In late July we brought you the strange news that CLERKS and RED STATE director Kevin Smith was moving ahead with a body horror flick called TUSK, which the director described as a "cuddly version of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE". We followed that up with the word that Justin Long would be joining Michael Parks in front of the camera for this story that is based on the strange true tale of a man who was lost at sea for six months with a walrus and, after returning, puts out an ad looking for a roommate. That doesn't sound too scary itself, but one of the stipulations for the resident required the person to wear a walrus costume for 2 hours a day, acting like his aquatic friend. And that's where it gets weird.
Now Smith has provided a guest blog to The Hollywood Reporter where he has revealed some of the behind-the-scenes workings to get TUSK in front of the cameras. When TUSK first landed on our radars it was reported that Smith would be approaching Quentin Tarantino for a role in the film, but somewhere along the way the information got misconstrued and it was reported that Smith wanted the PULP FICTION director to play the part of the man who was to be surgically altered into the walrus. Now Smith has cleared up the confusion, sharing that QT was offered the role of a detective named Guy Lapointe. Unfortunately Tarantino passed on the role. Smith shares...
QT said he dug the script and couldn't wait to watch (Michael) Parks let loose his internal Kraken, but he had no interest in acting at the moment. It was a bummer, as having Q in the mix would've been poetic.
Smith goes on to share how TUSK is coming together in order to begin filming soon so that the movie can make its premiere at Sundance early next year (talk about cutting it close!). At one time Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions were in talks to be involved, but with Smith pushing for a quick shoot-and-edit in order to make Sundance 2014 it was not to be. Luckily Demarest Films stepped in to underwrite and produce the film, which is scheduled to begin shooting November 4 in Charlotte NC instead of the previously reported October 21 in Toronto.
Smith also reveals how special effects wizard Robert Kurtzman came to be involved and how it became apparent that TUSK wasn't just your typical horror film - it was a 'monster movie'!
"On the podcast, I'd suggested reaching out to special effects wizard Greg Nicotero. I was one letter off: Greg is the N in the legendary gore-makers KNB EFX Group. But with the N wrapped up in directing The Walking Dead, I went to the K -- as in Robert Kurtzman. The SFX icon who dreamed up the very flick that introduced me to Michael Parks -- From Dusk Till Dawn. The man who made the Army of Darkness march now runs a company called Creature Corps out of Ohio. I sent him the script and he sent me chilling designs for a walrus suit. After talking about it and writing about it, I could finally see what the human-walrus was going to look like. And holy fuck, was it nasty! That's when I realized we weren't making a horror movie; clearly, we were making a monster movie!"
I can't deny it...while TUSK certainly has a strange premise, I get more and more excited about this film with each new bit of news that comes our way. I hope Smith and company can knock it out of the park and deliver a truly deranged and disturbing little flick.
We'll keep you posted on news regarding TUSK as we hear it!