Photo Credit Hollywoodintoto.com From Left Justin Long as Wallace Bryton and Right Michael parks as Howard Howe in Kevin Smith’s” Tusk”
What started out as just a bizarre Gumtree ad, which then led to a hilarious 90-minute podcast from Jay and Silent Bob filmmaker Kevin Smith This oddball ad Also had the benefit of inspiring him to write the screenplay for his next film Tusk, a horror/satire about a man who claims to have lived a long and adventurous life, but seeks to turn any wayward scoundrel into the Walrus that saved his life many years ago. A couple of years prior to finding this ad, Kevin smith announced at Sundance that he was “done” and had “Nothing left to say” as Red State premiered. However, finding that goofy ad must’ve been like finding hidden treasure on an island. Tusk is easily Smith’s best film since he began his career as a filmmaker with Clerks in 1994.
Wallace Brighton (Justin Long) a popular podcaster on the rise, heads to Canada to interview “the Kill Bill Kid” (Douglas Banks), The “Kid” has been the conversation of many podcasts and Wallace wants to know more about him. As he has cut off his leg in one of his many videos with a samurai sword. Upon arrival in Winnipeg Wallace finds that the “Kid” has killed himself with the same samurai sword he axed his leg off with. Now without a story Wallace hits a nearby bar to drown his sorrows and upon using the bathroom discovers an ad about a man looking to give shelter for simply listening to his many “stories”. Wallace immediately calls him and gets a quick response and heads further up north to meet him. Once there the man of mystery reveals himself as Howard Howe (Michael Parks) and what starts as a nice “get to know you” conversation takes a dark turn as Wallace continues to ask questions and make quick conversation as if not really that interested.
As a couple days go by Wallace’s girlfriend Ali (Genesis Rodriguez) and podcasting Partner Teddy (Haley Joel Osment) begin to wonder what happened to him. Wallace claims that he was just flying out for the day and would be back within no time. However, they receive a message from Wallace in distress and fly up to Canada to begin looking for him. They ask the local authorities and a detective played hilariously by Smith’s Hollywood babble on partner Ralph Garmin. The two friends finally find inspector Guy LuPonte (Johnny Depp), a man who has been searching for what he calls “The Walrus serial killer” his entire life and thinks he knows what happened to Wallace.
As Michael Parks’ introductory scene is something to remember and one can’t help but notice that he seems to be channeling his Earl McGraw from Quentin Tarrantino’s Kill Bill. “Cute is for Chinese Babies, my companion is beautiful!” Parks declares as he delivers Smith’s elegant dialogue about loving the walrus. In many scenes Justin Long just seems to cynical and on the borderline of making several jokes, but never fallows through with them, Haley Joel Osment just seems to be here for the ride as even Genesis Rodriguez pours life into the film with her feeling’s about Wallace’s infidelity.
Tusk is one hell of a fun ride and is probably the best-directed film Kevin Smith has ever produced. The Gumtree article may have been an elaborate prank, but out of it came something that will be remembered and not easily forgotten. Smith is currently directing the follow up to Tusk entitled Yoga Hosers. Starring his daughter Harley Quinn and her school friend Lily Rose-Depp, daughter of Johnny Depp. Who both made appearances as clerks at the Convenience store Wallace stopped in asking for directions on his way to Bi-Frost.
Photo Credit :UsaToday.com From Left Harley Quinn and Lily Rose-Depp in Kevin Smith’s “Tusk”.