After being put to the vote by listeners of SModcast, Kevin Smith gave the people what they wanted and created his latest movie, Tusk. Paul has seen it and retained the same expression as Justin Long has in our feature image throughout the entire film.
by Paul Field (@pafster)
I know this story. I know it really well as it originated locally. But in case you don’t, here’s the condensed version:
Ad appears in Brighton Gumtree for a lodger. A free room in a nice flat in central Brighton if – and only if – well see for yourself, here’s the quotes from the ad direct:
“To take on the position as my lodger you must be prepared to wear a walrus suit for approximately two hours each day.” “Whilst in the walrus costume you must be a walrus – there must be no speaking in a human voice, and any communication must entail making utterances in the voice of a walrus.”
Hey don’t knock it, the rents in Brighton are sky high! This story was subsequently picked up and discussed on SModcast, the popular Kevin Smith chat / irreverent / stoner / news & nonsense podcast.
From that was born TUSK !!
And that’s where it all starts falling apart. Smith relocates the Tusk story from central Brighton, to a secluded large house in Canada. Gumtree is gone and replaced by a handwritten note pinned on a pub notice board. Then Smith pours in a gallon of references and in jokes from his podcast.
Casting, Justin Long is always good value, but Michael Parks being forced to deliver a dreadful script is floundering early doors. Haley Joel Osment turns up (that kid who could see dead people… but now he’s fat). But it’s up to Johnny Depp to deliver (in his mind) a wonderfully quirky performance as the slightly bumbling French Canadian, Guy Lapointe. The reality: a tragic and ridiculous Depp mucks about on screen with a silly accent and a crap false moustache, all on your dime and time. Smith and Depp are not finished yet though, they serve up their kids as some kind of ‘nod to Clerks‘ double act working in a Canadian convenience store. Utterly, utterly terrible. Go on say, “abooot” instead of “about” again, no go on… please, it’s hilarious… that’s the best gag in the whole film. No, really.
If you’re expecting a terrifying Parks slowly toying with Long.. not really. He tries to bore him to death. If you’re expecting a hilarious romp… no, definitely not. There’s no jokes (funny ones that is), there’s no scares. There is a horrific reveal, but it’s sudden, fully lit and completely matter of fact, no hints of what’s to come in the darkness. This feels like a horror made by somebody who’s never seen a horror film. That it fails on the jokes front too, from Kevin Smith, that’s unforgivable.
The call backs to his podcast and the original tale are really, really irritating. Characters called Bryton, Lapointe, Gumtree; it’s really jarring and dumb if you know the references, and just plain baffling if you dont.
I love Clerks, I love Clerks 2, I even like Jersey Girl! I’ve seen all his films, I own the lot, have seen him live, swapped banter, bought untold items from his Secret Stash store in New Jersey. Hell I even had a story included in SModcast. I was his target audience for this.
Its utter garbage, but cheer up, the whole cast is back for Yoga Hosers, where Depp returns as Lapointe and goes on an adventure with Little Depp and Little Smith. There’s a third part too, but I lost the will to live researching the second…