Kevin Smith debuts his creepy, campy “mash note” to Canada at TIFF’s Midnight Madness
If the TIFF slogan “This is your film festival” has been thrown into question in the last few years—what with the bash becoming noticeably more corporate and industry-serving—the Midnight Madness program stands out as something that’s totally for fans. Case in point: at the red carpet premiere for Kevin Smith’s Tusk late Saturday evening, Justin Long didn’t retreat inside Ryerson Theatre until literally every single person waving some kind of signable had received his autograph (and considering those giveaway paper masks everyone was handed in line, there was plenty to sign).
In Smith’s creepy, campy horror, Long plays a podcaster in search of a good story who gets taken hostage in the backwoods of Manitoba and slowly transformed into a walrus by his captor. Kitschy marine-mammal hook aside, Smith says the film is his love letter to Canada—”my MASH note about the girl next door.” You should be warned that “aboots” are sprinkled liberally throughout the film, but they’re all in good jest. Haley Joel Osment appeared on the carpet alongside co-star Genesis Rodriguez (they both appear in Smith’s next project, too). We were pleased to see that Osment has turned himself into a scruffy-faced sweetheart of a dude, and even more pleased with his resolve—no matter how many times the TV guy standing next to us asked him to do it, he would not say “I see dead people.”