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Kevin Smith wrote and directed the 2014 horror comedy Tusk, which is based on a story from his SModcast podcast. Michael Parks, Lily-Rose Depp, Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, and Genesis Rodriguez are among the actors in the movie. The movie is the first in Smith’s planned trilogy of True North movies, which will also include Yoga Hosers (2016).
The movie is about an egotistical podcaster (Long) who goes to Canada for an interview and meets a strange retired sailor (Parks) who is obsessed with a walrus named Mr. Tusk and has dark plans because of it.
Before it came out on September 19, 2014, A24 showed Tusk for the first time at the Toronto International Film Festival. It got mixed reviews, with praise for its atmosphere and production values but criticism for its inconsistent tone. It was Smith’s first big movie that a lot of people saw since Cop Out (2010). But some sources say that the difference between viewers and critics makes the show seem like a cult in some online circles.
Tusk Movie Cast
- Michael Parks plays Howard Howe.
- Young Howard Howe is played by Matthew Shively.
- Wallace Bryton is played by Justin Long
- Ally Leon is played by Genesis Rodriguez
- Teddy Craft is played by Haley Joel Osment.
- Guy LaPointe, played by Johnny Depp
Harley Morenstein plays a border patrol officer, and Ralph Garman is a detective. Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp, who are the daughters of Smith and Depp, play teenagers who work at a convenience store. These characters would later be the main characters in Yoga Hosers. Smith’s wife, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, also works as a waitress at Gimli Slider. Doug Banks plays Kill Bill Kid, which is a spoof of the popular Star Wars Kid video. Ernest Hemingway is played by Zak Knutson in an uncredited role.
Tusk was shown for the first time on September 6, 2014, as part of Midnight Madness at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award gave it second place. On September 16, 2014, it was shown at the Vista Theatre in Los Angeles. On September 19, it was shown in theatres all over the country.
The Box Office
The movie came out on September 19, 2014. It was called a “box office bomb” because it only made $846,831 in its first weekend on 602 screens, putting it in fourteenth place at the box office. At the end of its run, on November 13, the movie had made $1,826,705 in the U.S. and $21,612 abroad, for a total of $1,848,317 around the world.
Critics didn’t agree on how good or bad Tusk was. Based on 134 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has a rating of 46% and an average rating of 5.6/10. “Tusk is pleasantly silly and charmingly self-deprecating, but that isn’t enough to make up for its thin, overstretched story,” says the site’s summary. The Guardian gave the movie four out of five stars and said that Smith was back to being “snarky at his best.” Based on the reviews of 33 critics, the movie has a score of 55 out of 100 on Metacritic, which means “mixed or average reviews.”
Erik Lundegaard gave the movie 0 out of 4 stars in his review for The Seattle Times and wrote, “Tusk is the worst and most pointless movie I’ve ever seen. It’s based on one of Smith’s own podcasts. The stress is on useless. I felt sick for about half of the movie.” William Bibbiani, writing for CraveOnline, said that the movie “killed irony” and gave it two out of ten stars. Glenn Dunks, writing for Junkee.com, gave the movie a F and said that it was the worst movie of 2014.
Chris Bumbray of JoBlo.com, on the other hand, liked it and said that Tusk was “a major return to form for Smith and an exciting new chapter in a career that now feels totally re-energized.” Roth Cornet from IGN gave the movie an eight out of ten and said, “Tusk is Kevin Smith at his best. It’s funny, weird, unsettling, and sometimes gory.” Richard Roeper also had good things to say about Tusk “I’m recommending “Tusk” by Kevin Smith, but there’s a part of me that wishes I could take it all back. I’ve seen thousands of movies in the last 15 years, but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve closed my eyes during a movie because I needed a quick three-second break.” Clint O’Connor of The Plain Dealer said that even though Tusk mixes different types of stories well, the story would work better as a short film. O’Connor said that Guy Lapointe was a tribute to a well-known Canadian hockey player.
On December 30, 2014, Tusk came out on DVD and Blu-ray. On both formats, Smith’s audio commentary, deleted scenes, the original podcast, and two featurettes are among the extras.
Possible Continuations and Offshoots
Smith said before Tusk came out that he had written a movie called Yoga Hosers that would have the same cast as Tusk. Borys Kit from The Hollywood Reporter gave more information about the movie on August 19, 2014. Yoga Hosers will be the second movie in the True North trilogy. It will be an action-adventure movie. The movie will also star Johnny Depp’s daughter, Lily-Rose, and Will Smith’s daughter, Harley Quinn. Michael Parks, who was in the movie, died in May 2017. Also cast are Tony Hale, Natasha Lyonne, Austin Butler, Adam Brody, Tyler Posey, and Jason Mewes.
Smith’s third book in his True North trilogy will be called “Moose Jaws,” which he says is just “Jaws with a moose.” Starstream Entertainment will pay for and make the movie, and at the Toronto Film Festival, XYZ Films will sell the foreign rights.
Smith also talked about an idea for “Tusk 2,” in which Wallace would become a human again and become the new bad guy. Smith said that the title was “Tusk$.” In 2022, Long told the press that Smith had asked him to work on a possible sequel.
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