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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Tusk (2014) Horror Psycho

Tusk (2014) -  Probably the strangest movie I have watched in a while for sure. About a traveling pod caster, Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) looking for a story who gets way more than he is expecting. After a story he was following falls through he finds a note from an old man, Howard Howe (Michael Parks) who lives in an isolated mansion who says he can share a lifetime of tales. So Wallace heads to the edges of Manitoba to meet with Howe. How appears kind if a bit strange while talking to the abrasive Wallace about his life. They drink tea and converse pleasantly all until the drugs in the tea leave Wallace unconscious and we start to see a change in Howe. More menacing he is a character coming out in pieces. Played so well by Parks a veteran actor who can hold the mood of a scene with with nuance ans vocal tone it is a pleasure to watch him act. His resurgence as a main player seems to have started after appearing in Quentin Tarantino's From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), playing Texas Ranger Earl McGraw. When Long wakes the his story has taken quite a unexpected turn. He has an amputated leg and learns that Howe intends to make him into his walrus companion. Through the use of a human skin suit shaped like a walrus and a series of operations the physical transformation is undertaken.
  Probably known by most is the story of how this film came about from a conversation on his podcast. So I won't go into detail here but lets just say writer director Kevin Smith followed through and not only made what could have been a completely ridiculous turned it into not only a serious as hell horror story but also had just enough humor to keep the audience entertained with the unbelievable plot. Taking a light-hearted look at stereotypes of Canada and Canadians Smith mixes in quirky characters including Johnny Depp as Guy Lapointe a slightly off his rocker detective seeking the serial killer played by Parks. It is a strange role with prosthetic to change his look Depp half crosses his eyes and airily plays the detective who has been so close to winning that it made him loose just a piece of his mind. The name itself must mean Smith is a Montreal Canadians fan, nice touch.
  While Wallace is traveling we cut back to he and his girlfriend Ally, the lovely Genesis Rodriguez showing a relationship sort of on the rocks. It both builds some background for Wallace as a once nerd who started wearing a different personality so he could be successful but how it hurts those close to him. In this case driving Ally into the arms of his fellow pod caster and best friend Teddy (Haley Joel Osment), not cool man.  She is torn between the two and because she has feeling for him gets up to Canada when he manages to leave a message when he is trouble.  It also helps with the ending which probably should have ended with a gunshot. During the closing credits though we hear the podcast that  created the story and hear that the ending actual is true tom that conversation.
  So quirky and cool this film walks the line between believable and absurd maybe being just on the latter side. Enjoyable throughout mixing humor and dread in equal measure allows this to be a very enjoyable viewing. So as far as I am concerned this was a crazy idea successfully pulled off by a very good film maker.
  As I have done so far this year; I am doing as an experiment my Twitter account @Soresport is dedicated to following and being followed by people in and behind the scenes. Then I am also hoping some of them follow me back. I do fear that Twitter has become too much of a promotional tool for people in film to actually get those follow backs but hey its an experiment.  Last week Producer, Writer, Director followed me back becoming the first to do so in this experiment. So Thanks David I appreciate it. I certainly am not a difficult follow since I usually only tweet about movies I have seen and on occasion about good food and beer. So on we go!

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