User Reviews (273)

  • mjschwar-120 February 2015
    8/10
    You Will Not Like This Movie
    The very definition of "not for everyone", Tusk is an oddball, absurd, twisted midnight movie that plays more like a demented fever dream than a horror or comedy film. I'd never recommend it to anyone I intend to ever speak to again.

    Here are the reasons why you won't like it:

    1) It's unexpectedly surreal, with little interest in the laws of reality, or at least modern medicine and police work. And it's not directed in an obviously surreal, arty fashion like, say, a David Lynch picture, which makes it even harder to wrap your head around.

    2) It's got an odd tone. There's comedy, sure, but it's mostly a slower, more cringe- inducing variety than Kevin Smith is typically known for. There's suspense, and a bit of gross-out, but the film evokes more unease than outright scares, and the grotesqueries are more evocative of a nightmare after eating one too many sliders than, say, Saw. And it swings freely between the two with no warning at all.

    3) You haven't seen Tod Browning's "Freaks", a classic bit of cult cinema that Smith has made references to in other films. In fact, you probably don't even know it exists. (Cinephiles will notice rather direct references to many of Kev-O's other favorite movies as well, including Silence of the Lambs and Jaws.)

    4) You're Canadian, and your country and culture are No Laughing Matter.

    If for some reason none of the above applies to you, may I recommend "Tusk"? It's oddball, gonzo, at times self indulgent and slow, but also occasionally very funny and strangely thought-provoking, provided you're willing to go along for the ride. It'll make an impression...especially if your short-term memory "isn't what it used to be."
  • MediaboyMusings15 September 2014
    1/10
    One of the worst movies I've ever watched...
    Warning: Spoilers
    Kevin Smith, whose repeated threats in recent years of permanently exiting the world of filmmaking have taken on the dubious credibility of retirement announcements from, say, most classic rock bands, has apparently found his creative mojo once again with the batsh*t crazy Tusk. Smith's previous film, 2011's Red State, was justifiably poorly received by critics and audiences, souring him even further on the filmmaking process. Then in 2013, a bizarre discussion on an episode of Smith's SModcast podcast hastily inspired him to write and direct Tusk, a high-concept movie (in more ways than one, I'm sure) that can be summarized with one sentence: Los Angeles podcaster visits Manitoba and gets kidnapped by a lunatic who turns him into a walrus. Still with me? Smith, during the film's second TIFF screening I attended after its world premiere the night before, joked that he had reached the point in his career where "I don't give a fu*k anymore", but just because Smith has reached a bitter crossroads in his career that's resulted in quite literally one of the worst movie experiences I've ever sat through doesn't mean you should also be subjected to the man's lack of impulse control.

    Two main things drew me to Tusk: 1) I was a modest fan of most of Smith's work (which you probably can't tell from the contempt being leveled at him in this review, but that just speaks to the permanently scarring effects of this abomination) and 2) the film is mostly set in Manitoba and promised plenty of Canadian references and jokes. The humour, like almost everything else in Tusk, never works, however. I can count on one hand the number of times I laughed during the film and I was surprised, frankly, that Smith, a man with both a sharp wit and an extensive knowledge of this country (as he'll gladly point out any chance he gets about the latter), stooped to such lazy and predictable jokes about not loving hockey and the word "aboot". Johnny Depp shows up briefly to chew scenery as Guy Lapointe, a quirky Quebec detective constructed entirely of French-Canadian stereotypes that become tiresome very quickly. For further evidence of the film's humour deficiency, the name of the comedy podcast hosted by protagonist Wallace Bryton (played by Justin Long, who goes heavy on the douchebaggery) and his sidekick, Teddy (played by The Sixth Sense's Haley Joel Osment), is "The Not-See Party", whose theme finds the hosts making fun of people they've read about or seen on the internet. That kind of half-assed and witless screen writing also extends to key plot points, like the one that conveniently allows Wallace to contact his friends after being kidnapped by the deranged Howard Howe (played by Michael Parks, who's decent performance is the only thing remotely redeemable about the movie). I could go on about how the supposed big payoff of seeing Wallace transformed into a walrus disappoints mightily with shoddy special effects (the sight of him is slightly disturbing, but not Human Centipede-level disturbing), or how the tease of some much-needed action at the movie's end is practically over before it begins, or how the dreadful final scene provided a fitting end to this turd of a film…but I'm sure you've gotten my point. As I write this, I've gotten six days of distance from watching Tusk and having to revisit it for this review has genuinely made me feel, well, annoyed.

    That annoyance was felt during the screening, too, as a packed audience heavy on Smith fanboys and fangirls at the sizable Bloor Hot Docs Cinema inexplicably laughed and cheered throughout the movie. Normally I stick around for festival Q & A sessions, but as the credits rolled and Tusk was met with rapturous applause, I couldn't head for the exits quickly enough to get as far away as possible from Kevin Smith and anyone who thought his latest film was worthy of such adoration. And fair warning: Smith has two more films in the pipeline that'll complete what he's calling his "True North Trilogy". Yoga Hosers is currently shooting and centres around the pair of surly teenage girl convenience store clerks (played by Smith's and Depp's daughters) that get about five minutes of forgettable screen time in Tusk, to be followed by a Jaws-inspired movie about a killer moose. God help us all.
  • bowmanblue6 August 2015
    5/10
    A film of two halves
    Ah, Kevin Smith – I knew him well (mainly in the nineties during his Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy period). I would always say that he's one hell of a writer of dialogue, whether his work falls straight into the 'comedy' bracket, or he dabbles in other genres, i.e. romance, science-fiction fantasy or horror. And, this time round, he's playing with the 'horror genre.' 'Tusk' tells the tale of a complete idiot (played delightfully by Justin Long). He's a typical product of the modern age – a podcaster with ideas way above his station. Yes, he's a little bit famous, but it appears that a little bit of fame corrupts almost as much as absolute power. He thinks he's 'it' and lets everyone know it, whether it's his co-presenter, his doting girlfriend, or generally anyone he meets along the way.

    One article on his upcoming podcast is an interview with a Canadian 'celebrity' who's also made his name on the internet. Sadly, the 'celebrity' in question is so traumatised with his newfound fame that he kills himself, 'selfishly' leaving our glorious podcaster with nothing to report on while in Canada. That's when he happens upon an interesting offer in a men's restroom. It leads him to a reclusive hermit, played brilliantly by Michael Parks, who offers to tell him his life's story.

    This is the fun part. The interaction between the two is just about as perfect as dialogue can be. The two exchange tales and taken on life in the setting of Park's Gothic mansion. The tension is cranked right up to the max – you know something is going to happen (something bad, obviously), but you just don't know what. This atmosphere is just electrifying when combined with the snappy dialogue. Everything is going great until...

    ...the film just kind of switches atmosphere and great dialogue for cheap shocks. And shocks that look pretty bad rather than shocking. The second half of the film is everything that the first half isn't, i.e. cheesy. Yeah, there are a few moments of brilliance thrown in there, but, when you realise what's actually happening, you'll probably just shout, 'What... seriously?' It just doesn't work. It feels like someone has tacked a second (lesser) film onto a good one. If I was rating the first half I'd say it was awesome. If I was rating the second half I'd say don't bother. Fans of Kevin Smith may like the dialogue (like I did), but most people will not really go for this on account of the sudden change in mood that doesn't fit where the film was originally heading.

    Best to watch this one for free however you can before you invest in actually paying for it. Some people may find the second half as shocking as it was intended. Personally, I just found it a let down and stupid. Pity.
  • catofnimes19 March 2015
    7/10
    You'll find yourself saying 'What am I watching' more than once
    Well what can I say, Tusk is a film of it's own. The premise of the film is Justin Long being turned into a patch- work walrus. It is a hit or miss film, you either love it or hate it.

    Justin Longs acting in this film is great, but the film had a lot of jumping around and doesn't feel fluid with it's character arcs. It aims to be a dark comedy and I did find myself chuckling at some parts in the film, I equally found myself saying 'What am I watching' just as often. There isn't really much character development in the movie, but you do grow attached to Justin Longs character by the end of the film. The actual walrus when you see it is slightly disturbing.

    I genuinely felt slightly upset at the end of the film, but I felt as though the film could have been written better. If there was a more fluid feel to the scenes, and more development on the characters then this film would be getting better ratings.

    The overall story is original, the acting is great, but as a final product it feels very rushed and choppy. I enjoyed tusk and think that it is underrated and being played off as 'too weird'

    Yes, it's a weird film but it's trying to be different and is a nice change of pace from most horror films these days. If you want a film that will make you genuinely say 'WTF' at the end, tusk is for you. If you're going into this film expecting a good horror film, you're going to be disappointed.
  • Red_Identity5 December 2014
    Wow
    Between this and Red State, Smith really doesn't seem to have any idea of how to mix comedy and horror well together. All he knows how to do is make one half of each film horror and the other half comedy without successfully finding a balance. Tusk's first half is better than all of Red State, but that second half is just... wow. Depp usually annoys me and this was no exception. Parks was very good but ultimately one can't rise above this sort of material. Oh sure, much of the first half was effective and so I'm giving it points for that, but wow as it goes on. Nonsensical dialogue that doesn't work and preposterous scenes that aren't amusing or funny.
  • Puffer Bluntman5 December 2014
    1/10
    Kevin Smith makes Human Centipede
    I haven't enjoyed a moment of this movie.

    I am sick to death of torture porn and I'm sick to death of critics claiming these movies to be "social commentary" on all sorts of things. And man do critics love that sort of shtick, starting with Salo and ending with Red State.

    And people saying that this movie is not to be taken seriously - you know, when a movie is bad, it's not necessarily 'ironically bad', sometimes it's just bad.

    When something is funny - I don't have to pretend it's funny and go into it with a certain mindset. Like I don't have to look at this sick crap and pretend that it is somehow funny.

    It's too silly to be a horror flick and too disturbing to be a comedy. It's like a bad joke.
  • nomass7330 September 2014
    1/10
    Do not waste your money!!
    Warning: Spoilers
    Semi-Spoiler (But not really)

    Horrible movie, My wife and I walked out before the end. First it was boring with predictable jokes and plots. Then after a half hour you just get to listen to Justin Log scream for the rest of the movie.... That I saw anyway!! Do not waste your time!!, wait till it's free somewhere. Truly sad, I am a fan of Kevin Smith's work but this was off the mark!

    I hope the next horror movie that Kevin Creates is worth the time to see it!!

    If you truly have nothing else to do and no where else to go and looking to waste money..... just burn the cash!
  • Holly Bishop29 January 2015
    1/10
    I Wish I Could Unsee This Film...
    There are few films that I dislike to such an extent where I would actually pay a considerable price for a crazy scientist to lobotomise the part of my brain which remembers it. Tusk is one.

    But in the interest of being 'fair' I'll begin with the positives. Sorry, positive. The acting, in majority, is OK. (Johnny Depp, I presume, can only have agreed to partake as a joke or because he actually doesn't care about his reputation anymore).

    Right, now the pleasantries are to one side I can continue. So think of Human Centipede. Gross right? Crass? Tusk is a whole new level of vile. Don't believe the tempting notion that this is based on a true story, supposedly Kevin Smith and his mate where discussing a Gumtree add which advertised free living if the lodger agreed to dress as a walrus...

    The thing that irritated me the most about this film, aside from the insanely non-funny comedic elements and special effects that look as though the production company allowed the intern free-rein of the art room, is the ending. I won't ruin it, anyone who sits through the entirety of the film without throwing up or crying or trying to scratch their eyes out will need to see it in order to confirm how ridiculous and awful it really is (honestly).

    All in all I'm not sure whether I really 'get' what this film is meant to represent. And by this I simply mean that maybe I'm not weird enough to appreciate it.
  • madelinebelfonte22 December 2014
    1/10
    Kevin Smith is an Asshole
    Warning: Spoilers
    I'm just going to list the reasons this movie is bad:

    -The concept for this movie isn't really good. Many times with horror movies you hear, "oh, it was a good concept, though," but with this movie, even the concept doesn't really make sense. A guy wants to turn another guy into the walrus that "saved him" as a young man. What?

    -This movie contains a ridiculous amount of dialogue. It's a horror movie; it doesn't require that much dialogue.

    -Justin Long does not belong in horror movies.

    -There's a pretty significant gap in this movie. We go from Justin Long with no legs and arms fused to shoulders to full on Justin Long in walrus suit. I mean, the walrus suit was discussed in earlier parts of the movie, but I feel like I missed something. There was no scene where Justin Long was being put into the walrus suit. It just left me confused.

    -Speaking of the walrus suit - it is made of random pieces of people. All of the pieces appear to be in similar states of decomposition, which doesn't make sense. We know he didn't kill every one at once. Also, isn't he trying to make Justin Long look like a walrus? When he's in the suit, he looks more like a quilt than a walrus.

    -Speaking of the body parts - at the end of the movie, Justin Long decides to stay a walrus... What? Why would you want to stay a walrus? And not even just the suit, he wants live in a walrus habitat and eat raw fish. Dude, I get that your sort of stuck like that, but why go, as the movie puts it, "full walrus?"

    -Speaking of the fact that he wants to stay a walrus - I don't think he legally can stay a walrus. This suit he is in is made out of murdered people. Isn't that evidence? Wouldn't you have to ask the family if you can keep the arm skin or face (yes, there are faces on it) of your loved on that's been killed? This one really got to me... this doesn't seem legal. And also, even if he didn't want to be fixed, wouldn't they try to remove the walrus suit since it contains the human remains of murder victims?

    -Johnny Depp is in this movie. Why does he have such a small part?

    -Justin Long's character is such an asshole. Why did his friends even go after him?
  • chris-8326 December 2014
    1/10
    Read my spoiler review now so you'll know why to avoid this movie
    Warning: Spoilers
    So Wallas has been missing for three days, and his two friends each receive a creepy phone message that he has been abducted and his life is in danger. Wouldn't the immediate action be to go to the local police, file a report, and start getting cell phone records of the last broadcast location? Instead we see the two flying out to Canada, making a few stops, talking to some people, and then going to the police. And they just brush it off instead of, again, doing the obvious thing and finding the last location of the cell phone. One simple throw-away line ("We can request the records, but it may take days") would have sufficed. Instead, we're led to believe that all of these people are operating in a world of technology from 1955.

    And when they do find the car half-sunken in a nearby stream, nobody's first reaction is to immediately call the police to send out a search party. Don't any of these people have cell phones with roaming capabilities? Clearly there's a cell tower nearby if their friend was able to use his phone.

    How could they have made this whole f-ing movie, and not one person ever brought up this painfully obvious point?
  • MovieLover OhYeah2 January 2015
    1/10
    what the F did I just watch
    Warning: Spoilers
    If I could have given this movie negative stars, I would have. This was accidentally rented after my Mother tried to rent Horns, and mixed her words, and came out with Tusk. We did not catch this until about an hour into the movie, in which the man was mutilated and turned in to nothing but an innocent walrus. Then, the movie had the audacity to end as the man being left in a walrus cage, at a wildlife conservatory, being fed a raw fish, by his love. Not only do the sounds of the human thing still ring in my ears, but I am having a hard time looking at a picture of any walrus, and I fear that I will never be able to look at one again. I am truly mortified that I watched this film and I do not understand how it was made. On the same note, it's going to be fantastic recommending this total psychopathic movie to all of my friends, and waiting to see their reactions. Thank you Kevin Smith for ruining walruses. And any future zoo trips. I'm going to ask you kindly to never create another animal movie while on drugs, especially about giraffes.
  • KC Quinn24 December 2014
    1/10
    I agree with many others - don't waste your time or money!
    Warning: Spoilers
    You gotta be kidding. What was this? I know everyone is looking for something new, fresh, different in their story lines but this wasn't it.

    This movie is really bad in every way. It was listed as a comedy/drama/horror. Definitely labelled incorrectly. Maybe a fantasy/horror, even though it did not instill fear. Not fair to release a movie and list it as something it is not as the viewers expect something totally different and they don't get it. If I want to view a comedy I expect it to be one.

    And I know this is a very small point and does not affect the outcome in any way but I am so tired of watching movies that when taking place in Canada they have all Canadians speaking as if they were in the movie Fargo. Small or large I would at least try to make everything as accurate as possible. If a movie has a lot of errors it gives one the impression it was just thrown together. It was very distracting listening to the ridiculous fake accent. Maybe this was the comedy portion.

    The worst ending possible. There were many ways this movie could have ended. Are we to believe this is how everyone's life continued? No attempt made to correct anything? Why not just stop the movie half way through.

    Justin Long sure has been in a lot of stinker movies as of late. He should be more careful when choosing work in the future or his career will soon be gone.
  • Megan Chamberlin6 December 2014
    1/10
    Really bad DO NOT WASTE MONEY!!!
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is one of the worst movies i've ever seen. Very unrealistic, and just really unusual. The walrus the serial killer creates towards the end looks very unrealistic and also some of the situations in the movie are very unrealistic such as when Wallace is calling his girlfriend saying that he needs help. Wouldn't you think he would be calling 911 before anyone else? Also at the end of the movie Wallace is put into a zoo.. I don't think that he would live through any of that and even if he did, why would they put a human being who was turned into a walrus into a zoo? I don't know how this was ever put into theaters. I'm warning you, do not waste your money or time on this.
  • kluseba25 February 2015
    8/10
    An innovating cult movie for decades to come
    ''Tusk'' is a movie that goes off the beaten paths. It's a potential cult movie which will be adored by some and despised by others for decades to come. It's almost impossible to have a neutral or no opinion on this controversial movie. It's not a question about getting it or not, it's simply a matter of personal tastes.

    The story is quickly told. An American pod-cast host ends up in the isolated mansion of an old seaman in Manitoba who wants to share some stories about his life. One gets to know that the old fool is in fact a dangerous serial killer who despises mankind because he got intimidated, raped and tortured by the society after the brutal killing of his parents. The only thing that has ever shown respect to him was a walrus that saved him from a shipwreck in Northern Russia. In order to survive on an isolated island, the serial killer had to make the decision to kill his saviour just hours before he got saved. He regrets that decision and in order to relive this pivotal moment in his life again and to take revenge on a society that made him suffer all life long, the serial killer kidnaps, mutilates and tortures young men to transform them into walruses. While the imprisoned pod-cast host gets now mentally and physically unstable and begins more and more to act like a wild animal, his grounded partner and his cheating girlfriend realize that he is in danger. They arrive in Canada and team up with a drug addict and ex-police officer from Quebec to save their friend or what remains of his human body and soul.

    The film is a grotesque that mixes black comedy, drama, horror and thriller elements all at once. The movie has many changes of tone. When you see the two main characters fooling around, the tone is humorous. A few moments later, you assist a burial after a suicide and the tone gets accusatory. The movie then cuts to an actress who is crying her heart out and complains about her cheating boyfriend as the tone gets depressing. Seconds later, she herself cheats on her boyfriend and the whole scene suddenly feels ironical. This film is filled with these fascinating changes of tones. You constantly change your mind about the different characters as well. The main character looks like a superficial idiot during his show in the beginning of the movie. His partner looks like the friendlier and smarter guy. His girlfriend looks like a confident, faithful and serious person. The villain of the story looks like an innocent old fool. Thirty minutes later, the main character has some intellectual dialogues and proves that he is not as dumb as one might have thought. His partner betrays his best friend by sleeping with his girlfriend who suddenly looks fragile, superficial and unfaithful. The old fool has become an intimidating criminal with a horrible past.

    It's not just the tone that changes, the overall mood also does. What starts as a juvenile comedy movie in the key of ''The Interview'' turns into a bleak body horror film like ''The Human Centipede'', gets a touch of a crime comedy movie like ''Good Cop, Bad Cop'' and becomes an existential and nearly philosophical drama like the ending of ''I Saw The Devil'' for example.

    Those who say that this movie is bland, superficial and thoughtless are wrong. This movie has more memorable scenes than ten others together. It's a matter of taste whether you like these scenes or not. The scenes of the burial and the close-up on the crying girlfriend shook me up. The ring-tone of the main character's cell phone and the weird dialogue between the French Canadian police officer and the serial killer in front of a shack made me laugh out loud. The torture scenes in the old mansion and the closing part in a zoo made me feel disgust, horror and sadness at once.

    The movie also includes many cultural elements in a humorous way. The idea of including the topic of Duplessis' orphans in the movie was brilliant and shows that the makers of the movie know what they are talking about. The food topic and especially the details about poutines in the movie were completely absurd and hilarious at the same time. The discussions about hockey and especially the Quebec Nordiques were the best jokes about Quebeckers I have ever heard and I have witnessed many lukewarm attempts.

    I'm going to admit that this movie is difficult. Those who are looking for a typical American comedy movie might get shocked by the explicit torture scenes. Those who are looking for a sinister body horror film may not dig the humorous parts. This film is not for closed-minded and light-hearted people who just want to get entertained. This movie will haunt you long after it ended in one way or another. All the things mentioned above make this film something really special. It's one of the few movies that still try to innovate at all costs. The more I think about the movie, the more I appreciate it and feel like watching it over and over again. If my review intrigued you and you consider yourself an open-minded and tough cineast, I can only warmly recommend you this incredibly entertaining mixture of the joyful and the woeful. For anyone else, try this at your own costs but don't tell me I didn't warn you.
  • elwartowski7 January 2015
    1/10
    First ever review: "Artists" trying to out "artist" each other
    By the time I reached the end I felt like I was a third person in a room with some actors and Hollywood people trying to impress each other with how artistic they could be. Johnny Depp makes sure to remind the viewers that he likes to be strange, the conversation between Depp's character and Parks seems like they are ad libbing and trying to one up each other with each line to see who could say the strangest thing.

    The movie is basically a joke on the viewer. One of those, you had to be there, types of things that was probably funny for a few minutes. I see that the whole movie took only 15 days. I am not surprised because I think if they had taken any longer they would have realized that maybe it wasn't such a good idea.

    I'm sure people who like the movie probably like it more because of reviews like this and how I just don't "get it". I get it, you took a funny ad, made fun of it, had some viewers say that it would be funny if it was a movie, then had fun making a horrible movie. Doesn't make it any more entertaining for someone watching.

    Usually I can tell when a movie is about artists trying to prove how artistic they can be when the main character is a writer. The main character as a DJ threw me off.
  • flotime4 December 2014
    1/10
    Didn't think Kevin Smith had it in him
    What can I say except it was a vast disappointment and that seems like an understatement. It starts out great and really draws you in. The characters are good and enjoyable. Then the second half of the movie reveals what's in store and I lost all interest in the movie. I stuck it out against my better judgment only to eventually question my judgment.

    You can read the plot line and the other reviews and get an idea what the movie was about so I'm not going to go on about it. One reviewer said it best when he compared this to Human Centipede. Don't say you were not warned.
  • begob2 December 2014
    1/10
    Fascinating
    Warning: Spoilers
    I enjoyed the first half of this.

    Took me a while to get past my annoyance at the lead character's smarm, but the back story of how he'd changed and the twist with his cheating girlfriend and buddy made it interesting. The old guy was good and spooky, his menace growing, and the story looked like it could deliver more than a padded out spoof horror-short.

    Then some idiot turned up in a beret and rambled on pointlessly in a Peter Sellers voice, there were more funny voices, a perfunctory investigation and conflict, and a postscript where everyone obviously thought it was so absurd it had to be entertaining.

    Then I looked at the credits. Kevin Smith and Jonny Who? Fcuk me!
  • brando64720 August 2015
    7/10
    #WalrusYes -- Kevin Smith Has Gone Insane (and it's Wicked Fun)
    I am biased in the realm of Kevin Smith movies so, for the record, my thoughts on TUSK are probably going to be a little more forgiving that what I believe is the general consensus (this movie gotten beaten down on Rotten Tomatoes). I've been a fan of Kevin Smith for years and I know I'll always give his movies a chance. Since the completion of his Jersey series (the Jay/Silent Bob era), his movies have certainly been hit and miss. None have been able to recapture the same level of fun but many have come close. TUSK is one of them. I love the Smith has reached a point where he's not trying to reach general audiences, opting instead to make movies for his existing fans. He's not afraid to go wild with a bizarre idea if it sounds like it could be fun. TUSK is the first film in what will be a trilogy of films set in Canada and opens with our introduction to Wallace Bryton (Justin Long). Wallace is a podcaster with his best friend Teddy (Haley Joel Osment), living a successful life of producing his zany web show and failing to be faithful to his beautiful long-time girlfriend Ally (Genesis Rodriguez). He sets off alone into a remote area of Manitoba for an interview bit and finds a story in the mysterious Howard Howe (Michael Parks). Howard has lived a life of adventure and wishes to share his tale of sailing the sea, meeting Ernest Hemingway, and forming a friendship with a walrus on a deserted island….

    TUSK is a horror/comedy but it really struggles to fully function in either capacity. It finds a decent balance and I thought it was a weird, fun movie but it's never all that scary or funny enough. This isn't much of an issue for me because the movie's insane premise keeps it interesting and the performances, particularly Michael Parks, are so well done. The biggest problem with TUSK is actually the main character, Wallace. Not the performance; Justin Long does an awesome job. The actual character. Wallace is thoroughly unlikable. He's dismissive of his girlfriend and early scenes show how little he cares about her outside the bedroom. He proudly brags about his infidelities to his best friend/fellow podcaster Teddy, and he's got no moral qualms with taking advantage of others for the sake of producing his show. He's crude, self- centered, and arrogant and, when he finds himself in a horrifying situation, I had zero sympathy for him. Go ahead, Mr. Howe. Wallace deserves it; he already lacks any humanity. So right there, the movie is lacking suspense because I don't care what happens to our protagonist. I care more about Ally and Teddy who, despite how much of a jerk Wallace is, still rush off to Canada to find him when they learn he's in trouble. The real star (and most people seem to agree) is Michael Parks. His raving zealot character in Smith's RED STATE has got nothing on Howard Howe. He gets to go full- blown lunatic in TUSK. He starts off seemingly harmless: an old man in an electric wheelchair with a flair for elegant (if awkward) speech and a desire to share his stories with an interested party. But soon he drops the pretense, reveals his true self, and goes off the chain. It's almost hilarious but you know, if you were trapped alone with this man in the middle of nowhere, you were be scared out of your mind.

    What I enjoy most about TUSK is that it was done on a super-low budget and has to get creative as a result. That means practical effects. No CG. Any film using practical makeup FX is going to earn bonus points with me. We all know what's coming from the start of the movie and we're waiting anxiously for it. When the suit finally makes its appearance halfway through the film, it does not disappoint. Of course it's going to look fake. I don't care about that. It's a physical prop with presence and weight, it's hideous, it's a little funny, and it works 100% for me. The suit comes out. The walrus training begins. Things get weird. Meanwhile, Ally and Teddy are on the case and, for a while, their story is the more interesting one. Their adventure in Canada to investigate Wallace's disappearance leads them to an encounter late in the film with the film's second strangest character Guy Lapointe. I hated the character the first time I watched TUSK, thinking him too goofy for the film, but he'd grown on me by the second viewing. A former police investigator who's gone solo in his investigation of the weird series of missing persons in Manitoba, he's a surprise cameo (if you've managed to avoid spoilers) that is going to play a larger role in the second film of Smith's Canada film trilogy. I'm annoyed that he shows up so late in the game and it feels like it leads to a rushed conclusion to end the film. The first hour or so of the movie is very slowly paced and then it all gets wrapped up in a quickie of a climax at the finish.

    TUSK is a movie for Kevin Smith fans and I'm sure not all of them are going to dig it. It's a movie for people with a taste for the weird. It's got good (some great) performances, awesomely disturbing makeup FX, and Smith's unique style of writing running through it. Smith fans will probably have already sought this movie out, but I recommend others give it a shot as well.
  • Nicole of ArchonCinemaReviews.com22 December 2014
    9/10
    Bound to be polarizing - it's twisted and perverse, but very Smith-esque
    Kevin Smith's vanity film Tusk is sure to be polarizing: either you will love it or hate it, there won't be any gray area. Archon Cinema Reviews happen to love it's crazy ass.

    Tusk is a half comedy and half horror film where podcaster Wallace Bryton goes missing while in Canada out looking for content for his radio show.

    Wallace's cringe-humor podcast with his best friend Teddy revolves around Wallace going out interviewing zany people and then telling Teddy about it, the podcast is aptly called the Not-See Party. Wallace ventures out to the great white north of Canada to the boonies of Manitoba for an especially gnarly story. When it falls through, Wallace finds a plan-B and decides to interview this odd and mysterious seafarer Howard Howe. At this point Tusk turns from straight comedy to straight horror when Wallace goes MIA and his BFF and girlfriend Allison team up to look for him.

    If you don't know the idea behind Tusk, Kevin Smith came up with it while talking on his own podcast with his own friend. Can the film be more of a vanity project under these circumstances? I don't think so! Smith makes the film he wants with complete disregard for appeasing the viewers – and it pays off big for his fans and others who are simply dark and twisty in their gooey center.

    Tusk is neither comedic-horror or horrific-comedy and a clear and defined line can be drawn (or spliced) in the film where the two shant meet. The first thirty minutes contain joke after masterful joke playing into American stereotypes of Canadians and Canadia in general. The latter portion making up about an hour of the film is perverse horror. It is unnerving and unsettling with completely weird and off-kilter imagery.

    Justin Long, who plays Wallace, is the quintessential American who just can't keep his mouth shut and is marvelous. Michael Parks was made to play serial killer Howard Howe and both Long and Parks are perfect together. Relative newcomer to mainstream audiences Genesis Rodriguez is smart, beautiful and most importantly believably real as Allison, girlfriend to the consummate nerd that is Wallace. Even Haley Joel Osment is the perfect beta-geek as Wallace's bestie Teddy. There is an A-lister in Tusk that I think should remain a surprise cameo until you watch the film. With that said, Kevin Smith's Tusk definitely could have done without it and it was a massive distraction that cheapened the horror half of the film. If you heard about the cameo then you should know who I am talking about.

    Kevin Smith's Tusk is a film for the oddball freaks, when it comes down to it, but nobody can say it's not original. A good litmus test as to whether Tusk will be your cup of tea, in our opinion: If you like the 1981 original The Evil Dead or From Dusk Till Dawn's overboard but fresh take on their associated genres (especially when they were initially released and before they garnered cult-like acclaim) then you probably won't dislike Tusk.

    Check out our WEBSITE for all the 2014 horrors and recent releases reviews in FULL.
  • jerhood1 January 2015
    1/10
    Walrus NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    If there was an award for the worst conceived and more importantly manufactured movie of all time this would be at the utmost top of my list. I have seen other reviewers say that this one shows the depth of what happens when a pothead gets the ability to make his own movies, as an avid smoker of the greenery and a semi fan of Kevin Smith I take offense to this analogy. This is just a piece o' crap movie and weed shouldn't take the blame for it or the act of being a "pothead".

    It really amazed me more that he convinced any legitimate actor to take part in the steaming pile of horse's anal relief. Justin Long doesn't knock them out of the park every time he takes on a role but how on god's great earth did he ever get talked into this, and I won't even try to figure out how the talk went that convinced Johnny Depp to get involved ... Do actors ever watch the crap they produce before its released, I would be truly embarrassed if I were even an extra in this piece of monkey spunk.

    Lastly I have seen other reviews that compare this to The Human Centipede, I see how you can come to that comparison and I absolutely hated The Human Centipede, but its an Oscar winning movie in comparison to Tusk. As ridiculous as both concepts are for anything including a movie that's supposed to be somewhat entertaining, at least The Human Centipede tried to take itself somewhat seriously. Tusk try's to add levity to itself from time to time and fails at that as horribly as it does in turning a human into a walrus believably.

    I didn't toss in a lot of the spoilers and specifics I would like to because I hate reading reviews that pick apart the details of a movie I haven't seen, and there are PLENTY of other reviews here that already have done that. If you want some specifics read those, most of the ones that give it a 1 star rating are spot on. I am also not writing this in hopes that someone curious to watch it will be deterred from doing so, mainly because I watched this piece of monkey spunk so so should you if your curious. This is my personal F*CK YOU letter to Kevin Smith and anyone involved in this crap-fest of a movie. You could have fed a starving village in Africa with the money you wasted on something that should have never been produced. I truly hope this movie damages your career.

    Love, A former fan
  • Madison Lane19 September 2014
    1/10
    Do NOT see this movie.
    The beginning of the movie started out great and definitely had potential to be one of Kevin Smith's greater movies, and a movie that could be watched by anyone who was generally into horrors. However, after a certain point very early on, the movie stops being scary, and becomes extremely difficult to take seriously. It wasn't even so bad that it was funny, it was just absolutely terrible. This is the worst movie I have ever seen in my life, which is a hard thing for me to say, since I'm a fan of many of Kevin Smith's movies. Save yourself the trouble and watch a different movie. You will be better off not seeing it.
  • LTSmash149 September 2014
    8/10
    Tuhhherrrrifying
    Warning: Spoilers
    Brilliant.

    This movie was "about" a young pod-cast host who gets kidnapped while visiting Manitoba, Canada to do an interview, and is tormented and tortured by a man who wants to turn him into a Walrus he credits with saving his life.

    But this movie is about America's perception of Canada, a satirical perception Canadians have of Canada, and a hilarious bringing to life of an idea hashed out on a pod-cast with Kevin Smith.

    I laughed start to finish. The comedy, as you can expect, is amazing. If you're Canadian, even more so (the subtle Canadian jokes were unreal). But at the same time, the movie is terrifying bordering on disturbing. And even in the terrifying scenes, there is some subtlety in them that is hilarious.

    So brilliant. So well done. So fun!
  • Sockfilms29 September 2014
    5/10
    The Tusk Identity Crisis
    Warning: Spoilers
    In some ways "Tusk" succeeds as a comedy. I found myself laughing at a lot of the films jokes and there seemed to be a LOT of intentional humor there. The problem was that as the movie progressed the line between what was intentionally funny and what was not got shady.

    Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe this movie had it's silver linings. This movie had two AWESOME performances in it from Michael Parks and Johnny Depp.

    Parks just seems to pour his heart and soul into his role as the eccentric, psychotic Howard Howe. His stories and monologues are spoken with absolute conviction and believability. He's interesting to boot. Heck, you even believe he would be the type a guy to deform a human being into the form of a walrus.

    And Johnny Depp (as he always does when Tim Burton isn't involved) knocks it out of the park with his performance. He is truly funny in my opinion and vanishes into his role as detective Guy Lapointe. The movie's weakness however is it's very premise: a man being surgically transformed into... a walrus.

    The movie kind of dropped off the rails for me, and I believe the rest of the theater whenever the big walrus reveal happened. Here it was, the big moment, the reveal the movie has been thrusting with full momentum towards since the first second AND.... laughter from all around me. I mean what else can I say? It looks as ridiculous as it sounds, and it became very distracting because every time I tried getting back into the illusion the walrus would pop back up, the people behind me would start laughing, and I'd be right out of the illusion again.

    The movie suffers from an identity crisis. It's marketed as a "more cuddly "Human Centipede"", but at least "Human Centipede" knew what it was. A gross-out horror film. It is not by any means a good film, but it's easy to stay focused and not get distracted. "Tusk" is just as disfigured as it's Justin-Long-Walrus-Monster...Thing. It talks like a comedy, it walks like a comedy, but something about the tone is trying desperately to be a horror film. For this reason, I think the film would have benefited from going full balls-to-the-wall comedy.

    As I was saying to my fiancée last night, I am a Kevin Smith whore and I want to support everything the man does. I loved "Red State" and thought the film was a masterpiece. I mean that 100% and could argue for it all day. "Tusk", however, just kind of left me, I'll admit, a little confused about how to feel. I still love Kevin Smith and will continue to support what he puts out, but for now I have to say #WalrusNo.
  • LordNooth25 October 2014
    6/10
    Not up to the Tusk
    I wanted to love this movie. I thought the concept was hilarious, scary, and just nuts enough to work. But I have to admit, I was disappointed - it wasn't anywhere near as good as I'd hoped it would be.

    While the horror element was definitely there, I felt the humour didn't quite match up. Yes it was funny, but it could have been a lot funnier (though I might have felt this way because I was more annoyed than amused by a certain cop character...).

    It was also a little too long. There were some scenes that could have been trimmed down or cut altogether, and that lost it a star for me.

    I know a lot of people have said you either love or hate this film, but I'm sitting in the middle of the road, leaning towards "love" because there was so much of this that worked -- the acting, the script, the cinematography, the subtlety of some of the jokes. But for me it just wasn't enough to scrape a higher rating.

    If you want to see something truly wacky and disturbing, with just enough "wtf" moments to make it funny, then go and see this film. Whether or not you liked it, you'll still walk out of the theatre going, "The hell did I just watch?"
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.