Walrus From Tusk: man is based on a true tale about a retiree who posts a bogus ad searching for a roommate in exchange for rent in a walrus costume.
As the film jokes, Tusk, Kevin Smith’s horror-comedy about a guy who is surgically converted into a walrus, was not based on a true storey.
It was, however, inspired by a spoof internet ad in which an elderly guy offers a room in his home for free, but only if the lucky renter is willing and able to dress up in a walrus costume and act like a walrus on occasion.
Chris Parkinson, a writer from Brighton, England, is behind the phoney ad. Parkinson, according to Variety, received almost 400 responses to his ad, which he posted as a joke.
The biggest similarity between the film and the bogus ad is the change from human to walrus. Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) and Teddy (Haley Joel Osment), a Los Angeles podcaster, mock unlucky individuals in viral videos, and Wallace interviews them.
Wallace must travel to the outskirts of Manitoba, Canada, for an interview with a teenager who accidentally hacked off his leg.
He finds a flier posted by an older man who appears perfect for the podcast after discovering that the man had committed suicide, likely due to the mocking.
Unlike Parkinson’s commercial, the flyer does not mention the walrus and is not a joke. Instead, it’s a trap set by serial killer Howard Howe (Michael Parks, Kill Bill), a retired sailor hell-bent on avenging himself for murdering and devouring a walrus who, he claims, once saved his life.
He disfigures his victims and surgically transforms them into the walrus Mr Tusk so that he can reenact their time together and save his rescuer.
Kevin Smith’s Tusk: How Did The Fake Ad Become Kevin Smith’s Tusk?
Given the significant discrepancies between Parkinson’s bogus ad and the film, it isn’t easy to see how the former could have influenced the latter.
A serial murderer replaces the older man, and a hideous surgical transformation replaces the walrus outfit into a walrus. But where do the protagonists of the film come from? The explanation is shockingly simple: they are modelled on Kevin Smith, the film’s director, and his friend Scott Mosier (Clerks).
They read the false ad aloud and laugh about it in one episode of Kevin Smith’s SModcast podcast, assuming it’s real.
The podcasters are far crueller than Smith and Mosier in the film, and Wallace’s metamorphosis into a walrus can be seen as a karmic result of their cruelty.
His change is also the outcome of the serial killer’s special relationship with the walrus, which is analogous to Parkinson’s false ad’s special bond.
While Tusk cannot be regarded based on true events, the advertisement influenced Smith’s film.
The film embellishes the storey, combining it with pieces from the writer’s own life, and applying a typical horror premise to it: a disgraced man in pursuit of something receives exactly what he deserves, not what he seeks.
Tusk comments on voyeurism, schadenfreude culture, and the dangers of both. Wallace made a livelihood by mocking and displaying the wretched. By the end of the movie, he had paid the price for his harshness by becoming one of them.