Tusk represents a kind of critical milestone for me, as the first film I found so unpleasant that I walked out of it. Admittedly, it wasn’t entirely Tusk’s foulness (punctuated by a particularly terrible cameo) that sent me from the cinema twenty minutes before its conclusion: the exodus of the group I was sitting with and my rapidly dwindling parking meter played some part. But I could’ve risked social seclusion and a parking fine if there’d been even a slender spark of inspiration in Kevin Smith’s latest, a kind of mawkish comedic take on The Human Centipede, except more walrus-y.
It’s impossible, then, to provide a complete review of Tusk, as I haven’t seen the complete picture. And it would be unfair to describe it as totally without merit – Michael Parks (as the film’s version of Dieter Laser) expertly navigates his overwritten monologues, and Justin Long’s pre-walrus character arc suggests that there’s a depth of self-loathing beneath Smith’s jovial demeanour. But these are thin rays of light illuminating a murky pool of congealed vomit from which greasy orbs filled with silly voices and awkward humour intermittently bubble forth. It’s best to avoid a film who’s chief achievement is triggering one’s gag reflex.