A24

A24

Kevin Smith‘s attempt to reinvent or re-brand himself as a genre director began in 2011 with the uninspired and fairly forgettable (aside from Michael Parks) Red State, and now three years later he’s ready to take another stab at a dark and possibly horrific story. But while his last film featured extreme members of the religious right as the villains his latest appears to be focused on someone even nuttier.

Tusk is about a man (Michael Parks again) who lures a podcast host (Justin Long) into rural Canada on the pretense of telling a weird and mesmerizing account involving a disaster at sea and the walrus who saved his life. The man is after more than just one night’s companionship though, and the podcaster discovers too late that he’s become a part of the tale… and the tail a part of him.

Check out the first trailer for Kevin Smith’s Tusk.

There’s no denying that it looks interesting, and both Parks and Long are good enough actors that if nothing else it should at least be an engaging ninety minutes. Judging by the trailer alone the story looks to a vague mix of The Human Centipede and Boxing Helena. I add the latter film in there not just because a crazy person is holding another person captive but because I won’t be surprised if the film ends with the reveal that the whole thing was just a story being told on a podcast.

I’m a bit torn on just how much the trailer shows (or at least heavily implies), because it looks like Parks’ character spends the film surgically turning Long into a walrus. Long’s mustache is the main giveaway, but several shots in the trailer seem to be saying as much too. That doesn’t automatically make it a stinker, but if that’s the case it feels like a plot better suited for an episode of “Tales from the Crypt” than a feature-length film.

Lest you think this is a one-off from Smith rest assured that it’s only the tip of the iceberg. His presentation at Comic-Con (as reported by Slashfilm) included reference to what he’s calling “The True North Trilogy.” Connected by Canadian geography and a dark sense of humor, the three films will also apparently share cast members. Tusk comes first, followed by something called Yoga Hosers about two teenage girls, a yoga-related theft and superpowers. The trilogy will be capped off with the overly silly sounding Moose Jaws which Smith described as “Jaws, with a moose.

Tusk schleps its way into theaters on September 19, 2014, but who knows… maybe we’ll be checking it out opening night of Fantastic Fest this year. (The fest opens on the 18th.)


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