Wednesday, 9 March 2016

"I am the walrus..."

Kevin Smith is a director probably best known for his cult classic low budget indie flick, Clerks, and for the creation of his two most famous characters - Jay and Silent Bob - who appear in many of his films; Silent Bob being played by Smith himself!
Recent years though have seen the director attempting to reinvent both himself and his career - most notably with his horror debut, Tusk.

Tusk received largely mixed reviews upon release, which probably goes a long way to explaining why it took me so long to actually sit down and watch it, despite me being a big Kevin Smith fan. 
Reminiscent of themes explored by the much more controversial Human Centipede films (none of which I have yet seen but that I know of through reputation alone), Tusk tells the story of a man obsessed with his past, and of turning a human being into a walrus through the means of cosmetic surgery.

A U.S podcast host, Wallace Bryton, who makes his living taking the mickey out of Internet 'celebrities', travels to Canada to interview one of his latest victims, only to discover he has arrived a day too late and that the unfortunate young man in question has already taken his own life. 
Faced with the very real prospect of going home without a big story, Wallace cruises to a local bar and there in the men's room spies a curious poster. An eccentric old man is asking for a lodger to help around the house in exchange for room, board and the old man telling the story of his life which he promises to have been a great adventure. 
Intrigued, Wallace goes to check out the old man and his stories but soon finds himself drugged and at the mercy of his captor who he quickly discovers is insane. 
Even then, he has no idea of the fate that lays in store for his friends begin searching for him, will they arrive in time?

This is a great movie. Odd, but great.
At one point, Johnny Depp turns up as an ineffective Detective in a star turn as what can only be described as an Inspector Clouseau style character, determined to help Wallace's two friends.

Yes, that's right, I did say Johnny Depp.

He interviews Kevin Smith's real life daughter, starring as a convenience store clerk (notice a theme), in one of my favourite scenes of the film, and fans of this movie will be pleased to know that a plan is in place for her and her friend to return in Smith's next movie - intended to be a follow-up to this film and set in the same universe - alongside the return of Johnny Depp's character here.

At first, I didn't know what to make of Tusk. 
Even after it was finished, I was left scratching my head.
Was it mad, or was it genius? I really wasn't sure and probably still aren't even now, even as I sit here typing this review.

What I do know is that Kevin Smith's Tusk is a highly underrated piece of cinema and I have little doubt, that in years to come, this will be remembered just as fondly as Clerks is now - which itself was originally considered something of an oddity on its initial release.

A strong 4 out of 5 stars!!

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