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While it was director Kevin Smith’s firm intentions to get his upcoming horror flick Tusk completed by the time Sundance got here, the festival is headed into its final days and Tusk has yet to be finished. Still, it’s been 20 years and two days since he first broke the scene in half with blowjob jokes when Clerks played Sundance back in 1994, so the guy deserves a break, I guess.
More than just anniversary celebrations are in order now, however, as XYZ Films have snatched up the international rights to Smith's low-budget thriller and will be taxiing it around Berlin for the European Film Market in February, looking for buyers. There’s a good chance that everyone around the world will have the chance to experience a walrus-obsessed murderer by the time 2014 has come to a close.
The film was actually a co-production between Phase 4 Films, SModcast Pictures and Demarest Films, who will also be distributing the film with recent indie powerhouse A24. XYZ added to the list gives it more thriller-genre attention, as the company has been a part of a string of intense foreign crossovers including both The Raid: Redemption and its upcoming sequel, the Mo Brothers’ Killers, and Tommy Wirkola’s upcoming Nazi zombie sequel Dead Snow: Read vs. Dead.
To give XYZ and Smith a bit of history, Smith distributed their "in association with" production The Dirties, which was one of the darker films of 2013. Smith keeps pushing how dark Tusk is going to be, and I might finally be starting to believe him. For the record, a rep from XYZ called it "a memorable film that will leave audiences breathless." I don’t think anyone has ever said quite that about one of Smith’s films before. I think I might have said, "Cop Out makes me want to stop breathing," but that’s not the same thing at all.
The film stars Justin Long and Haley Joel Osment as co-podcasters and best friends. Long goes on a trip to unwittingly interview a serial killer (Michael Parks) under the guise that he’s just going to hear about some amazing adventures in the wild. Turns out the guy also happens to have a particular fondness for big coarse animals with ivory sticking out from under their bushy mustaches. When Long never returns home, Osment and Long’s gorgeous girlfriend (Genesis Rodriguez) head out into the Canadian wilderness to find him. Epic Meal Time’s Harley Morenstein also stars as a Border Agent.
Whether it’s as good as the hype or not will be confirmed in the third quarter of 2014 when the film will hit theaters. For now, take a peek at a rare pic of Smith and Scott Mosier back in Sundance 1994 that someone sent via his Twitter page