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Review: Yoga Hosers Comic Book Centric Cameos Will Delight Some

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Kevin Smith started as writer/director on a number of cult indie comedies like Clerks and Chasing Amy all set in his “View Askewniverse”. He’s gone on to dip his toes into horror with Red State and the anthology film Holidays. The project he’s currently in the middle of, “The True North Trilogy” retains his excessive use of dialogue, perverted sense of humour and throws in bizarre concept horror. It’s as if someone dared him to come up with the most ridiculous stories he can think of and bring them to life just for the pleasure of knowing he can make a movie about anything. He has explained this is a symptom of the fact that due to his success both financially and professionally it’s now impossible for him to make movies about normal life since he no longer has a frame of reference.

He’s gone on to say he now considers himself a podcaster much more than a filmmaker. In fact the first two movies in his Canada set trilogy have originated from conversations he’s had on his SMODcast and Hollywood Babble-On audio shows. The first was Tusk, a body horror about a man being surgically transformed into a walrus against his will. His latest, Yoga Hosers has an even wackier concept: two young women, both named Colleen uncover a plot involving sentient Nazi sausages and a hockey masked “Goalie Golem” made from human body parts.

The Colleens are played by Smith’s daughter Harley Quinn and Lily-Rose Depp, whose father Johnny also stars as investigator Guy LaPointe, returning from Tusk. The choice of cast has already been criticised for its nepotism and Smith has admitted he knew before production began that he would face backlash for it. Regardless of how they got the gig Harley Quinn and Lily-Rose do a great job considering this is their first stint in leading roles and the fact they have to carry practically every scene, all of which contain Smith’s heavy emphasis on dialogue.

Justin Long got the most laughs at the screening I went to, playing their camp, over the top yoga instructor. Ralph Garman of Hollywood Babble-On has a significant role but those unfamiliar with the show may find his in-jokes confusing. Kevin Smith has called the film “Clueless meets Gremlins… OK Clueless meets Ghoulies” in a self-deprecating reference to its less than stellar quality. He has cited Full Moon films as an influence. This can be seen in scenes involving the villainous Bratzis (played by Smith), who are similar to the Tunneller in Puppet Master.

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It’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of watching tiny creatures attack people’s anuses. Though it must be said the majority of this movie is of the smartphone obsessed Colleens and their lives as a wannabe teen girl band. Yoga Hosers can just barely be called a horror movie and Smith has talked of his decision to to cut out profanity and violence in order to appeal to his target audience: twelve year old girls. That should let you know what you’re in for. If you’re a fan of Kevin Smith and his podcasts you’ll get the most out of it. It certainly helps to get up to speed on some of his work or at the very least watch Tusk first. Some may grow tired of his Canada obsessed sense of humour fast. The jury’s out on what a Canadian audience might think “aboot” Yoga Hosers. The comic book centric cameos will delight some but might also go over people’s heads.

The special effects range from some rather dodgy CGI to spectacularly macabre Tusk-esque makeup, yet set in a much more cartoonish world with Scott Pilgrim style visuals. The closest Smith film to compare it to would be Dogma if less emphasis was put on religion and more on the poop monster. This film’s big bad monster, the Goalie Golem is created to crush all negative critics so I’ll do my best not to incur his wrath. It feels like 10-15 more minutes could have been added. The bratzis are a hilarious concept which could have been further used. The film’s main issue is the confusion over who its target audience is. 85% of it feels like Mean Girls yet to truly appreciate it as whole you have to be a follower of Smith’s earlier work, enjoy a very niche category of horror and probably be somewhat baked while watching it. Regardless, I’m looking forward to his final movie in this insane Canadian sandwich, Moose Jaws. If I have to explain the plot maybe you’ve got bigger problems than not liking Yoga Hosers.

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