renart: Alain Delon, acting adorable (sherlock)
dev ([personal profile] renart) wrote2014-10-03 11:49 pm
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Tusk (2014, US)

Honestly...I'm not even sure what I expected going into this movie. The answer is "nothing", because if I had expected any of what actually happened, I probably would have stayed at home and re-watched Sunset Boulevard or something.

Okay, I shouldn't be that harsh. It is genuinely a bad film, but it's the sort of bad film that knows it's a bad film, so at least it isn't completely humiliating to sit through. Just nauseating. Basically, it's like any other Kevin Smith movie, just weirder and way more fucked up and ridiculous. (I loved Dogma, after all, so I sort of implicitly trusted Kevin Smith to not making something irredeemably vomitous.)

The main plot essentially is that some hateful, low-life shock-jock travels to Canada to pursue a story for his podcast and instead gets tangled up in the absolute most horrifically terrible sequence of events even possible for anyone, ever. Well, except for maybe the people involved in the Human Centipede films. Tough call on that one. He responds to an old man's seemingly genuine request via handbill for a person to stay at his house and listen to his (arguably interesting) lifetime of stories. This results in our shock jock friend being drugged, kidnapped, and having his leg amputated the first night. (The leg bit is quite humorously foreshadowed before the horrific events of the film begin to unfold. His tibia bones, FYI, are used to make mock tusks.)

So...eventually this guy is surgically grafted into a large walrus suit constructed from human flesh, because the old man is a serial killer obsessed with walruses. During his wartime naval adventures, he was stranded during a shipwreck and it was all thanks to a walrus, the aptly named "Mr. Tusk", that he survived. He ended up killing and eating the walrus before being rescued, naturally, and coupled with his past as a sexually abused Duplessis orphan this was all just a perfect storm to make this old dude into the sort of person who kidnaps multiple people and surgically turns them into marine animals. You really couldn't think of a more ridiculous premise for a film if you tried. There really isn't a happy ending, either. Our protagonist is a terrible person and just lives out the rest of his days as a mutilated man-walrus.

I must say, I have a strong stomach for body horror but there were some points during the movie where I genuinely thought I'd have to step out for a while. The terrible man-walrus creature doesn't ever get easier to look at, and the scenes where he's made to swim, or eat raw fish, or whatever else....some of them are just strangely intense and incredibly nauseating. Which is annoying, because the movie doesn't even do body horror all that well, and yet it manages to be completely revolting. Kevin Smith is no Cronenberg.

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