The WYH Dinner & A Movie review team of Neal Jones and myself have been looking forward to Kevin Smith's venture into horror about a man being abducted and slowly transformed into a walrus by a scientist looking to create himself a man-animal pet. In spite of initial reactions heavily weighing against any possible value to this film, the "Tusk" trailer was intriguing. We were not only interested in seeing "Tusk" for the purposes of Dinner & A Movie, but just for the sake of seeing something new that might actually be good.
But last night, Sunday September 14th, Neal Jones had this to say in a facebook message about upcoming showings of Smith's latest film project,
"Doesn't look like we will be seeing Tusk. It has exactly one show time in all of Massachusetts. Thursday @8 in Framingham. Closest place it's playing Sunday is NYC."
The sole Boston area showing on a Thursday night seems a strange coincidence as it is a night shared with the Without Your Head podcast - which has already been booked with a guest.
Why a Thursday? And why only one showing in one theater? Could it be Kevin Smith has intentionally positioned the film to be unavailable to the Dinner & A Movie team?
Since the announcement of production for the film, Neal Jones and myself have discussed thoughts on what was to come with the Smith horror along with conversation about Smith's past films. I have personally blasted Kevin Smith's podcast on the point that considering the show is hosted by a fairly mainstream comedy success and cohosts of his choosing, it is disappointingly dull and repetitive. Neal Jones has taken his own hits at Smith, publicly criticizing Smith's revelations in interviews that he had not smoked pot until well after the "Clerks" series and spinoffs had already found their place deep in the hearts of many a stoner.
Smith [askmen.com]: "I could count on two hands the number of times I smoked weed in my life up until last fall, and then I became a hardcore... I never smoked weed all that time. You can’t smoke weed and make all those movies."
The Smith admissions are old news, but the idea remains that Smith's capitalization on the stoner-love for his films was in some way deceitful, that his films suggested that he was "one of them", and that he only admitted the fact that he had barely a puff until after he became a serious smoker - when he was actually "one of them". In a way, with his long time omission he betrayed their sense of loyalty to him. A cheap trick? Would he have kept his lips sealed if not for his new found love for weed?
Are the criticisms of the podcast unreasonably harsh? Is the mention of three year old interviews intentionally divisive? Kevin Smith may think just that.
Neal noted in conversation earlier today a few new showings were added, that were still not within a reasonable distance for viewing, "but closer than NYC".
"Playing in Buckland Hills, Connecticut but not Boston lol... where the hell is Buckland Hills?"
Touche, Mr. Smith... touche.
- Annabelle Lecter