Smoke the Walrus: A24 Announces 'Tusk' Marijuana Strain Promotion
Toke and Tusk! This might be one of the craziest, coolest, wildest movie promotions I've ever seen. Over the weekend, Kevin Smith's wacky new cult horror comedy Tusk premiered at the Toronto Film Festival (read my review) and is hitting theaters in just a few weeks. As explained by Kevin Smith: "This movie was born in a blaze, and will be released in a blaze," referring to the inception of the film during the recording of one of his SModcast episodes (during which he is usually stoned). A24 Films, releasing the film, has partnered with pot shop Buds & Roses to release two special strains of herb: Mr. Tusk and White Walrus. I can't believe this is an official promotion, but believe it or not, it totally is real and it's awesome. I love it. Can I get a sample?
The announcement has been hitting the web in various forms, but I first caught it via this NY Times article. Oddly enough, despite the NY Times writing about (because A24 is based in New York City), the two Tusk specialty strains are currently only available at the medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles. Below are photos of the two strains and their labels, plus the hilarious graphic made to promote them as found via The World's Best Ever, another site involved in the promotion with a wacky contest of their own: "We'll be asking fans to submit to instagram their best pictures of #WalrusBreath, which is most easily described as 'the act of creating tusks by blowing smoke or vapor out of one's nostrils.'" Yep – this is all for a movie.
What I really love about this promotion is that A24 is brave enough to actually say screw the formalities and niceties of Hollywood: let's promote this the right way. Kevin Smith is a big stoner, he always has been, and his fanbase acknowledge that (even if everyone isn't exactly a participant themselves). I even wrote in my review that this is "the kind of film you need to watch with a bunch of friends, with beers and bongs at the ready." It's a stoner movie, created in a cloud of smoke, to be enjoyed in a cloud of smoke. Or without. There's no requirement, of course, but at the same time it's a very smart move to capitalize on this. We can only hope this blazes (no pun intended) a trail for more movie studios to be edgier, smarter with marketing.
Tusk is the new film written & directed by Kevin Smith (or @ThatKevinSmith as he's listed on the poster), of Clerks I-III, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Cop Out, and Red State. The plot involves a best friend and his podcast co-host who go missing in the backwoods of Canada, and they go searching for them. Early buzz from distributors praises a "horror movie for the ages", something along the lines of The Human Centipede, if not crazier. "We can say with certainty that this movie will blow people's minds. Truly one you'll have to see to believe." Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez, Justin Long, Michael Parks, Johnny Depp,m Ralph Garman appear in the film. A24 & Demarest Films will release Smith's Tusk on September 19th, 2014 later this year. #WalrusYes