The obscurity of this movie admittedly had me questioning how such a bizarre story could ever be entertained let alone actually pulled of as a feature.
But all ideas and inspirations have to start from somewhere.
When filmmaker Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier picked up on a bizarre advertisement of guys walrus fetish as part of the Smodcast discussions, the subject resonated with Smith to run with this crazy notion and turn it into a feature, Tusk, the first instalment to a trilogy that he’s dubbed, The True North trilogy.
The second having already been released, titled Yoga Hosers, and a final instalment called Moose Jaws is on its way.
The underlying theme that ties these movies together examines the quirky tales born out of the depths of Canadian lifestyle and translates as a warped cousin of the X-Files as Johnny Depp cameos as French Canadian detective investigator of the bizarre, Guy LaPointe.
The central story to Tusk follows repugnant and loathing, podcast host, Wallace Bryton.
His podcast, The Not-See Party is basically a chance for him and friend/ co-host (played by a welcome Haley Joel-Osmont) to mock viral videos of guys making fools of themselves.
This one in particular is of a guy playing around with a samurai sword in his garage when he severs his own leg off.
Wanting to milk this story and take advantage of this poor soul for all his worth, Wallace ventures out to interview him for the podcast only to arrive at the chaps funeral.
By chance however, Wallace believing to be down on his luck, stumbles across a written advertisement in the Gents toilets that piques his interest with a free room and lifetime of interesting stories.
Little does he know that he’s about to get his comeuppance when he meets up with wayward extraordinaire, Howard Howe and his curious obsession with walruses.
Kidnapped and drugged, Wallace then has to face a gruelling undertaking that allows his assailant to transform him into the creature of his curious fantasies.
Will his girlfriend and best friend be able to save him from his ordeal?
What will be left of him by the end of it all?
Tusk is a movie that lives up to its description with its strange tale, which was always going to be a tough sell for audience and critics alike.
It takes someone like Kevin Smith to carry out this vision and brandish it with his unique sense of humour.
And for that it hangs in there just barely by a single thread and may well generate an audience from his loyal fans.
Once again I find myself commending a director on their bold choice and pushing the boundaries of storytelling by challenging themselves and offering something new, even if the execution itself doesn’t eventually pay off.
– Paul Farrell