Posted on Friday, January 2nd, 2015 by Germain Lussier
We’ve already heard from Kevin Smith about his impressive list of upcoming projects. He’s also told us about what making Tusk meant to him. Now, in part two of our long interview with the filmmaker, we dig a little deeper. Smith goes into great detail about some of the more talked-about decisions he made in Tusk, which is now on Blu-ray.
First Smith talks about the decision to reveal the walrus suit so early in the film. That leads into a discussion of effects in general, his preferred tone, other problems people have with the film and then his biggest regret in the marketing of the film. (A mistake he says he’ll never make again). He then talks about the inventive, aggressive schedule on Yoga Hosers, which is almost done filming. Read the rest of our Kevin Smith Tusk interview below.
This is the continuation of part 1, which you can read here.
/Film: The reveal of Wallace in the suit is a huge moment in the movie. I wondered why you did that reveal that so early?
Kevin Smith: My feeling was the only reason anyone’s really tuned in is to see the human walrus. So rather than make them wait until like the third act, I was like “All right, we’re before the hour mark, let’s show them the walrus.” And story wise it just kind of worked out for me to have it happen earlier rather than later. And then it was also a feeling of “Let’s just hang a camera on it.” Like “Look at it.” You know, it’s weird.
I know some people have been like “It doesn’t look real,” which always made me laugh. Of course it don’t fucking look real, man! Like do you know a real human walrus somewhere in the world? So, for me, I’m like you can’t really attack the effect. Usually you don’t show something because some people are like “That looks fake.” But this is fake. There is no antecedent in the real world which somebody can point to and be like that doesn’t look like a human walrus. So I was like “Let’s show it as often as we can,” because as a horror movie fan or as a rubber movie fan, you hate when they cut away. You wanna sit there and stare at it, look at all the seams and see what they put in the design and whatnot. And usually it’s quick cuts in movies like that. But here, we just hold on that mother fucker so you can see it. Warts and all. And, it’s part of the effect.
Like, I can’t say the movie’s horrifying unless you’re like “I just can’t believe he even made it. I’m horrified this movie exists and he’s a terrible filmmaker.” But I can say that “What I go for with Red State and Tusk is disturbing.” I like to keep it disturbing. I can’t horrify. I don’t like have people pop out of nowhere and be like “Boo” and shit. But I love to keep people unsettled, just slightly disturbing, you know? And unsettle the viewer where they’re kind of shifting in their seat. That’s the fun of making a movie like this. It’s different from making a comedy because the button that makes somebody laugh and the button to make somebody go “Huh,” are pretty darn close. So for me, showing that suit was about “All right, let’s unnerve them and leave them unnerved for the rest of the movie.”
Also, I thought it would be the dividing line for most people. People who are like “I’m giving this movie a chance,” ‘because, believe me, I understood this movie was not gonna be widely embraced. It asks a lot of the audience. But I always figured the walrus suit would be the dividing line. Where people are like “Well that’s where he lost me.” But it wasn’t. There was some people that were like “The Guy Lapointe scenes are the dividing line.” They’re like “You were making an awesome horror movie up until that Guy Lapointe stuff.” But I’m like “I don’t know if I was interested in making an awesome horror movie. I just wanted to make a Smodcast picture.” And if we were gonna do that, it can’t be one thing. It’s gotta like “You talk about this and this is fucked up.” And then you make a bunch of jokes and then you fucking do funny accents, but it’s usually about Canada.
I mean, to me, in order to do what I want it to be – which is a true Smodcast picture so to speak – which sounds a little first world, but whatever. Here in the arts we are all very first world. But in order to do that, I wanted it to be as close to the podcast, not the podcast that birthed it, although we stayed very close to that as well as a blueprint, but just like the show that spawned it. Like it’s a bouillabaisse of a lot of shit. And sometimes it’s unsettling and creepy and then sometimes it’s kind of funny. But it’s always honest. And hanging that camera on the walrus and having him early in the movie just felt like the more honest thing to do. Like knowing that everyone’s going like show us the walrus, dude, show us… You know, I felt bad it took that long. But, you know, I feel like it was the right move.