10 Reasons Why "Tusk" Is Kevin Smith's Best Movie

It’s no spoiler to say that Tusk is about a guy who gets abducted by a crazy old guy who’s experimenting with turning a human into a walrus. It’s also no spoiler to say that director Kevin Smith really needed a big splashy idea to get some attention from movie critics. The past few years have been rough on the guy. He started out as a hot ’90s indie guy with Clerks, but that was way back in 1994.
Smith then fumbled the big-studio followup of Mallrats, and his reputation has been fading ever since. The guy’s beloved as an internet geek and comic book guy, but nobody’s cared about him as a director since 2010’s Cop Out. Smith couldn’t even get attention with the political horror of 2011’s Red State.
But Tusk turns out to be Kevin Smith’s best film as a writer and as a director–even if Smith says that Tusk is mostly an infomercial for his podcasts. Smith has still made a really affecting film which deserves buzz for more than just its plot (and a surprise turn by a major movie star whose role is the only spoiler happening here). Tusk is calculatedly quirky enough to please Smith’s old fans, but there are also 10 Weird Tricks that have Tusk looking like Smith’s smartest movie ever…

Yes, Tusk is a rip-off of the heavily-hyped geek fave The Human Centipede–but it also rips off three other movies, including the best aspects of an artsy indie movie called Gods and Monsters.


The movie’s about an obliviously callous podcaster who travels to Canada to visit the victim of a cruel viral video, but that doesn’t work out–and Tusk trusts the audience to understand something that the podcaster can’t figure out.


Cool old character actor Michael Parks is the eccentric who lures the podcaster to his home, and gets to show off his versatility in what could’ve been a goofy role–and Justin Long also manages to bring some real tragedy to what should be ludicrous.


Smith brought in Haley Joel Osment for what would usually be a role for Smith’s goofy sidekick Jason Mewes, which was really smart–but Jason still gets a producer credit.


Genesis Rodriguez was hired to play the girlfriend, and there’s obvious reasons that’s really great, but she also nails a surprisingly demanding role.


Johnny Depp pays tribute to Peter Sellers with an amazing comic performance that also makes a good case for appreciating his work in The Lone Ranger, where he paid tribute to an old comic named Buster Keaton.


Tusk is too good to be called a horror comedy–but, yeah, it still got marketed like this.


Kevin Smith and Johnny Depp‘s daughters (Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Melody Depp) steal their scenes, and you’ll actually look forward to them returning as the same characters–and with Depp’s character–for Smith’s Yoga Hosers.


Towards the end of Tusk, there’s about a five-minute stretch that begins to feel like a Kevin Smith movie–but then Smith manages to get the tone back, and we’re still not sure if he isn’t just screwing around with the audience.


Tusk is ultimately a work of self-hatred, so we can’t think of a better movie for people who hate Kevin Smith (or just hate that he keeps making movies instead of doing standup comedy). Did we mention that now we’re looking forward to Yoga Hosers? Yeah. We’re looking forward to Yoga Hosers.


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