans #WalrusYes on the interweb. Kevin Smith has grown as Director. The pacing works for me. The dialogue for me is an homage to any Tarantino film. I also love the atmosphere of Howe’s mansion. All in all this film may be a box office disappointment, but Mel Brooks said it best. “Movies don’t die, they go to heavan…home media.” Let’s hope this doesn’t go into home media hell.