Here we are again. In that weird place in time where we have to ask ourselves, what the hell has Kevin Smith gotten himself into now? After dipping his toe into the suspense genre with the 2011 independent romp, Red State, Kevin Smith has been thinking and thinking of something equally unique to pursue next. Never being too afraid to stay busy, the director and writer quickly set his sights onto expanding his established comedy franchise, Clerks, but the sequel was put on hold due to budgeting.
So fans of the great Comic Con wizard himself, found ourselves yet again anxious and sweaty waiting for any news of a new film or script; anticipating the absurdity. What could possibly be next? Enter a walrus.
Using the power of Twitter and podcasting, fans of Smith have been able to keep a watchful eye on any goings-on from the director’s camp. From his writing process during the conception of Clerks III to the organic beginnings of his newest film, SModcast is a podcast for anybody who find themselves subconsciously wearing trench coats and smoking cigarettes outside of their local convenience store. SModcast has become Smith’s playground to bounce script ideas back and forth with his friend and producer, Scott Mosier. One episode has the pair brainstorming a movie about a giant resurrected Jesus destroying cities in an apocalyptic rampage. Listeners tune in to each episode hoping to figure out what Kevin and Scott had been planning.
And then, like an old friend you had almost forgotten about — the trailer for TUSK was released.
If you’re a fan of SModcast you probably realized this wasn’t the first time you’ve heard the story of TUSK. For those of you who aren’t avid SModcasters, but are still fans of Smith’s, you might be interested to know that the idea for TUSK came out of an episode of SModcast last summer when the guys were talking about a creepy ad on a home rental site (the ad was later revealed to be a prank). The Walrus and The Carpenter (ep. 259) is one of the most beloved episodes by fans and unique in that it’s essentially one of the strangest movie pitches of all time. And now that TUSK has come to fruition, here’s the backstory you might not know about.
“This is something out of a Hammer™ horror film ….21st century Hammer™ horror,” was how Smith described the ad before reading the original prank advertisement that influenced TUSK. Smith and Mosier went on to construct a fictional story of a drunken soccer hooligan, Wallace, being seduced from his group of roommates by a madman’s too-good-to-be-true rental advertisement. Much of the podcast is spent over wheezes of laughter as the pair describes the various ways in which Wallace is tortured and forced into the role of a pet walrus. Smith and Mosier go to great depths of silliness to flesh out the story of a young man held captive and fed raw seafood. “This [the movie] will be like a more cuddly Human Centipede,” Smith promises.
I can hardly contain my excitement for TUSK. While the podcast seemed to be promoting the idea for the movie as more of a dark comedy, within the two and a half minute trailer there is no clear signs the movie will have any comedic component. Where 2011’s Red State found Smith using his voice for topical suspense, TUSK looks to be pure terror and far from a comedy.
Casting for the horror film brings Justin Long (Dodgeball, Zack and Miri Make a Porn), Hailey Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense) and Michael Parks (Red State, Kill Bill) together along with Long’s onscreen girlfriend Genesis Rodriguez (What to Expect When You’re Expecting).
The movie’s plot revolves around Teddy (Hailey Joel Osment) and Allison (Rodgriuez) looking for Teddy’s podcast co-host and Allison’s boyfriend, Wallace (Long), who has gone missing after venturing too far for a podcast exclusive with the movie’s villain, Howard Howe (Parks).
TUSK’s trailer leaves me in complete anticipation for what Smith and Mosier can do with such an absurd and horrific idea. Listening to Episode 259 of SModcast is a MUST for anybody slightly interested in Smith’s second go at the horror/suspense genre. Whether you watch the trailer first or listen to the movie’s fruition on SModcast, either will set your excitement levels to max. Turn your lighthouse on and search for TUSK September 19 of this year! While you wait I’ve provided an edited version of the movie being discussed from Episode 259 for those short on time. Also be sure to check out an article pertaining to the original prank advertisement that put the movie’s idea in motion and some sketches of Justin Long as the walrus!
Edited Version of Podcast: