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article imageKevin Smith's Tusk is a creepy tour of a warped mind Special

By David Silverberg     Sep 18, 2014 in Entertainment
Without a doubt, Tusk is one of the most ridiculous movies I've ever seen, but this horror film has such a stellar cast, the acting elevates Kevin Smith's latest into a memorable piece of cinema that stays with you for a long time.
The premise is so twisted you almost wonder if Tusk will take itself seriously: L.A. podcaster Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) goes missing in the backwoods of Manitoba, Canada while interviewing a mysterious man named Howard Howe, and later realizes Howe is a psychopath who wants to turn Bryton into a walrus.
Yes. A walrus. With tusks and whiskers and webbed hands.
Howe, played by Twin Peak's Michael Parks, carries a maniacal posture that few actors could pull off successfully. He is a delight to watch, as much as you want to hate him for going full-psycho on Bryton. The best scenes include Howe trying to quell his laughter when he makes up an explanation to Bryton about why he's suddenly wheelchair-bound.
Kevin Smith, best known for Clerks and Chasing Amy, dips his toes into horror once again with Tusk, an area he explored with the violent Red State. But here, flashes of humour pepper the movie perfectly, most notably poking fun at Canadian culture such as poutine and Degrassi. Smith's writing crackles off the page, while Parks' acting (and a surprise cameo from an A-lister) take a silly premise into terrifying territory.
A scene from the Kevin Smith movie Tusk
A scene from the Kevin Smith movie Tusk
Via Tusk
A sub-plot about Long's girlfriend trying to save him with best friend Teddy (Haley Joel Osment of The Sixth Sense fame) feels a bit tiresome, but Smith likely realized the audience needed a mental break from the chills we experience during the Howe-Bryton relationship.
Tusk is the kind of campy movie that remains with you for days, if not weeks. I'm still thinking about the wild transformation Long undergoes, and how his mental breakdown is so completely convincing, you begin to recognize how a serial killer like Howe could likely exist. Smith might not be known for director horror films, but with Tusk, he might be polishing his reputation with another impressive accolade.
Tusk opens September 19 in the U.S.
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