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Looneymanthegreat's Movie Reviews (125)

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Tusk 
Terror and Humor
3/4 stars

Kevin Smithís Tusk originated from a joke; and that becomes explicitly apparent once youíve actually seen the film. I havenít listened to the ďhilariousĒ podcast conversation that was the birth place for this film, but I doubt that much has been changed in the translation. Tusk feels very much like itís being told from the perspective of your friend who has just read this really messed up thing on the internet and wants to tell you all the weirdest parts.

But is that a bad thing? I for one quite enjoy laughing at bizarre things on the internet, as do most of the people who will bother to see Tusk. I wonder: Is the surreal jokey-ness of the film a strength or a fault? Iím not really sure.

Tusk has moments of both terror and humor, and they overlap in some really jarring ways. Strangely enough, I think I laughed just as much at the unsettling horror as I did at the off-putting comedy. Itís like an impromptu campfire horror story that evolved into a joke as it progressed. The horror starts out scary, and comedy starts out goofy, but its not really until the later parts of the film that the two come together to form a whole.

Iím kind of fascinated by this movie despite myself. Itís a film that could, and should, be a train wreck; but it doesnít feel like one. Itís just too deliberate, too calculated. When itís bad, itís bad on purpose; and when itís scary, itís scary on purpose. I could complain about the silliness, but it was supposed to be silly. I could complain about all of the stuff that doesnít make sense, but itís clearly not supposed to make sense.

I think some serious credit needs to go to actors Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment and Genesis Rodriguez for playing their roles as incredibly straight as they do. Arguably even more credit needs to go to Michael Parks and Johnny Depp whose bizarre unsettling performances seriously aid the horrifically silly tone of the film. These actors were all fabulously casted and their performances, especially Parks performance, are all essential to the film. Without the great cast there would be no way that Tusk could accomplish what it does.

The more I think about Tusk, the more I like it; and the more I like it, the more Iím not sure that I should. I think itís one of those movies that youíll either really enjoy or hate. I for one found the entire experience liberatingly strange. I never thought for a second that what I was watching was bad, just aggressively odd. And if the movies goal is to give the viewer an entertaining and uniquely odd experience, then it is a rousing success. If you love movies like Shaun of the Dead or Rocky Horror Picture Show then youíll probably like Tusk fine, but beware the squeamish and the easily confused!

(By the way: If you like reading my reviews you should check out my movie blog, Atchley-O-Saurus Movies! I'll be posting my new movie reviews there as well as on here, and I'll be posting a bunch of other fun movie content as well. you can find it at http://atchley-o-saurus.blogspot.com/ )


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