PETER YOUNG: Kevin Smith’s bizarre film a mix of horror and comedy
|01/07/2018||Posted by admin under 南京夜网||
UNEASY: Justin Long plays Wallace Bryton in Tusk.WAY back in 1994, whilst working in a video store, I stumbled across the debut feature from American screenwriter and director Kevin Smith.
Shot in black and white, Clerks is a hilarious look at life behind the counter.
Co-starring Smith as smalltime drug dealer Silent Bob, the low budget film follows the misadventures of Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) who work at the Quick Stop and RST Video, respectively.
Featuring Smith’s now-trademark witty Star Wars infused banter, Clerks became a cult hit, and a favourite which I revisit at least once a year.
Smith followed up Clerks with several films set in the same world, known as the View Askewniverse, including Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks II.
All wickedly fun and self-referential, Mallrats also introduced the world to actors Jason Lee and Ben Affleck.
Unfortunately, Smith’s efforts outside of the View Askewniverse have been much more variable with bombs such as Cop Out, Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Jersey Girl, and the excellent, critically acclaimed Red State.
Smith is also a prolific podcaster with hugely popular shows such as SModcast, Hollywood Babble-On and Edumacation.
It was a discussion with producer Scott Mosier on episode 259 of SModcast about a bizarre ad on Gumtree that resulted in Smith’s latest cinematic treat, Tusk.
The advert was the offer of a room rent free in exchange for dressing up and acting like a walrus.
A twitter poll was then conducted asking if fans agreed that a film based on the walrus premise should be made. The vote was overwhelmingly positive.
Justin Long plays Wallace Bryton, a comedian who runs a successful podcast with Teddy Craft (Haley Joel Osment, yes, that Haley Joel Osment).
When a solo trip to Canada to interview the latest internet sensation falls through, Wallace discovers a notice above a bar’s urinal which leads him to the mysterious, electric scooter bound Howard Howe (the excellent Michael Parks).
Midway through an interview with Howe, Wallace collapses only to awaken minus a leg. The worst is yet to come as our protagonist begins his transformation into a walrus.
Part-black comedy, part-horror, I enjoyed the uneasy atmosphere, evoking Misery, created inside the Howe manor.
The cast is solid, particularly Smith favourite Parks and rising talent Génesis Rodríguez as Wallace’s girlfriend Ally.
Suitably straight faced, they never let on that they are in on the joke. Johnny Depp even pops in for a cameo in the final act.
Smith’s sharp dialogue is present, although obviously minus Star Wars references. The body horror will not be for everyone, although I personally found the premise far more disturbing than anything depicted on the screen.
With Red State, and now Tusk, Kevin Smith has rediscovered his cinematic mojo. Regardless of its origins, Smith has proven that an intriguing premise can be transformed into a compelling cinematic experience.
Tusk is released on DVD and blu-ray this Thursday.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.