Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tusk: A Review


While I'm a rather big fan of Kevin Smith's, there's no denying that sometimes he just misses the mark. Let's talk about Tusk.

Specifically, I want to get into this still/promotional image that has been peddled all over the internet, hyping this film to gargantuan proportions. Tusk stars Justin Long as an asshole podcast host and comedian who is abducted in Canada by a possible subject of his show. This man, being the fucking insane psycho that he is, has been turning men into walruses, unsuccessfully for the most part, for years. Lucky for him, he has comedy stud Justin Long fall into his lap. He performs a surgery that turns "Wallace" (Justin Long) into a human/walrus mush of skin. 

On the surface, this sounds like a fucking awesome gore/comedy crossover, a la Tucker and Dale but on a level that's way more sick and twisted. Let's face it, that's what we're all looking for in a movie, right? Well for the first 30 minutes, that's what you get. Gut busting comedy delivered by Long and his counterpart, Michael Parks. They vibe off of each other in a very suave way, bantering back and forth as Long obviously starts feeling the effects of his chloroform tea. (Chloroform tea fan or nah?) GREAT! I'm on board, let's dig into the bastard! 

Theeeen, the movie kind of does a bad thing in it's bedroom with the door closed. Bringing me back to this still that I saw so much of prior to putting my ass in a theater seat, I got about three seconds of that in the actual film. I was expecting from an image like that, and hoping with all my girlish heart, that I was going to get a drawn out, gory, visceral, emotionally toiling surgery with a fully conscious Long to agonize on the operating table. That image makes me crave a seething gore scene progression in which I get to watch Long's character, Wallace, descend into madness. What was Wallace doing during the surgery? SLEEPING! I only got to see two real character transitions from Long: losing his leg and waking up as a walrus. What I didn't get was the slow burn of a really good gore.

So yeah, I don't regret spending my ten bucks to go see the newest Kevin Smith movie, especially not with that cast, which was a hell of a surprise. I laughed. I cringed at the walrus. But on the drive home I couldn't stop hoping that Tusk had been so much more. So much more than a horror/comedy, Tusk could have been the cult gore of the decade, in my humble opinion. But unfortunately, Smith takes a bow to films like Hard Candy and Tokyo Gore Police in the "fucked up and bloody" department. I'd love to see him try his hand at a film like this again but let the buckets of blood flow from within. Use your strength to make you stronger, Kevin.

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