Intended to be the first of Smith’s True North Trilogy, Tusk premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2014 and was released on DVD later the same year.
The plot follows a non-linear narrative and tells the unfortunate story of Wallace Bryton, as portrayed by Justin Long. A podcaster from Los Angeles, Wallace travels to Canada to interview the ‘Kill Bill Kid’ – a man made famous for his internet stunts, only to be let down at the last minute.
Determined not to return to LA without a story, Wallace then encounters Howard Howe (Michael Parks), a retired sailor with a disconcerting obsession over a walrus named Mr Tusk. From here on in, the film takes a distinctive, gory turn for the worse as Wallace’s grisly future becomes more and more apparent.
Inspired by an actual advert on Gumtree, discovered by Kevin Smith whilst producing his own podcasts, Tusk asks the question ‘What is humanity?’ – a rather serious subject for a film pitched as a comedy, albeit one with gruesome dysmorphia as a narrative thread.
With a 39% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Tusk received mixed reviews on release. The film review website summary describes Tusk as ‘pleasantly ridiculous… but that isn’t enough to compensate for its thin, over stretched story.’ However, as with many of Smith’s previous projects, Tusk has already generated a large cult following.
Showing for one night only at Birmingham’s Electric Cinema, on Wednesday 13th May, Tusk is presented as part of their ongoing Shock & Gore programme. Established to celebrate the best and most disturbing horror, sci-fi and dramatic films, Shock & Gore culminates each July with the Shock & Gore Festival – held annually since 2011.
Screening both studio made productions as well as local, independent short films, Shock & Gore further advocates film making through its annual call for submissions – with entrants from around the world being screened at the Birmingham festival.
Shock & Gore organsisers are looking for ‘the weird, the wonderful and the fantastic, which includes science fiction, fantasy and the kind of narrative dramas that take human experiences to the extreme.’
Showing for one night only, as part of their ongoing Shock & Gore programme, Tusk screens at the Electric Cinema (B’ham) on Weds 13th May. For more info & online bookings, visit https://www.theelectric.co.uk/programme.php?film=1139
For more on Tusk, visit http://tuskthemovie.com/
For more on A24, visit http://a24films.com/
For more on Shock & Gore, visit http://www.shockandgore.co.uk/
For more on the Electric Cinema (B’ham), including full listings, visit https://www.theelectric.co.uk