Comic-Con favorite Kevin Smith debuted the trailer for his upcoming horror film Tusk to a packed audience in Hall H. The trailer is dark, creepy, surprisingly humorous, and not quite what you'd expect from the notable comedic director.
San Diego Comic-Con hosted “The Musk of Tusk: An Evening With Kevin Smith,” which also featured stars Genesis Rodriguez and Haley Joel Osment on the panel. After the discussion, Smith revealed the trailer to the attendees of Hall H, and shortly after it was released online for the world to see. Take a look for yourself.
Tusk originated from a SModcast recording wherein Smith, and his longtime friend and producer Scott Mosier, discussed an article featuring an ad where a homeowner was offering a living situation free of charge, if the lodger agreed to dress as a walrus. It becomes apparent early on that we’re not in typical Smith territory. In the last few years, the filmmaker and podcaster has switched gears, turning much of his attention on his SModCast endeavor, periodically chiming in with rumors of retirement or independently produced comedic projects like his hockey epic HIt Somebody (still in development hell as a possible mini-series), as well as trying to secure funds for Clerks 3 and develop his Krampus Series. On the surface Tusk would appear to be an outlier in the director’s otherwise comedy-centric filmography.
However, Tusk does seem to share similarities in both tone and shooting-style as Smith’s previous attempt at horror, Red State. Which contained a powerhouse performance from Michael Parks and a strong first-act, but unfortunately fell a little short. It looks like Smith may have treated Red State as a great training-ground for Tusk, allowing him to transition from comedy to horror more easily. That isn’t to say that the movie won’t offer comedy; judging from the footage shown in the official trailer, there’s an interesting showcase of unforced humor and a deft hand at quirky writing. It’s like Smith is channeling the Coen Brothers in the scene with the two girls behind the store counter. He’s evolving into a more confident director.
Michael Parks is back and looking like he might deliver another odd, and powerfully creepy performance as Howard Howe, the man who lures Justin Long’s podcaster to his unwanted…transformation? The project was conceived and written in about 20-odd days and has appeared to rejuvenate the director’s juices for filmmaking.
Last year, Smith described how he approached the tone for Tusk:
“I began reconstructing the whole thing as an old British Hammer horror film, In which a mad scientist intends to sew some hapless lodger into counterfeit blubber, creating a chimera in an effort to answer the ultimate riddle, ‘Is man, indeed, a walrus at heart?!.’”
The film stars Michael Parks, Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez and Johnny Depp (Yep. Depp is playing a role originally meant for Quentin Tarantino) and will be released on September 19th. Recently, TIFF is just a week before so there’s a very good chance we could see it premiering as part of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness series. Very appropriate given the film’s setting –
“I don’t wanna die in Canada.”
Images: Demerest Films, SModcast Productions, A24 Films