“What. The. \m/. Did. I. Just. Watch.

I honestly can’t believe that this movie is real, created by a respectable team of filmmakers. I’ve seen a lot of weird movies and I’ve seen a lot of crap movies, but never has the Venn Diagram of the two connected over so large an area. Just, what the, huh?

Justin Long plays Wallace, a podcaster who interviews interesting people and then recounts his travels with a friend on their show Not See Party. Wallace finds himself in Canada, trying to salvage a trip gone wrong when he finds a flyer from Mr Howe. Mr Howe claims to have a room available to rent in exchange for help with household upkeep and being able to share tales from his full and adventurous life. Wallace seeks him out, thinking he’d be a perfect subject for his show. He finds out Mr Howe was once a sailor, and he had a spiritual connection with a walrus. And then, things get weird. Not just weird. \m/ up like I’ve never seen.

Would you believe that this comes to us from Kevin Smith. Yeah, Silent Bob has continued to branch out from his comedic bread and butter, and tries to give us a horror comedy. Although I think it’s more bipolar than blended genre. Remember not too long ago when Smith decided to try out horror with Red State? In the time that followed, he claimed he only had one movie left in him. That was gonna be hockey comedy Hit Somebody. Then no, he’s gonna do Clerks 3. Then wait, there’s like five other projects in the pipeline. Then I lost track until Tusk popped up out of nowhere.

Legend has it that Smith came across a story about a guy renting out his room in exchange for the new roommate to wear a walrus suit or something. He shared this on his podcast, Smodcast. He thought it’d make a good film, so asked his listeners if #walrusyes he should make this movie or #walrusno just stay away. Of course they voted #walrusyes because the internet.

Thank you, the internet, she said with as much vitriol and sarcasm she could muster. Really? You wanted to waste the mind of Kevin Smith on this dreck? Back around the Red State era I was following him pretty closely, and he admitted to having recently discovered weed, spending entire days baked and working/writing/etc. Say no to drugs, kids, or you’ll end up with a bad movie about a walrus.

So why was this so bad? I won’t even say it was the premise because you’ve gotta give points for the uniqueness in the absurdity. The main issue for me was the tone. It never quite made up its mind if it was going for horror or comedy. Again, more bipolar than blended. The vibe was kinda creepy, but then the events were just weird. Some dialog was funny, but most was just uncomfortable. I felt like Parks couldn’t decide if he was trying to play up the creep factor or the humor in his words, and it just came out awkward. Although, the audience behind me clearly thought we were going for comedy. Their laughter was loud and uncontrollable, and sounded like it was aided by the same substance that got Smith thru his writing.

Things just got boring at some point. When the inspector guy was brought in, he had this slow way of speaking that I guess was supposta be clumsy and humorous, but it just dragged everything down. I tried to make myself doze off for a bit so it’d all be over sooner.

Then the weird got weirder, with nightmare inducing images that went on for too long. I can appreciate gross out horror if done right. Unexpected, quick, inspired. But stretching out one idea for the full final act of the film is just too much. There was nothing new happening, and it was almost like they were trying to gross you out if certain things just stayed on the screen a little bit longer.

So thanks for ruining one of my favorite animals for me, Mr Smith. #bringbackjayandsilentbob #snoochieboochiesforever

Tusk – \m/

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