Kevin Smith, of Clerks fame, is trying his traditionally comedic hand at horror. A popular podcaster, author, comic book writer, public speaker and actor, Smith gained national prominence in 1994 when Clerks – which featured Smith in the role of Silent Bob – gained cult status and a Sundance Film Festival award after being made for less than $28,000.
Now, Smith is wading into the horror genre with Tusk, a monster movie based on an episode of Smith’s wildly popular podcast, SModcast.
Kevin Smith is a cult hero for comic book aficionados – will horror enthusiasts be next?
When a man goes missing in the backwoods of Canada after traveling to interview a mysterious seafarer, his best friend and podcast co-host joins his girlfriend to search for him. The man who was the original subject of the interview was a notorious adventurer with a peculiar penchant for walruses.
The plot originated from a hypothetical conversation Smith had on an episode of SModcast debating whether free room and board was payment enough to dress as a walrus full time. He invited his Twitter followers to decide whether the premise should become a movie.
Cast, Crew and Release
Written and directed by Kevin Smith, the film stars Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez and Michael Parks. Although filming officially wrapped up in November of 2013, a few scenes are still set to be shot in Los Angeles. Billed by distributer A24 as a “modern-day monster movie,” Tusk is set to be released in the third quarter of 2014.
Although it wasn’t ready for Sundance 2014, Smith and his backers are convinced of the film’s potential. A representative of A24 remarked, “We had the privilege of visiting Kevin on the Tusk set and seeing some of his early footage. We can say with certainty that this movie will blow people’s minds. Truly one you’ll have to see to believe.”
Kevin Smith – who started out as a bright, but underfunded filmmaker – is a cult master of the comedically bizarre. Tusk, set to be released the end of the year, could also enshrine him as a master of horror. A far journey from the innovative and lasting comedies he wrote in his early years, the podcaster, comic book store owner and TV star has proven a knack for versatility. Will a walrus-themed monster movie be his crowning achievement? Horror fans hope so.
Photo credit: Flickr user Gage Skidmore