Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Flesh Feast


Flesh Feast Directed By Brad F. Grinter, Starring Veronica Lake (1970).


We're getting to the scrounging point of the VHS catalog. But everytime I think we've reached the bottom, more goodies rise to the surface. This was also featured in Mad Ron's Prevues From Hell, so it's doubly important. This one is considered Miami-sploitation and has "actors" we've talked about before like the Anti-Marijuana, chainsmoking fellow recently mentioned in Charles the Alien's review of Bloodfreak. There's Harry Kerwin, the brother of minor H.G. Lewis celebrity Bill Kerwin. There are a lot of these exploitation films from Miami that were not made by Italians and this one is clearly trying to dupe people into thinking it's some how related to Bloodfeast or H.G.
  
So here we go with a version special episode of Dragnet involving Veronica Lake and a Nazi conspiracy, also there's maggots! Sound fun? The stirring library music is exceptionally loud (which I was fine with) but the excruciating office typing is very annoying. Dr Frederick (played by Lake) and her boyfriend Carl Schumann, a flat topped morgue attendant looking goon are busy conducting secret experiments in their swinging pad. Everyone has a monotone tin sounding dubbed voice. A pissed off cop figures those pesky Nazis are responsible and heads out of the office to follow them.

I come to the Arby's walk-in to clear my thoughts

Psychedelic primary colors flash over slithering maggots, as the two unlikable people talk in code and keep their dialogue all so elusive. Paranoid nurses are nervous and don't trust their bosses, they work at her house. Lake constantly wears a bonnet on her head for some reason (maybe her brain is exposed). She sets up four tubs full of maggots that are used to reverse the aging process--which makes about as much sense as the fly larvae storm scene from Lucio "maggot king supreme" Fulci's Gates of Hell did. Maybe the Real House Wives (or any of the Botox junkies on Bravo should try maggots instead of facelifts)!

Get Andy Cohen on the phone, those tubs of barf need their own reality show!
Make sure you suspend all logic and don't pick on the film's ineptitude or it will be a difficult time, you could just fall asleep and wake up at the last five minutes and you'd be fine.

No one can say "Lake was confused or senile and had no idea what she was doing, because she produced this schlock!" I say good for her, she knew exploitation horror was money in the bank.

When is this film over so I can buy some more booze!

Carl looks like one of those walking corpses from Carnival of Souls and has a robotic voice. Him and Dr. Elaine spend a lot of time lounging on the couch and drinking. This film is only an hour and change but it feels like three! YAWN, man this thing is slow, I was hoping Mike and the Bots might emerge from the bottom half of the screen but they never do.

OW! I just got lockjaw!


Two girls in curlers wonder what experiments are going on down in the lab and see a mortician saw through some bones (in the most PG friendly way possible). Some ambiguously foreign men in suits and a hippie show up at the house and stir up trouble. They talk about a revolution, which made me think about the lyrics of that Beatles song, didn't they mention Flesh Feast in their somewhere?

The hippie is accosted by one of the girls who just showed up and they still haven't established if she's the Dr.'s daughter or what?

This film attempts to invent some kind of conspiracy but is way out of its league, the scriptwriter has no clue, he doesn't attempt to explain anything or establish the motives of the characters. From what I can piece together, the (fill in the blank) foreign agents, hippies and crypt kickers are all involved in a second wave of The Third Reich, but I'm basically giving the writer more credit then he deserves.They show a withered Hitler in the grand finale, I'd flash the ((SPOILER ALERT)) sign, but every description of this film gives it all away. I guess that's the only reason to watch this one is for the creative ending. It's a hilarious concept that she brought back Hitler only to humiliate him by putting maggots on his face and the switcheroo ending is kind of E.C. comic-esque. This film is hard to take and you'd be better off firing up another viewing of Frozen Dead, which has similar Nazipoitation and 60's Disney looking characters and a talking severed head but is insanely better than this dreck (check out my review of this gem over at Kindertrauma).

DON'T BOTHER! DRINK ANOTHER ORANGE FANTA INSTEAD (The Only Soda invented in Nazi Germany).

Hey it's the guy from Taste of Blood, thanks for stopping by

AGONY AAA-GONNE-EAAYY (in Bugs Bunny voice)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

VASE DE NOCES The Pig Fucking Movie

-Reviewed by Skunkape-
Directed by Thierry Zeno-1974
Ever since I saw the title "Pig Fucking Movie" in Todd Tjersland's Threat Theater International catalog, it was always on my must see list. (I’m pretty sure Deep Red didn’t ever carry this one.) I have no interest in bestiality, well some obviously, but as young VHS collector and a John Waters fan it was all about the shock. Having a video called Pig Fucking Movie on my elite rack of cult films seemed like a necessity. Twenty bucks was pretty steep at the time, especially when I was buying up more high profile titles like Make Them Die Slowly, Meet the Feebles, and an un-subbed Porno Holocaust. The title was bookmarked, however, no purchase was made. I did come close when placing an order by phone at T.T.I. but the lovely gentleman warned me of the pain and boredom that would ensue upon watching. So, with the demise of tape trading and the rise of DVD I never quite forgot about the film but where would I ever find a copy? What distributor would even consider releasing this film under the title Pig Fucking Movie? I never saw a trace of this movie at any video store or convention, the quest of obtaining this art house shock fest seemed hopeless. Seriously though, a title that starts with the two words PIG FUCKING can't exist, it has to be a nickname that it earned based on the content? Right?
HERE’S A HYPOTHETICAL CONVERSATION
Harry: I went to the pictures last night!
Tina Marie:  Whatcha See?
Harry: You know, that “Pig Fucking Movie.”


That pretty much sums it up!

  
The Belgium film's true title is Vace De Noces which translates to Wedding Trough. It’s also known as A Boy and his Pig or even One Man and his Pig. The one man in the film is Dominique Garny as the Pig Porkin' Farmer. Whatever title you decide to use, you'll never forget it!
God only knows what Charlotte would write in her web, if she was a resident on this F'd up farm!



Filmed in Black and White and accompanied by an amazing score, the film starts with a lonely farm boy trying to screw a baby doll's head onto a bird. You wanted art house, you got it! After several failed attempts, he sets the bird free from an upstairs window in the farmhouse. You see, this is symbolic of, well, uh, how the hell am I supposed to know! Need I remind you that this is the Pig Fucking Movie! After that, we see and hear the pig eating while lover boy fondles the pig’s nips in a nice close up shot.
Shortly after, the pig does her job plowing the garden while we watch some shots of the other farm animals.  After about a minute of some normal farm life, things start to get twisted again. The farmer wears a blind fold trying to find the pig, as if they are playing some sort of weird catch me if you can game. When Ms. Piggy is caught, it becomes time for the farmer to drop his drawers but before we see any real action, the director cuts away. Oh Mr. Zeno you’re such a tease. Dinner Time! The farmer gets hungry, says his prayers, and chows down. It’s no surprise that he eats just like a pig, slurping and stuffing his mouth.


I don't think that's going to stay on genius!
Cold Day!

"Marco!" "Porko!"




The film suddenly steers away from it’s unique high brow artsy fartsy approach regarding the taboo subject matter and gets all Troma. The farmer sits on his outside bucket toilet and takes a shit. We hear the pushing, straining, heavy breathing, and of course the extreme flatulence. A cut away of the pig pissing and dropping a deuce is also shown. I did laugh out loud because after one extremely noisy fart, there was a reaction shot of two ducks who looked rather offended.
"We should have a threeway with Arnold Ziffel!"

It’s only been twenty minutes but I feel like of been watching this for an hour. Witnessing the strange relationship of this man, this pig and all the other strange happenings get very tedious. After all, there's not a single word of dialogue, just snorting.  The snorting gets louder and louder when the pig gets chased and groped by the naked farmer, it’s all to real and very uncomfortable. With the foreplay over, it’s finally time to go hog wild and the pig gets fucked full force in a simulated sex scene.(thank God) Sadly the sex scene isn’t even the most shocking part of the film, the pig gives birth on camera! Is the farmer the Dad? I sure as hell didn’t see any other pigs around.
"Lets hit the hay!"

"You put the oink in B-oink"

 So now with three brand new little piglets to take care of, you would think they would all be one big happy family and live happily ever after. That is soooo not the case! The little oinkers interfere with Old McDoofus's sex life, so what does he do? He hangs the piglets! I don’t know if the pigs in the film were killed but there are definitely three real dead pigs hanging from nooses. Mom pig goes mad and dies when she sees this. A real dead pig is tied to ladder is dragged to a shallow grave and the farmer out of respect, sadness, remorse (you pick one) climbs in the dirt pit and buries himself up to his head. He climbs out only when it’s time for him to take a dump.
"Your Mom's a P.I.L.F."

"Oh no he didn't!"

4 legs good! 2 legs bad!

Pig Pen's Dad

Now, all alone, he takes down the hanging piglets and puts them in jars. He also removes poop from the toilet and puts that in jars, For the next 15 minutes we have to sit and watch this guy eat poop! I "shit" you not! After he runs out of feces, he barfs, climbs a ladder and hangs himself. Good riddance and fuck you movie.


EWWWW-EW

Pukin' Up Poop!

So, am I glad that I saw this? Yes! It feels like a weight has been lifted off my chest for getting through the whole thing. I really hated seeing the dead pigs though. Nobody likes dead animals in films, especially terrible films. Chickens died in John Waters’ films, Italian Cannibal films spare nothing that moves but those films are so entertaining that I can’t help but let it slide, no matter how depraved. I know it's shitty. 
This film clearly embraces the idea of man and animal and really showcases it in a serious manor. I don’t recommend this to anyone. But if you are looking for a good movie about animal humping I suggest Revenge of Billy the Kid and Dog Lay Afternoon.

This has been one of the hardest thing I’ve ever had to watch, much like Victor Salva’s Powder. So if you’re like me and you just have to see everything for yourself, go ahead watch it, I won’t judge. (You sick mother fucking freak!)

In May 2009 Camera Obscura released this film!

There's even a bonus disc that could actually even answer all the questions- about the symbolism, the dead pigs, and why this film was ever made! If anyone has it let me know!

• DISC TWO:
• OF PIGS AND MEN documentary (16:9; 72:30; in French with optional English and German subtitles)
• Intro by director Thierry Zéno and co-writer Dominque Garny (4:3; 0:38; in French with English and German subtitles)
• Outro by director Thierry Zéno and co-writer Dominque Garny (4:3; 0:13; in French with optional
• English and German subtitles)

 HATED IT
It still gets a
6/10 On the CULT-0-METER
For it's overall sickness, quite frankly, it's unforgetable and will have you thinking about it for weeks to cum!

Follow me on TWITTER
@TrailersPU

If anyone has the bonus features for this film with english subs and wants to share please contact me!
Thank You!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Psychopath

(ad taken from http://templeofschlock.blogspot.com/)

The Psychopath (An Eye for an Eye) Directed By Larry G. Brown, Starring Tom Basham (1973).

This film is legendary in the grindhouse circuit, experts like Bill Landis (who mentioned its effectiveness in Sleazoid Express) and Rick Sullivan were completely weirded out by it, I guarantee you will be too! Gore Gazette head honcho Sullivan described Tom Basham, who plays the demented kiddie show host as "without a doubt one of the sickest cookies he's ever seen on film and his retarded performance is the sole reason to brave the sticky scum ridden floors of the Selwyn theater to catch this mutant." 

Years later, Joe Spinell in a drugged out haze or drunken stupor (who knows for sure) "borrowed" this concept for another legendary short film Maniac 2 : Mr. Robbie directed by Buddy G. I love that short film and am not implying that Spinell owes anything to the 1973 original, I mean ideas are floating around in the ether and should be utilized in such a creative way, right? If anything, it brings attention to this rare film designed for weirdos only. 
Spinell as Mr. Robbie (not Rabbey)!

What I love about this movie is that it clearly wants---even demands that you take your family along and and learn something from this deranged cautionary tale! Otherwise, why the fuck would they rate it PG? People's faces are smashed in with baseball bats, children discharge firearms, more faces are assaulted by lawnmovers  and gleeful carnage is doled out (but all implied to hover under the radar of showing actual gore or nudity). Just check out how this rare ad up top celebrates murder! 


EEEEK! It's Mr. Rabbey!

The production quality is total shit and the sleazy vibe is on par with I Dismember Mama, so lets all dive into this slime pit of abusive parents and vigilante puppet wielding justice!
It opens with some Hard Days Night credits font and two strange looking parents who cant wait to beat their child into submission. The fat mother has an afro and looks like a white Shirley Hemphill from What's Happening! The radio news mentions that some unsolved murders concerning missing parents have been occurring--hmm I wonder who may be responsible? 

from the all Caucasian version of What's Happening (or What's The Dilly-Yo?)

Meanwhile a Scorsese looking Kiddie Show director is bitching at Mr. Rabbey (Tom Basham), who looks sort of like Anthony Perkins in a Moe Howard wig. He also reminds me of Stuart, this Mad TV character with excessive pancake makeup on played by Michael Mcdonald.   


Man child Stuart, seems very much influenced by this film

As Mr. Robbey peddles his frustrations away on his ten speed (shades of PW Herman), we hear a fake "Stairway to Heaven" song, which just about caused me and Skunkape to spit beer all over the keyboard from laughing. The 70's were so demented, this "fun for the whole family" flick makes it seem as though sadistic parents are everywhere spanking their kids, just asking to be slaughtered. 


My close personal friend Francis Coppola is gonna hear about this

Some of the dumbest cops show up, one of them is played by non other than Beverly Hills Cop balding officer Taggart (played by John Ashton). This is actually his first role, he would later play this identical cop character throughout his entire career. 


Where's my buddy Judge Reinhold, or Axel Foley? 

Mr. Rabbey, who is so incredibly creepy, goes to visit sick kids in the hospital (shades of Patch Adams, man The Psychopath spawned so many copy cats, right)? Or maybe I'm totally wrong. 


Martin Short as Clifford in The Burning


One seemingly catatonic kid named Jefferson, who was abused makes the same exact face every time they show him. At his house later on next to his parents, I expected his features to be frozen in that exact pose! 


HELP, my face got stuck like this!


There's this really inappropriate drum beat and funk bass line that shows up periodically (Hey chalk it up to the 70's again) as they zoom in on Mr. Rabbey's eyeballs. The manchild, stalks the fat mother and smashes her face in with a baseball bat! Directly after down at the TV studio he plays a maudlin tune on the piano and weeps like the emotionally unbalanced creep he is in the dark.  

Cue that funky Seinfeld bassline!
Next, he hangs out with his producer/mother (who knows?) and eats his favorite treat CHOCOLATE CAKE! 

Basham's performance comes off like a perverted Anthony Perkins with brain damage. During the table scene, they give him the same eerie eyelights like Angelica Huston in The Addams Family movies. The authority figures in this film are totally clueless and take up space (their scenes add up to little or nothing). 


What do you mean we're out of chocolate cake?

He calls his producer/ manager, again hasn't really been established "Mommy" and they look to be about the same age. This is one of the shortest, most satisfying creep-fests in recent memory, even though the cops threaten to drag the film down, it's still totally captivating on so many levels! For one, who was this film made for, the tone suggests comedy, but there's nothing funny at all going on, it's bleak and unintentionally campy. It makes you feel dirty and yet it's all presented in a sunny daylight, just before the finale, when it gets real dark. Just an incredibly weird oddity that demands to be re-released, Come on Vinegar Syndrome, this one is calling your name, do it right now!  


You made a wrong turn at Jack in the Box Skip!

BUY HERE  (Available from J4HI.COM) 

Monday, April 6, 2015

BLOODFREAK!

Artist's representation of Charles The Bizarre Alien
Crank here (0r Erok, Eric, whatever the cat's out of the bag now, so I guess I should drop all these internet handles)! I've been looking for new writers and have found one with Charles, he's here to tackle one of my all time Turkeysploitation favorites. Enjoy and stay off the poultry! 

BLOOD FREAK (1972 Steve Hawkes, Dana Culliver, Heather Hughes, Larry Wright and Brad Grinter as the narrator . Written produced and directed by Steve Hawkes and Brad Grinter )

(image from Cinema Arcana, Bruceholecheck.blogspot.com)

Review by Charles The Bizarre Alien 

PRAISE JAYZUS! Gobble! Gobble! Gobble! Just say NO to drugs! Hallelujah!!!! Blood & guts! Agggggggggghhhhh!!!! Wha???????


Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you an AMAZING film, well at least to me, it is because it is well, amazing! Considered the world's “Only turkey-monster-anti drug-pro Jesus GORE film!” Yes my friends, it really IS all that and more! Around 2006 or so I got into the band Blood Freak thanks to my old friend and ghoulish president of Razorback Records, Mr. Billy Nocera whose label subsequently released 3 albums by them. Great death/grind/gore/metal madness with their mascot being this blood thirsty nutjob maniac 'turkey monster'. 
Turns out it was from a movie and after I looked it up I knew I HAD to see it! Not to long later the stars were aligned just right and I found it in a local store used/mint for about $8! 


Blood Freak the band

I took it home and watched it and I was like WHOA! What we have here is a film that starts right out with this cigarette smoking gentleman (who reminds me of Russ Meyer for some odd reason) introducing the film by stating some philosophical mumbo jumbo about life and blah.blah.blah. Thru out the film you will be interrupted by his story telling, which I thought was and is pretty funny and kinda cool. I still wonder how many cigarettes he smoked and how many takes he had to do? Ha!ha! 


Blood Freak's message? that cancer sticks are healthier than weed

Anyhoo, the movie finally begins and we've got this very tall “muscle bound biker” gentleman by the name of Herschel (producer/ co-director Steve Hawkes). The biker is having a nice time riding his motorcycle on a beautiful sunny day when he sees a lovely young Lady (Angel played by Heather Hughes) on the side of the road experiencing some kind of trouble with her engine. There's barely any dialogue what so ever and he follows her to her house where we meet some heathen hippies who are sitting around smoking the green and snorting poppers.


She said I was a tiger she wanted to tame just like that Billy Ocean song

Angel is a fine Christian Lady who loves Jesus and tells Herschel all about it . He doesn't seem to mind and is a nice decent moral fellow. A sexy swinger hippy Lady approaches him and he kindly tells her “no thanks!,” which she's offended by, but her partner looks like he is about to shit his pants when she tells him that guy over there said “i'm a whore” (which he didn't, in a manner of speaking ). 


I can totally suck a golfball through a garden hose!

Herschel is introduced to Angel's free loving, sexy pot smoking, drug loving sister Ann whom he turns down repeatedly! Herschel isn't a "Christian", but he has got them MORALS people! 

The story continues as a Christian/anti-marijuana/anti free love film and is kinda slow but not boring mind you! The feathers start flying when the main character, finally gets SICK of Ann pestering him about being a loser and decides to try some weed that one of Ann's hippie band drug dealers hooks her up with (he also wants revenge for the Elvis clone insulting his girlfriend, so this is a “special” kind of pot)! Before you know it, Herschel is ADDICTED! 


Great, now I'm also addicted to tryptophan! 

Besides suddenly becoming a hardcore pot head, he also needs a job. Luckily, around the same time, this guy who happens to have a turkey farm/laboratory offers him a job to clean up around the place and do various chores, like picking up the birds and putting them back inside the fence la la la. He is also offered extra money if he'll try some “harmless experiments", which has him just saying YES to eating turkey meat that turns this once happy bible thumping jesus praising just say NO to drugs and illicit sex lunkhead into a total WTF!? THIS IS A TOTAL GOOD TIME GOBBLE FEST!  


This Thanksgiving I implore you to eat a nice baked ham instead

NO sooner does the innocent biker (who resembles the fused DNA results of Elvis Presley and Peter Steele both combined with some serious muscle-age (otherwise known as DANZIG, -ed). He turns into a freaked out looking turkey headed hippy blood drinking psycho monster freak-o and the rest of the film is spent with him killing random women and men here and there, including a would be rapist (the guy gets a deal to use Ann as a blow up doll by another greasy dirtbag dope fiend!) until her BF gets a hold of him, resulting in one of the most HILARIOUS gore scenes ever in my book! 


What the sadistic San Diego Chicken does off the clock!

He chases the dude into a warehouse that just happens to have a table saw and after sawing off one of the guy's legs (after he knocks the guy out then places him on the table)! The guy nonstop screams in a loop that had me in PAIN from LAUGHING my ass off! It's also a little disturbing as the guy is holding his stump and it just drips drips drips! It almost sounds like the sample from an early industrial noise band like SPK or one of (early) Throbbing Gristles creep-fests, Just hilarious and odd! The same scream is heard a few victims before too which cracked me up as I drank my beer! Am i giving away the entire plot? Well dang it, I got caught up alright? 


TG's unrecorded "Annual Jive Turkey Report" went over like a led balloon

There is more to this movie and lemme just say, if you want full entertainment with some Bible studies, moral/immoral friction between 2 hot sisters (sorry, NOT sexual friction!), unintentionally HILARIOUS dialogue, 2 clueless lab technicians, (the balding large guy is beyond HILARIOUS! I wonder if the actor got into comedy)? 

Isn't Turkey, the Chicken of the Sea?

If you want to see a guy plagued by moral dilemmas now thanks to Marijuana and sweet lovin, a very odd and dark make-out scene between a girl and her Turkey monster lover with the words of “Gosh Herschel, you sure are ugly!”, a sketchy 'Turkey' scientist, a cool soundtrack, a narrator that looks like Russ Meyers cousin and/or an aging porn star, Turkey hunting 'whoa dude!” hairball hunter and praising the Lord, among other oddball assortments, then get off your backside and check out this fine film! 

Released on DVD by the fine folks from the legendary SOMETHING WEIRD VIDEO! The disc also comes with literally a TON of extras! Tons of trailers, some shorts (wanna see the director/smoking narrator Brad Grinter NAKED? Watch the nudist short “Brad Grinter, Nudist!”) and a buncha other fun wacky stuff for your entertainment and educational means! 
Nobody asked for this!

As the WARNING states “This program contains nudity, sexual situations, violence and gobbling”! Ha!ha!ha! On a side note, actor Steve Hawkes (“Herschell”) portrayed Tarzan in 2 films, but was badly burned during a scene and later did this movie, which he quotes as “This was during a SAD time in my life!” Well, speak for yourself Mr. Hawkes! This movie is GREAT man! I SALUTE you! Years later he appeared in an episode of ANIMAL PLANET and apparently is a very cool dude (especially for his works, caring about animals and nature) I doubt you'll ever see a movie like this ever again. Cheers to the fine feathered folks behind this great film! This has been The Bizarre Alien saying KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES and beware of blood drinking Turkey headed man monsters! Yeeeee-ha! Gobble! Gobble! P.S. 2-3 beers were consumed as I watched this again! It helped! (seems like you should've had more to drink, -ed)!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

BUY HERE

Saturday, April 4, 2015

TUSK


TUSK   
USA, Canada, 2014. D: Kevin Smith

Reviewed by Greg Goodsell

Odious radio shock jock Wallace Bryton (Justin Long), of the “Not-See Party” (get it?) plans a trip to Canada in order to interview the subject of an Internet viral video. Said notorious clip depicts a nerdy teen demonstrating his Samurai sword skills, accidentally slicing a leg off in the process! Taking the trip solo to the Great White North, Bryton finds that the teen has taken his own life out of humiliation. Hating to go home empty-handed, Bryton takes note of an ad posted in a bar restroom. An eccentric old recluse, Howard Howe (Michael Parks) is looking for someone to share his mansion for free room and board, adding that he has interesting life experiences to share for that special someone. Bryton takes the bait, and meets up with Howe at his rural, gloomy manse. Regaling Bryton with his experiences as a young sailor, Howe has drugged his guest's drink. When Bryton next wakes he finds himself bound to a wheelchair – and one of his legs has been amputated (in bizarre retribution for the planned exploitation of his suicidal interview subject)! Howe informs him that the happiest time of his life was when he survived a shipwreck and was lovingly cared for by a male walrus who kept him from the cold by concealing him in his blubber. Long is to become a human walrus, following extensive, homemade surgery ….


Meet Wallace the Walrus

Transformed into a hulking, barely mobile human walrus after Parks' handiwork – a truly horrific and hilarious makeup effect, chillingly achieved by Robert Kurtzman, Bryton is kept in a macabre aquarium where he soon learns that other would-be houseguests have fallen prey to Parks' brutal ministrations. In the meantime, Bryton’s radio cohort Teddy Craft (Haley Joel Osment) and Bryton’s girlfriend Ally (Genesis Rodriguez) enlist the aid of an alcoholic French-Canadian detective Guy LaPointe (Johnny Depp in a delightful bit of dialectical comedy on par with Peter Sellers) who has encountered similar, perplexing unsolved murders. The trio, after a successful series of deductive reasoning close in on Howe’s mansion – will they be able to save their friend in time?


Oh well, I guess I'll have to start all over


TUSK tanked at the U.S. box office. It played most theaters for a week, barely advertised, and skipped the second-run movie houses altogether in most cities. Many people when hearing of the premise, were quick to write it off as “HUMAN CENTIPEDE (2009), except this time the victim is turned into a walrus.” It's nowhere near that simple. The film's storyline takes on many complex shadings.

Big Gulps, now in blubber flavor

While frequently hilarious, TUSK makes the audience think twice before every chuckle. The ostensible hero, Long, is an unrepentant asshole. The most famous quote to emerge from the film is his plea “I don't want to die in Canada!” We've all laughed at YouTube videos where people are injured – “MAJOR FAIL!” – not thinking of the pain and injury suffered by the unlucky subjects. To paraphrase Mel Brooks, “Tragedy is you falling down a manhole: Comedy is me watching you fall down a manhole.” Director and writer Kevin Smith isn't letting the audience off the hook that easily, and all the laughs taken at the expense of others is literally taken out in flesh.


Remember kids, don't laugh, because you too could end up a human walrus!


Michael Parks performance as the mad surgeon is Oscar worthy. Perpetually kind and apologetic, his intentions are solely to create a friend for himself. His genteel manner doesn't crack once through the entire film, making for a profoundly unnerving character. There's more than just a little hint of homo-eroticism going on behind his eccentric proclivities, and the setup calls to mind the popular fetish as practiced by “furries” and “fursuiters.” Google those terms …


Parks as the Right Wing maniac preacher in Red State

Director Smith has dabbled in horror before. His RED STATE (2011) took a caustic look at small-minded provincialism as practiced in small town America. Smith digs into a dark chapter of Canadian modern history to explain some of Parks' motivations.  

If you like this then you'll love Mortdecai 

Johnny Depp is quite good as the detective, although it’s notable his performance is in the service of yet another box office flop with his name attached to it. Few people have forgiven Depp for THE LONE RANGER (2013) debacle of several seasons ago, and with the exception of Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND (2010), Depp's recent films have underperformed at the box office: THE RUM DIARY (2011), DARK SHADOWS (2012), TRANSCENDENCE (2014) et cetera. 


TUSK, as hard as it is to believe, was based on an actual gag advertisement placed on Craig's List! The advertisement described a man looking for a roommate, with free room and board with the stipulation that the boarder spend two hours a day in costume and in character in a walrus suit. This story is related in the Blu-Ray and DVD extra entitled “Smodcast #259: The Walrus and the Carpenter.” Smith calls the phony advertisement as pure “Hammer Horror” and laughs uproariously throughout. This extra, presented with video-generated animation, unfortunately links Smith to his main character, who likewise found it perverse enough for widespread media coverage. Other extras on the Lionsgate disc are deleted scenes, “20 Years to Tusk” featurette, a brief making of documentary, and an audio commentary track with Smith.

Sung to the tune of "A Chorus Line", "One Singular sensational-Walrus"


TUSK is far better than many people's expectations. It has painfully funny comments to make on our anything-for-a-laugh media landscape, as well as some stately Gothic horror, truly in the manner of Terrence Fisher's “Hammer horrors.” As if it needs to be said, a certain Fleetwood Mac hit single comes wafting through in a climactic scene. See TUSK – you won't regret it.
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