Kevin Smith releases a first trailer for his horror movie Tusk at Comic-Con, but can’t resist a dick joke.
Kevin Smith caught his break off the back of his gritty black and white comedy Clerks in 1994, a film that focussed on character interaction with a healthy smattering of crude humour. With each film subsequent to Clerks the (to coin one of Smith’s own terms) dick and fart jokes became more prolific. That is until his 2011 self funded movie Red State. Following a break from film making (focussing instead on launching his own podcast and YouTube network) Smith was back with a movie that bore little resemblance to the likes of Jay & Silent Bob Strikes Back or Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Red State was a thriller/horror that focusses around a cult, religious group based on, in no small part, the Westboro Baptist Church. Michael Parks starred delivering a lengthy monologue as part of a tremendous performance. There were moments where the teenage leads delved into the kind of humour that Smith is recognised for, but it was in fitting with the characters and flow of the movie.
Michael Parks is back in Smith’s latest film, another horror tale titled Tusk alongside Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense) and Justin Long (Live Free Or Die Hard). The basis for the film came about during a role-play scene from Smith’s SModcast podcast where he and co-host Scott Mosier (Freebirds) ad-libbed a scenario based on a Craig’s List advert which soon became a tale of a man seeking a house-mate who he would encourage to dress up as a Walrus. Following a positive response from his fan-base Smith launched a twitter poll #WalrusYes or #WalrusNo. The yes vote formed the vast majority.
And so it is that Tusk has come to be. Incorporated into the plot are elements of Smith’s life. He writes what he knows, therefore the lead character portrayed by Justin Long is a podcaster seeking out strange stories. He soon becomes the centre of one such story when he pursues a lead in Canada.
The trailer sets the tone which for the most part appears to be more horror than comedy, but, being Smith there has to be a dick joke in there which sees long simulating ejaculation which is a jarring moment that seems out of place to my mind. I wonder if Smith struggles to fully commit to the more serious genre he’s matured into? Perhaps it’s time to “shit or get off the pot” (Randal – Clerks)? Make a horror or make a comedy. Try not to blend the two.
Smith’s daughter Harley-Quinn Smith features as the cash register girl (left) and his Hollywood Babble-On co host Ralph Garmen also takes a role as a Canadian detective.
Unlike Red State (a fabulous film by the way) Tusk has picked up a distribution deal and will be showing in cinemas this autumn.