Tusk

Are There Lesbians? No

What Happens?
On the search for a story for his podcast, Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) travels to Canada where he falls foul of a nefarious serial killer with a strange desire – to turn his victims into a walrus.

The Verdict:
Tusk is the most god-awful movie I have ever had the displeasure to watch. It is a huge success in that I was filled with nothing but revulsion for most, if not all of the whole thing. The phrase “train-wreck” doesn’t even come close to the horror that was my experience of this film and it gives me almost as much pleasure to loathe it as much as I did, as distaste I had in watching it.

The visuals of the human walrus are now burned into my brain forever, which sucks because I can’t actually see pictures in my mind, so I’m mostly just haunted by the nebulous idea of it, but either way, it’s in there and its not coming out any time soon. The movie is not so much gory as it is repellent, though there is plenty of blood and guts to go around. In fact, the first scene tells you all you really need to know about this movie – two podcasters watching a video of a kid whirling a katana, only to laugh uproariously when he chops his leg off. And yes you see the insides.

The main character is reprehensible, but even that doesn’t bring proper satisfaction at him getting his come-uppance, as the visuals that assault your eyeballs when he does, really don’t leave much room for feelings of triumph or cathartic joy at seeing a terrible person brought low.

Speaking of low, the humour when it happens is crude, but then that’s the whole point. Everything is so incredibly overdone and highly theatrical from the crass dudebro podcaster to the long-winded sea captain (because that’s a dichotomy that this movie makes you consider) and honestly part of the horror of this movie is that there are people out there who would definitely go absolutely nuts for a podcast called The Not-See Party and the incredibly low blows that they take. Honestly I’m still not sure how much of my laughter was sheer discomfort, and how much genuine enjoyment at the humour, though I can say for sure that I very much enjoyed Howard Howe’s introduction – his bathroom letter really lets you know everything you need to about this character before you even see him.

In an excruciating take on the Buffalo Bill-style serial killer, Howard Howe makes not a “woman suit”, but a Walrus suit for his victims. Except as it turns out he’s got one for himself too, because his ultimate goal is to give his long-lost walrus friend (and potential lover? It’s never really clarified but there are some serious homoerotic “male friendship” overtones) the fighting chance he never had. Said fight scene is a veritable cornucopia of ridiculousness.

This review is on the shorter side because, frankly, I don’t really like thinking about this movie, and after it was finished I had to watch videos of tiny houses on youtube to restore my poor mind. If you ever have the misfortune of watching this movie, my condolences, please feel free to contact me and we can stare off into the distance in stunned silence together until the end of our mutual days.

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