It’s been over three years since Kevin Smith’s last film, “Red State,” hit theaters. A drastic detour from the “Jay and Silent Bob” universe, “Red State” was a darkly comedic horror film that took on militant fundamentalist cults. It might not have been a hit, but it restoked Smith’s creative fires, and the director has now returned with this newest feature, “Tusk.”
Smith revisits the horror genre, and the setup is — well, it’s different. And, some would argue, very Kevin Smith. In the film, Wallace Bryton (the forever and endearingly goofy Justin Long) meets a recluse who wants to turn him into a walrus. Yep. A walrus.
Smith actually got the idea for the script from an ad he read on Gumtree (a classifieds site), which he and co-producer Scott Mosier featured in episode 259, “The Walrus and The Carpenter,” of their SModcast podcast. Smith asked listeners to weigh in and vote via twitter — #WalrusYes or #WalrusNo — as to whether he should adapt the idea into a film. He details the discovery of that ad and the evolution of the project from concept to screen in a new featurette that you can watch below.
In addition to the behind-the-scenes look, we also have an early peek at “Tusk” in this scene, which finds Justin Long learning the Cana-Dos and Cana-Don’ts of etiquette when visiting Canada from an informative, if slightly off-kilter, immigration official.
Early responses the film received at the Toronto International Film Festival were very positive, and our own review noted that Smith is “using his skill set in a different genre, with a different agenda altogether, combining autobiographical elements, spooky late-night B-movie influences and a deeper thematic exploration of the nature of storytelling, to create something wholly unique and twisted. ”
“Tusk” opens September 19th.