Tusk and Starry Eyes – body morphing horror!

Tusk and Starry Eyes are two well-hyped recent films that are very different yet both feature themes of body morphing! While neither blew me away and I don’t feel a need to ever see either again (let alone add them to my personal collection), they are both quite entertaining. So I’ll go through them quick.

TUSK (2014)

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I would say Tusk has a more Kevin Smith feel than his previous “horror” film Red State (which I blog about here). It’s obnoxious, funny in a twisted way, sort of ridiculous, and even gives us some pop culture throwback by including Fleetwood Mac’s 1979 hit “Tusk” and giving Haley Joel Osment a job.

Justin Long plays a podcaster who goes to do a story at an old house in the middle of nowhere. You will either get a giggle from Justin’s performance or absolutely loathe his crass shtick.


But shit gets serious once Justin meets the man who lives in the house—Michael Parks (Nightmare Beach, From Dusk Till Dawn 3, Planet Terror, We Are What We Are). Tusk essentially becomes a mashup of Misery, Boxing Helena, and The Human Centipede as Parks tells a story of a time he was saved at sea by a walrus…a companion he would like to have in his life once again. Holy WTF. Poor Justin.

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The performances of Justin and Michael make the movie, as does the heinous thing Justin becomes. What spoils it a bit is an unrecognizable Johnny Depp as an utterly absurd caricature of a detective. Seriously, what went wrong with this man’s career after A Nightmare On Elm Street? So much wasted potential.


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Starry Eyes is sort of a hybrid flick that goes from trippy satanic/witchery flick to gross body horror to gory slasher.

The main girl lives in an apartment complex with a group of fellow wannabe actor friends. She suffers from some hardcore self-esteem issues that intensify when she tries desperately to score the lead in a project called “Silver Scream.”

After a final “audition” that includes the casting couch and her essentially selling her soul, she goes through a period of being “reborn” as the star she longs to be. Cue the nasty, gnarly body horror segment.

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And finally, she must shed the last remnants of her post-fame existence, which means letting go of her past…and taking out anyone who doubted or got in the way of her talent.

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Starry Eyes is dark, brooding, and depressing, which segues perfectly into all the repulsive gore and violence. If you’re a fan of the uniquely different Alyce Kills, which I blog about here, then definitely check out Starry Eyes.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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2 Responses to Tusk and Starry Eyes – body morphing horror!

  1. Joshy Lopez says:

    I do not get the adoration for Tusk. I liked it, but it was by no means a great horror flick. It is filled with inconsistencies and implausibilities. The walrus suit becomes one with him at the end? Why? Keeping him entombed in it, putting him in a zoological enclosure defied all rationale, even in a fictitious world. The desperate run to save him by his friends at the end was straight out of the 80s, and not in a good way. For about an hour, the movie was fantastic. It had some of Smith’s very best writing and directing. Brilliant. And then it went straight downhill. You could tell he was writing the script and then had no clue where to go with it. Reminded me of From Dusk Til Dawn, goes, goes, goes…Hey, let’s add horror!

    This is not to say Justin Long wasn’t fantastic. I think he was amazing in his role, and quite fearless. He went there, and good for him! That’s what acting is all about, right there. So, major props to him. Until the ending, like I said, the writing was amazing. I think this is definitely one of those movies that people wanted to like, but are afraid to criticize in any real way. Red State showed Smith as a contender. That movie was so intense that I was up and pacing the house as I watched it. It gave me a panic attack, not THAT is a horror film right there! I honestly think that if Tusk had been made by anyone else, staring actors no one knew, it would be dismissed and forgotten.

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