tuskposterDISCLAIMER: Dan Poorman and Kevin Redding would like to begin by apologizing for their current lack of a Podcast. In this case, it would be the perfect, meta sort of homage. In truth, The Taste Basket Team is looking into developing one, but we believe that, if we’re going to take the dive, we need to go in with not just the appropriate technological capabilities, but a better understanding of the Podcast market itself. We’re doing research. So sit tight, kiddies.

The purpose of such a disclaimer is in the interest of a little film called Tuskwhich opened this past weekend. As many know, the premise of this movie, written and directed (and edited!) by Kevin Smith (whom our own Kevin heralded as the “Shakespeare of the rude and crude” in this feature) was conceived on Smith and Scott Mosier’s own Podcast, SModcast. It began with real-life, fan-delivered source info: A storied old man is determined to harbor a lodger to act as his long-lost walrus friend. Weird, Craigslist-y shit.

To the visionary Kevin Smith, though, it opened a door to a new project: one not clouded by some big-name movie studio. A pet project. A labor of fun, an overtly niche and targeted thing. A self-aware horror film, featuring a Podcaster as its protagonist… turned-walrus.

So began a social media storm: Should Smith make the ridiculous “Walrus movie?” Tweet #WalrusYes or #WalrusNo. And the consensus was #WalrusYes. Smith, cackling, got to work.

Tusk, as a result, is a caricature of many things: Canada, the year 2014 (or at least, hypercontemporary times: Podcasting, social media, etc.), and “the horror film” itself. As much as it is a joke, though, Tusk has also accomplished an impressive existence as an absurdly Gothic tale of its own, one not to be taken lightly—and perhaps that’s Smith with the comedic upper hand, tricking us into believing the mousetrap bravado, the romance of it—but one thing’s for sure: no other movie this year (or in the past few years, really) has done what this one has done.

We’ll attempt to start our own little Web file, here: #Tuskussion.

Also, feel free to keep a tally on how many times we use the word “weird.”


DAN: Absolutely ridiculous.

KEVIN: That first reveal of Justin Long, full-walrus—I couldn’t shake it. I was just sitting with that feeling after the movie was over. I’m kind of glad that when they reeled in the full-walrus, they cut with the Guy [LaPointe] stuff, because I felt kind of relieved when I didn’t have to look at it for a little bit, or be reminded of it [laughs]. The Guy stuff was weirdly, like, a different movie, in a really cool way. And then there was the reminder, ‘Oh, shit, he’s still…’ [laughs].

DAN: I was thinking that. When it got really horrific, Kevin Smith did a really good job of cutting, and order of scene.

KEVIN: Yeah, I love the pacing of it. The flashbacks—like, the flashback to the same flashback, but you hear a little more than you did in the initial flashback.

DAN: Like when they go back to the convenience store, and that first scene is kind of extended in flashback. And, with the whole Big Lebowski joke! [laughs]

KEVIN: I loved that joke! He was on another level, Johnny Depp. That’s maybe the best role he’s ever done.

DAN: Honestly, at first, he had me fooled. I had read months ago that he was going to be in the film, but as I watching it, I had forgotten that, and the whole time I was saying, ‘That guy sounds a lot like Johnny Depp—but he doesn’t really look like him at all.’ It was weirding me out. Then I finally realized it.

KEVIN: I love how he went uncredited [as Johnny Depp], and he asked not to be paid anything for the movie.

DAN: That’s great. Because their [Depp’s and Smith’s] daughters are friends, right? And they’re the convenience store clerks? And they’re doing that new movie [Yoga Hosers]…

KEVIN: Yeah, I think it follows the convenience store clerks. Depp is in it, Haley Joel Osment’s in it. It’s like, everyone’s back in it, but some of them are playing different roles. It’s supposed to be the same universe—it’s fucking weird.

DAN: Oh my God [laughs].

KEVIN: Also, something that really surprised me about Tusk, that you don’t really get in the trailers, is how much of an asshole Justin Long’s character is.

DAN: Oh, he’s terrible.

KEVIN: In the trailer, he kind of looks like a really sweet guy. Like, ‘I go around and interview people.’ [laughs] But, in the movie, he’s like, nihilistic.

DAN: All that Road Head, the cheating on his girlfriend.

KEVIN: The whole Kill Bill Kid thing? So sad! [laughs] He was more pissed about travel and money…

DAN: Weird, so weird—but so good.

KEVIN: It’s one of those movies: immediately, you know you’ll never see anything like it again. It’s kind of unfair for a movie like Tusk to be put into any one genre. I feel like it’s created its own genre. Like, ‘Tusk’ is really the only way you can describe it. Seriously, Tusk kind of changes the way I look at movies now. I’ll probably never think another movie is weird now that I’ve seen it.

DAN: It’s so well-realized. It knows exactly what it is, and it feels very sleepy and very much like its own world. Actually, you know what really cracked me up, was the name of his [Howard Howe’s] estate: Pippy Hill. Pippy Hill! [laughs]

KEVIN: [laughs] Pippy Hill, dude. It’s so funny, though, how it’s pretty much verbatim from the Podcast.  Like, they didn’t really change anything, in terms of the ending and stuff—they had it all figured out.

DAN: Yeah, I love the stuff that’s faithful to the original SModcast episode. At the end, the song: the tender piano music. Did you notice the reference to the original story, with the name of the missing hockey player, Gregory Gumtree?

KEVIN: Oh, yeah, the Gumtree thing.

DAN: The site to which the original ad was posted was Gumtree, and the original name of the walrus was Gregory. I do kind of wish they’d kept that, though, because that’s really funny. Like, just like, ‘GREGORY, NOOOOOOO!’ [laughs]

KEVIN: Dude, and that scene with Guy LaPointe and Michael Parks was fucking phenomenal. That was another stage of weird.

DAN: Absolutely.

KEVIN: I think it’s kind of unfairly being compared to The Human Centipede, for obvious reasons. I think what separates it is: obviously, the winking at the camera, knowing how ridiculous it is. Reveling in that ridiculousness. But the movie, as ‘Horror’ and all over the place as it is, it’s also a showcase of great acting.

DAN: Oh, yeah.

KEVIN: The Depp and Parks scene—I heard Smith talking about this. He said, while watching it, ‘That’s probably the scene I could have edited down,’ but he didn’t want to touch it because it was just those two actors doing their thing.

DAN: Yeah, I did feel like it dragged on, but I was okay with it, you know? And I was waiting for Parks to crack, and it’s only on the very last line that he does—something about how the real animal is the human being—like, that’s when you realize, ‘Okay, this is definitely still the same guy.’

KEVIN: That voice he put on?

DAN: [laughs] The man-child. The kind of mentally handicapped guy.

KEVIN: Justin Long is the 24th person he’s turned into a walrus.

DAN: I feel like that’s one of the more obvious jokes, too. The fact that there’s been so many. But yeah, I was actually just reading an article from The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte is where they filmed the movie. The interview’s with Justin Long, and he says that when he got the e-mail from Kevin Smith to be in the movie, “he described it as a character piece, a character study between these two people. He talked about Michael Parks and how it would be the two of us, and I read the script, and I was like, ‘Well, I did not see that coming.'” [laughs]

KEVIN: He didn’t mention the walrus thing at all?

DAN: [laughs] He did not mention the walrus thing whatsoever in the e-mail. It was a “character piece.”

KEVIN: [laughs] I mean, it is, but how do you not open with, ‘Alright, it’s about a guy who turns another guy into a walrus?’

DAN: Long said that, when he was doing press for the movie, or when he was talking to his friends and his colleagues about the role, that’s when he would describe the script as ‘Oh, a guy turns another guy into a walrus.’

KEVIN: Kevin Smith was talking about the guy who made the fake ad to begin with. The guy is actually a producer on the movie.

DAN: Oh, really?

KEVIN: Yeah, he threw his name on there. But he said, like, you know, if the guy had put in the ad concerning any other animal, it probably wouldn’t have been a movie, like if it was a horse suit or a duck suit or something. But it’s a walrus. There’s something really disturbing about that. [laughs] And the use of the Fleetwood Mac song was awesome.

DAN: Perfect placement of “Tusk,” for sure. [pause] Man, I don’t know. The whole thing is just such an experience. The image that will forever be ingrained in my mind is Justin Long, right after the first three stabs into Michael Parks, like, with the blood on his tusks, and he has a full smile on!

KEVIN: [laughs] Fucking horrifying. The scariest part is how human his eyes still look.

DAN: I know! And his head. Do you remember the scene where Parks pushed him underwater, and then brought him back up, and his head had gotten stuck in the crevice of the suit? [laughs] He had to, like, accordion him back out!

Justin Long as Wallace Bryton.

KEVIN: So gross. I love how it went from one leg being missing, to him on the slab, to that.  Like, no explanation as to how he’d stuck all that shit to his face. [laughs]

DAN: Yes. As soon as I saw all the skin hanging, I was like, ‘Alright, we’re going to make a huge jump here.’ His leg in the ice-box. And, like I was saying to you earlier today, the subtlety of the morning when he [Wallace (Long)] first wakes up—we don’t know yet that he has lost his leg, because he’s got the blanket on. And, Michael Parks is sitting there just polishing a tusk that has seemingly come out of nowhere—and then, there’s the reveal of the lost leg. It’s not till Johnny Depp Time that we realize he uses the leg bones as the fucking tusks. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s where that came from. That’s where the magic tusk came from.’

KEVIN: [laughs] For how much Smith was saying it was going to be a stupid, dumb movie—it’s really brilliantly done.

DAN: It was intelligent.

KEVIN: It could have easily been just plain horrendous and stupid.

DAN: It’s like my friend said when we walked out of the theater: The motive was clear, you know? There was a lot of actual psychological shit in the movie, but it wasn’t really heady or something like Memento or Inception, where it’s trying to get you to overthink and trying to blow your mind. It wasn’t like Donnie Darko, all cold and detached and trying to creep you out into overthinking. It was just this: His [Howe’s (Parks)] parents were brutally murdered, and as a child he was tossed around to different abusers, so there’s the violent nature—and then just the whole brilliant idea of him being stranded on the island, forced to eat his walrus friend, only tragically an hour before he gets rescued. He could have just waited the extra hour and his walrus would have been fine. Howard Howe’s mission is to give his dead walrus friend the chance he never had, through man. Which is, like, [laughs] really horrifying! It’s horrifying, and it’s cartoonish, and it’s really funny, but it’s a very clear line drawn. It’s not trying to be all over the place, like some other horror movies do. Like, with Insidious, there’s the whole astral projection thing, like, you have to have a lot of exposition. Like, this is how it works, this is what we might have to do here. 

KEVIN: Right.

DAN: In Tusk, it’s just about the character. He gives his entire background while he’s sewing this guy up [laughs]. That’s all we need. And the end sequence, with the walrus fight, that’s all we need to see, you know?

KEVIN: Yeah! And the really disturbing thing about Howe’s explanation and origin: he doesn’t think that this is wackadoo. He just expects the man to cooperate with this. [laughs]  And his little turns, like the ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ thing? How Justin Long says, literally, ‘Holy shit.’ [laughs] Like, all at once realizing how fucking crazy he is.

DAN: Yeah, their chemistry was great, especially in the beginning where Wallace is just realizing, ‘This guy’s insane.’ And how Howe mocks him is the most uncomfortable thing. Again, that first morning, when Wallace has just lost his leg, Howe wheels out of the room. And the audience sees him, because he is facing the camera, and he says, [laughs] ‘I’m—so—sorry for your loss,’ like cracking up, sarcastic.

KEVIN: What’s really scary is Howe’s gentle swim with the walrus in the water. [laughs]

DAN: The carcass of the failed walrus, underwater…

KEVIN: Really fucking scary, dude.

DAN: Which, you know what that means—that means that that particular walrus failed, meaning he didn’t own up to his second chance, meaning: He [Howe] killed him. He killed that walrus, in a fight. And probably ate him.

KEVIN: That weird, nautical room he had?

DAN: [laughs] Yeah. The sound of the pool being opened: “nnnnnnnn-ch!”

KEVIN: Really, though, I love the pacing. He [Wallace] gets to Howard Howe’s house and it all just starts happening. Even the cuts to what was going on in the outside world—they weren’t unnecessary.

DAN: No, that wasn’t distracting. It wasn’t derailing. I think, in a way, it was trying to get the audience to understand Justin Long’s character more, and maybe trying to polarize the audience on him? Because, like you said, he seems like such a sweet and normal guy—a funny, sensitive guy—but then we uncover the darker parts of him as the film progresses. It seems like the flashbacks and the cuts to the outside world are intentionally trying to conflict us, you know? Where do we place our empathy?

KEVIN: I really liked the girlfriend character (Genesis Rodriguez) because of that. Without her, we wouldn’t give a shit about Wallace. We would revel in the fact that he’s a walrus now. And, you know what I was thinking too? I thought Haley Joel Osment was great, by the way, but what is Teddy going to do with his Podcast? [laughs] Like, what does he do now? And that’s the great, subtle irony there—Justin Long’s character is going out to find freaks and weirdos in order to make fun of them, and then he becomes the freakiest freak out there. But, yeah, [laughs] what does Teddy do now? Like, is he going to go back to school or something?

DAN: He could do a Shaun of the Dead thing, you know, how Shaun keeps around Ed around to play video games with him? [laughs] So, like, Haley Joel Osment could bring the microphone to Justin Long [laughs] ‘UNNNNNNNNGH!’ Imagine his league of fans hearing that news? ‘My favorite Podcaster just got turned into a walrus. Yeah, he has just been transformed into a walrus.’ [laughs] And obviously, it’s just not scientifically possible, but you feel like it is!

KEVIN: You know, I heard in the spinoff/sequel that Kevin Smith is doing, that there are references to ‘What happened to that American guy.’ Like, Canadians talk about ‘What happened in Manitoba,’ with the ‘Manitoba Manatee,’ they call it. It’s all become a weird rumor. [laughs]

DAN: The ‘Manitoba Manatee.’ Oh my God. Really, though, if you think about it—Justin Long, for the second half of the film, it seems—was in that costume grunting. Half of his performance is grunting. Talk about chops.

KEVIN: That was a really scary grunt he was doing, too. It was so guttural.

DAN: Imagine all the different takes of those scenes? Like, ‘Alright, Justin, this is where you’re gonna grunt again.’ [laughs] Imagine all the grunts he had to make. I was reading that same interview, with The Charlotte Observer, and he was saying he spent hours in that walrus suit makeup. Hours, without even peeing. So, kind of like an immersion role, in that he really felt kind of trapped and tested.

KEVIN: And he couldn’t have really been able to talk well, in that thing.

DAN: No way. The drool; how he was constantly drooling? That was a nice touch. But at the same time, I was like, ‘Dude, say STOP. Or, say NO.’ Nothing. Really, though, holy shit, he was just becoming the walrus. [laughs]

KEVIN: When I see it again, I want to try and pinpoint where he decides to go full-walrus, mentally.

Michael Parks as Howard Howe.

DAN: I feel like it might be when he’s thrown the fish. Because, think about it, he’s probably starving. And everything becomes primitive when you’re starving. I remember, when Howe gives him the fish, there’s a really funny look on Wallace’s face. The camera does a weird thing there. Like, he knows he has to eat that. And really, there’s no hesitation. He kind of just hobbles over and eats it.

KEVIN: Watching the hobble is so scary, too. That’s his mode of transportation now. [laughs]

DAN: I found one scene real disturbing—when Michael Parks is sort of lying on him. He’s like, ‘Oh, Mr. Tusk…’ [laughs]

KEVIN: Singing to him!

DAN: And you’re forced to realize the juxtaposition of man and whatever-the-hell-that-thing-is.

KEVIN: Yeah. [laughs] You know what would be really funny, and kind of dark, is if in the sequel/spinoff there’s a shot or scene of people visiting the walrus in his habitat. [laughs] Like, the camera doesn’t really spend too much time on it, but like, they’re visiting Justin Long-as-a-walrus.

DAN: What’s his lifespan now, you know?

KEVIN: Yeah, I don’t know. There was just something so alarming about his little habitat, at the end. I wasn’t expecting that at all.

DAN: The little house? The little igloo he had?

KEVIN: Dude, a fucking little pond, a little beach ball, and a hut. [laughs]

DAN: My friend and I, after the movie, were talking about the people who owned the place where he was staying at the end. How did they take him in? Like, ‘Oh, yeah, we’ll take in this humanoid creature, on our property.’

KEVIN: I kind of want to see a new movie from right when Teddy and Ally and Guy come in, to when they’ve moved him [Wallace] to the habitat. [laughs] Like, how did that happen? That car ride?

DAN: [laughs] The car ride! Did they have to tranquilize him? I picture a pickup truck, and he’s in the trunk, and they’re driving on the highway.

KEVIN: [laughs] Jesus.

DAN: And, the dialogue was so well-written. Obviously, Kevin Smith is known for that, but it also gave off a very Tarantino vibe at points.

KEVIN: I was very impressed with the whole old-style, literary vibe, especially with Howe. The way he speaks—like, the phrase ‘The arachnid assailant?’—stuff like that, that was really great.

DAN: ‘Present company included.’

KEVIN: And I love all the cinematic homages to Tarantino. The zoom shots and everything.

DAN: Oh, yeah. The big reveal is a total Tarantino. That’s like meeting Calvin Candie for the first time, right there. It’s the same effect.

KEVIN: Definitely.

DAN: And, to your point on the classical kind of vibe, it’s that same ‘sleepy’ thing as I was saying earlier that makes this a great movie for the Halloween season. You know, the Gothic, literary vibe with The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Ernest Hemingway (the dark side of Ernest Hemingway) and the search for the Siberian great white shark. I also really loved the actor who played the younger version of Howe. He was just very creepy-looking, didn’t really look like Michael Parks at all.

KEVIN: Kind of more like a Crispin Glover type guy.

DAN: Yes, very Crispin Glover.

KEVIN: And you can immediately believe that he’d grow up to be, like…

DAN: …a real serial killer, yeah.

Movies On Demand "Tusk" Interviews, Comic-Con 2014
Kevin Smith (left) with stars Genesis Rodriguez and Haley Joel Osment at San Diego Comic Con 2014.

KEVIN: As to the writing and how Smith directs his writing: like, the part where you see the girlfriend crying and giving that monologue. And then you just see Haley Joel Osment’s hand come up. Smith, there, is just letting the actors go. There are no cuts at all. And the first Johnny Depp monologue—it must have been twenty pages long—clearly, it’s just him going. And I think that it’s written so well that it looks improvised, because just from what I’ve heard, Smith kind of wants people to keep on the script. He’ll let them jazz it up a little bit, but I think otherwise it’s pretty much verbatim to the script. That’s just a testament to his writing, that everything seems so natural and off-the-cuff.

DAN: Yeah, absolutely. Man, the movie is just really good. It’s a really great satire, though I’m not always clear on what it’s satirizing, if that makes sense. That sounds stupid, but, we know it’s an inside joke. We know it’s a caricature of a horror film. But it’s just so intelligent at the same time. Is it satirizing the horror genre? Is it satirizing the “body horror” subgenre? You don’t really know at any given point, but you know that it’s smarter than you, and that it knows what it’s doing. There are a million things it’s making fun of, but it’s also existing as a good horror film itself.

KEVIN: Its biggest strength is how weird it is; how weird the universe is. You can tell that everyone has had a ball making this, because having it be as disturbing and fucked up as it is—that’s automatically kind of like a ‘No Rules’ type thing. They don’t have to follow any sort of structure or formula. They’re making their own structure.

DAN: Once-in-a-lifetime film, really.

KEVIN: I hope it does well. I saw that on Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 30% or something. But, it was never going to be a Critic’s Movie.

DAN: You know, sometimes I sit back and think about how much I’ve relied on Rotten Tomatoes in the past—and it is a good site—but those movie critics, at least from what I have heard, have to pay to get their work featured on the site. So, like, we’re two people who are not professional movie critics but we know enough about the idea of this movie to sort of wax about it, you know, at least quasi-intellectually, whereas these more commercial movie critics might be trying to up their name and their game, and they’re paying to have their voices heard, to really showcase their criticism. And that’s fine. Honestly, though, and it might sound weird, but a movie like this does not even belong on Rotten Tomatoes, even though Rotten Tomatoes has virtually every film stocked and reviewed. Tusk is just a movie that doesn’t really belong anywhere but on its own shelf, you know?

KEVIN: For sure. It’s also kind of surreal and weird to see it in a movie theater, especially next to If I Stay and A Dolphin Tale 2 [laughs], like, it’s so weird knowing that Tusk is in the back corner of that same theater that’s showing those movies.

DAN: Yeah! When I went to see it, it was a Saturday afternoon. It was the weekend that it had opened. It’s not a limited release. Where I live, in Syracuse, we don’t get a lot of low-budget or indie movies in our main movie theater—at least the one closest to me. And, there were probably only ten people in this theater. [laughs] It’s opening weekend for this movie and they put it, also, in one of the small theaters.

KEVIN: It’s definitely going to be a word-of-mouth movie.

DAN: Oh, absolutely. I have already noticed some friends who haven’t been following it like you and I have, at least to my knowledge, ‘liking’ my Facebook status about it. I’ve sort of gathered that they have discovered it just upon its release.

KEVIN: Yeah, that’s interesting. Obviously we knew the full story. We’ve been following it since the Podcast, since it was all just pictures and fan art. But I’m curious for the Joe Schmo who just kind of sees a TV spot or something, or just notices it. [My friend] Nic even just knows it by the trailer he saw, which I showed him, a few weeks ago. For that reason, I’m very curious what he is going to think of it when he sees it. My guess is, he’ll either really like it, and understand its madness—or he’ll be like, ‘I don’t even know what the fuck that was.’

DAN: You said no movie after Tusk is weird. That’s interesting. It’s like, you’ve got movies that are just by definition weird, like all the French New Wave movies, and like, Cannibal Holocaust and all the sort-of-snuff stuff that’s really polarizing, but this is a new level of weird because it’s accessible at the same time. It’s not totally niche—like, what you were just saying, ‘What does the Joe Schmo think of this?’ The right, average guy with no knowledge of film theory or film history could go in just looking for a laugh and a gasp, and recognize ‘This is totally weird,’ and his taste is expanded: right there! But, he’s enjoyed himself too. It wasn’t a wholly stiff, academic thing. He was entertained by how weird it was.

KEVIN: Those guys, they’re kind of in the hands of someone who knows how weird it is: Kevin Smith. Whereas those other Weird Movies are weird, they’re executed in a serious, and maybe pretentious way. You know, like, the filmmaker wants people to understand the movie. Smith knows he’s making a weird fuck of a movie. And that’s just what it is.

DAN: You know, that character name, ‘Guy LaPointe?’ That’s a hockey player. I looked it up.

KEVIN: Is it? [laughs] I also love the Epic Meal Time guy.

DAN: Yeah, he’s great! Harley Morenstein. Great little cameo. [laughs] That’s, like, the first five or ten minutes of the movie, too.

KEVIN: Yeah, it’s right after the titles. You know, even though the movie is really weird, you can tell it’s very personal for Kevin Smith. Like, the Podcasting thing. I don’t think Podcasting has ever been in a movie at all, before. Justin Long talks about getting offered a deal with AMC for a show, and Kevin Smith has Comic Book Men on AMC. And, plus, it’s like his love letter to Canada. You can obviously tell that he loves hockey, and Canada, all that stuff. Even though it’s about a guy turning into a walrus, it’s definitely a very personal story.

DAN: Yeah, and it all comes back to what was it, the New York Times or some other big paper that just interviewed Kevin Smith? It was about how he was just on the cusp of retiring from the film business, and he said that Tusk is a really fucking stupid movie, but it’s the best movie he’s ever made. Because he’s having fun. He’s doing it for him and for his fanbase, and for people he knows will understand it. I think about how much fun it must have been for him to write that script, after the whole “Walrus and the Carpenter” thing, after that whole riff he and Scott Mosier went on; imagine him after the Twitter storm going home to his desk and writing that. I’m sure, like any other script, it had to go through some things, but how easy it must have been! [laughs]

KEVIN: [laughs] He could do just about anything he wanted.

DAN: It must have just been a blast. I like envisioning him writing it. First of all, envisioning what his office might look like, and second of all, him being there—giggling and laughing the whole time. Like, calling people in. ‘Look at this!’

KEVIN: It’s funny, because in the Podcast, there’s a moment where he’s legitimately getting pissed off that no one would make this movie. Like, a Eureka! light-bulb moment that this needs to be a movie.

DAN: Right. That speaks to the level of seriousness that’s still there! Even though it’s a total joke, it is a very, very refreshing and unique step in the horror game.

KEVIN: I was trying to think of what the Hollywood ending would’ve been, like if it was a big-budget project. I think Michael Parks would have been killed right before he went to execute the full-walrus thing, or whatever. But, you know, as grim and bleak and dark-as-ink as it was, the real ending was a perfectly depressing ending. I couldn’t picture Tusk ending any other way.

DAN: It was faithful to the original musing, you know? And that’s what it’s all about. It all comes back to Kevin Smith being as faithful to his ridiculous vision as possible. And, for that alone, the movie is important, whether or not it grosses you out, or that kind of horror isn’t your thing, or its sense of humor is not really connecting with you. You have to at least appreciate it as evidence of a filmmaker doing what he loves to do, and doing it for himself, and not holding back. We don’t feel any real studio interference, no production company poking in and changing things. Smith’s just doing what he said he’d do. And you don’t really hear of that much.

KEVIN: Right. He’s going back to his Clerks roots and just doing what he wants, on his own terms. And, the biggest thing—I’ve seen both positive and negative reviews—almost everyone, even the negative reviewers, admit that Tusk stays lodged in your brain and you can’t shake it off. It’s a movie that’s going to stay with you. Like, you just can’t forget that bloody-tusked thing… [laughs]

DAN: …with the maniacal smile! [laughs]

Watch the official first trailer for Tusk here:

Listen to SModcast, Episode 259: “The Walrus and The Carpenter” here:

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