Kevin Smith To Shoot Horror Movie 'Tusk' In October, Michael Parks & Justin Long To Star

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by Ben Brock
September 25, 2013 10:25 AM
4 Comments
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Sites like The Playlist exist for many reasons: but arguably, the most pressing of these reasons is so that the people who write for them can read and listen to the verbal outpourings of Kevin Smith and reduce them to something that normal civilians can absorb, consider and move on in less time than it would take to actually interface with Smith. No disrespect to Smith, who has endured far more than his fair share of disrespect, but seriously, the man never stops talking, and in amongst it is often some fairly interesting stuff. Here then is the latest dispatch from one of our operatives, with a hat tip to Horror Home Network for doing some of the heavy lifting.

First and most headline-grabbingly, “Clerks III” is still a thing that is happening. At some point. But it's not the next thing that Smith has going on: it has been postponed so he can instead get to work on a horror film called “Tusk” which grew out of one of Smith's podcasts and is based on an entirely genuine (though, presumably not serious) Gumtree advert posted a while ago, seeking a roommate who would be willing to dress and act like a walrus for two hours a day.

So, a wacky comedy about a walrus-loving flat-owner, eh? No. Smith podcast his way around the concept for a while until he “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.” Ok, sure, that works. “Tusk” is ready to start shooting too, lensing at the end of October, and he'll be using Michael Parks, star of his controversial “Red State,” here to play the walrus-freak, with Justin Long as the man in the suit. And moreover, he'll turn around what he calls the "monster movie" fast.

" 'Tusk' is a moveable feast at like $2 million and change, so it was way more nimble to put that together. 'Tusk' was just something to do while waiting for news back on 'Clerks III.' Suddenly, people were like, 'Really? A human walrus? That sounds f–ked up.' It suddenly took pole position," he explained to EW. "Then I started going, 'Look, I do this, it’s going to make 'Clerks III' even easier to do. I can warm up for 'Clerks III.' It’s been a couple of years. Maybe I need some warmup pitches. But you definitely will see 'Tusk' before you’ll see 'Clerks III.' And if I have my way, you’ll see 'Tusk' up in Sundance in January."

What do you want from us?! Cogent commentary on this idea?! It isn't possible. It can't be done. It is what it is. Kevin Smith, Michael Parks, old school horror, walrus fixation. These are words that blow in like ash on the wind, signifying nothing but portending everything. Or something.

And finally, there's Smith on his old buddy Ben Affleck, whose old house Smith apparently lives in. And when asked about his thoughts on his pal wearing the cape and cowl for "Superman Vs. Batman," he reveals Affleck has been a longtime fan of the hero... and that he once basically built a batcave....

"One I know for a fact: the guys always wanted to play Batman. He loved Frank Miller’s 'Dark Knight Returns,' and one of the reasons he did 'Daredevil' was because [he thought] they were never going to do another Batman after the disastrous 'Batman & Robin.' So he was like, '[Daredevil] is the closest I’ll ever get to Dark Knight Returns.' He’s always wanted to play Batman," Smith explained. 

"I live in Affleck’s old house, and he built a panic room and the entrance was built to look like a Batcave entrance," he continues. "It’s a bookcase that you click a button and the bookcase slides back. He’s the only guy I know that would go to do something like that. I asked him, 'What did that cost to do?' He was like, '50 thousand bucks.' I was like, 'Worth every f–king penny, man.' That’s amazing! If you’re going to have 'Pearl Harbor,' 'Armageddon' type money, build a f–king Batcave entrance in your house. So he’s always loved the character."

Hey Kev, how about some pics? Anyway, it looks like retirement isn't exactly coming soon for Smith, who continues to plug away on his own small projects, clearly moving wherever inspiration strikes him next.

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4 Comments

  • Daniel | September 27, 2013 1:34 AMReply

    Goddammit, didn't this guy say he was retiring or something when he was promoting Red State?

  • JUJITSU | September 25, 2013 6:17 PMReply

    "Sites like The Playlist exist for many reasons: but arguably, the most pressing of these reasons is so that the people who write for them can read and listen to the verbal outpourings of Kevin Smith and reduce them to something that normal civilians can absorb, consider and move on in less time than it would take to actually interface with Smith."

    You know, I've been thinking that we need something else that can do that with The Playlist's articles.

  • sam | September 25, 2013 8:18 PM

    HA :)
    also, The PLaylist, nice way of introducing a subject you say talks too much by going on and on and on before getting to an actual point.

  • Daniel | September 25, 2013 11:09 AMReply

    Great news. I saw Red State in LA when Smith had it on tour, and was hugely surprised by it. I had been looking forward to seeing him speak -- the guy is as funny as any stand up comedian when he's fielding questions onstage -- but I wasn't really looking forward to the film itself, as Smith had never really made anything that worked. I appreciated his cult following, as there's an awful lot of good will behind his writing, and some of the jokes are pretty funny, but the execution and staging of any given scene is so painfully, awkwardly unprofessional, that it kills nearly every positive intention he has as a storyteller.

    But Red State was something totally different; entirely focused on craft and tone, packed with excellent acting (especially by Parks) and seriously off-putting imagery, I felt it was one of the freshest, best-made indie horror pictures I've seen in years. By letting go of his 'style,' he seems suddenly to be having real, electric fun, and that intensity translates directly to the screen with jumpy unpredictability. Very happy to hear that he's found inspiration in this; I've always liked him in terms of his public personality, and respected what he's done for indie film -- but Red State was the first time I've seen him as a truly inspired filmmaker.

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