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Review: Tusk (TIFF 2014) + Video Review!

Tusk (TIFF 2014) + Video Review!
09.06.2014
100%
8 10
Check out Chris Bumbray's Video Review below!

PLOT: A popular podcaster (Justin Long) on assignment in Manitoba, falls prey to a former seafarer (Michael Parks) with a fondness for walruses.

REVIEW: After a bit of a rough patch Kevin Smith is back with TUSK, a film which is maybe the best thing he's done in a decade, and strikingly different from anything he's ever tried before. It seems going microbudget – with the premise cribbed from a crazy story on his own wildly popular “Smodcast” – suited Smith just fine. Free from an obligation to investors, studios, or stars, Smith has made an absolutely macabre horror comedy that makes THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE seem almost mild in comparison.

In all honesty, I didn't know Smith had it in him. Just a few years ago he seemed hellbent on retirement, but it seems he's finally rediscovered his voice. While the premise, which almost plays like a spoof of BOXING HELENA, is utterly bizarre, it's so outside the box that I can't say I've ever quite seen anything like it – which is saying something considering some of the wild flicks I've checked out for the site over the years.

While he dipped his toe into horror with RED STATE – to mixed results – TUSK has a certain “anything goes” approach that's liberating in that you really never know what's coming next. Justin Long plays the wildly successful host of a podcast called the “Not-See Party” (with a poster in the background announcing the “aw-shitz” tour) and perhaps in a take down of his anonymous internet critics, he's a total prick. Long has a pretty rough part, with him spending a good chunk of the movie freakishly decked out as a walrus. He's great, making a believably charismatic and funny host early on, while also generating a certain measure of audience sympathy as TUSK takes its freakish turn.

Haley Joel Osment, who recently aced a comedic part on IFC's THE SPOILS OF BABYLON, once again shows a flair for comedy as Long's sidekick, who eventually emerges as one of the defacto leads, alongside the incredibly appealing Genesis Rodriguez as Long's long-suffering girlfriend. But, it has to be said that Michael Parks absolutely owns the film, with him playing his seafarer old salt as a truly horrific horror villain. He effortlessly glides back and forth from being absolutely hilarious as he chews scenery to being the stuff nightmares as he tries to turn Long into an approximation of his old walrus pal, Mr. Tusk. It's an amazing part and a wild performance.

Now, if you've followed the production or read about Smith's follow-up, YOGA HOSERS, you'll know there's another big role, that of “the manhunter from Montreal” Guy LaPointe. I'm not sure if he's still a “surprise” but for the benefit of those who don't know who plays the part I won't reveal it here other than to say he's a major star. This star is very funny, with a Quebec accent that's probably more Inspector Clouseau than Guy Lafleur, but suits the off-the-wall vibe of the film to a tee.

Overall, TUSK is a major return to form for Smith, and an exciting new chapter in a career that now feels totally reinvigorated. Some of the set pieces, including a sequence set to Fleetwood Mac's “Tusk” show some real flair. While his hardcore fans will certainly love it, this may also really cross over to genre fans and aficionados of the macabre. One thing's for sure – you'll never look at a walrus' crotch the same way again.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

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1:57PM on 09/23/2014
just saw this. well, its basically human centipede, with worse make up. not entirely a bad thing, but i mean its pretty much the same story.
just saw this. well, its basically human centipede, with worse make up. not entirely a bad thing, but i mean its pretty much the same story.
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12:03PM on 09/07/2014

How can you not be excited for this?

I'm probably somewhat biased being a huge fan of Smith but this just excites me as much as any film this year. I've followed it from when it was first announced going back and listening to the podcast and hearing all the little bits of info. It just seems so welcome in an industry so often devoid of any original or creative works. Having seen Red State I was sold on this the moment me said there's lots of great Fucked-up dialogue for Michael Parks. That guy is a great actor and it'll be worth
I'm probably somewhat biased being a huge fan of Smith but this just excites me as much as any film this year. I've followed it from when it was first announced going back and listening to the podcast and hearing all the little bits of info. It just seems so welcome in an industry so often devoid of any original or creative works. Having seen Red State I was sold on this the moment me said there's lots of great Fucked-up dialogue for Michael Parks. That guy is a great actor and it'll be worth seeing for him alone. Lastly I love his description of this as the "cuddly Human Centipede" it feels especially apt as it feels like this could get popular in the same way that did simply by the outlandishness of it's premise.
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9:29AM on 09/07/2014

Unexpected

I can honestly say I think this is going to be one of the most positive reviews this movie gets... I saw it and I still don't know what to think. I can't even rate it, i think i kinda liked it, but again, i don't even know. That being said, the second i left the theater all I could think was "Man, this is gonna get absolutely destroyed by critics." I fully expect a lot of bad reviews to start hitting the net over the next few days, but that shouldn't stop you from seeing the movie. At the
I can honestly say I think this is going to be one of the most positive reviews this movie gets... I saw it and I still don't know what to think. I can't even rate it, i think i kinda liked it, but again, i don't even know. That being said, the second i left the theater all I could think was "Man, this is gonna get absolutely destroyed by critics." I fully expect a lot of bad reviews to start hitting the net over the next few days, but that shouldn't stop you from seeing the movie. At the very least, you'll want to talk about it. LaPointe was great.
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9:00AM on 09/07/2014

Nice

Yea I'm excited for this, Kevin Smith should tackle more serious projects. They say comedy is harder than drama, so go get some Oscars Kevin
Yea I'm excited for this, Kevin Smith should tackle more serious projects. They say comedy is harder than drama, so go get some Oscars Kevin
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11:34AM on 09/07/2014
Vini, I'm not sure I understand, but even worse I think you might have schizophrenia bud. I'm looking forward to this film too, but it doesn't seem like Tusk is a "serious" film. It sounds like a horror comedy - certainly not a drama. And then your last sentence... If comedy is harder, shouldn't comedies be winning oscars? But you want him to do more serious projects, which Tusk isn't, so how is he going to win an oscar?

...maybe English isn't your first language.

Regardless, at least we
Vini, I'm not sure I understand, but even worse I think you might have schizophrenia bud. I'm looking forward to this film too, but it doesn't seem like Tusk is a "serious" film. It sounds like a horror comedy - certainly not a drama. And then your last sentence... If comedy is harder, shouldn't comedies be winning oscars? But you want him to do more serious projects, which Tusk isn't, so how is he going to win an oscar?

...maybe English isn't your first language.

Regardless, at least we both want Smith to be successful.
8:11AM on 09/07/2014
I wasn't interested in Red State at all but Tusk is very intriguing. With 8/10 score, I've got to watch this movie.
I wasn't interested in Red State at all but Tusk is very intriguing. With 8/10 score, I've got to watch this movie.
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7:11AM on 09/07/2014
Glad to hear this turned out well. I think Smith gets a fair bit more flack than he deserves, probably due to being more famous as an overzealous fanboy than for his actual directing as of late, but aren't we all overzealous fanboys at some point or another? This does sound interesting.
Glad to hear this turned out well. I think Smith gets a fair bit more flack than he deserves, probably due to being more famous as an overzealous fanboy than for his actual directing as of late, but aren't we all overzealous fanboys at some point or another? This does sound interesting.
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