Yoga Hosers is the latest offering from writer/director Kevin Smith, the geek-friendly cult filmmaker whose work has become even more of an acquired taste in recent years, thanks to such movies as the horror/comedy Tusk – wherein a podcaster travels to Canada to interview a deranged stranger who, in Human Centipede fashion, attempts to surgically transform his guest into a walrus. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Yoga Hosers sounds equally bizarre (if not more) as Tusk, seeing as the movie is the second installment in Smith’s planned True North trilogy after Tusk – and even includes Johnny Depp reprising his Tusk character, in oddball detective Guy Lapointe.
The first clip from Yoga Hosers has dropped online (see above), following the film’s premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Featured here are Smith and Depp’s daughters, Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Melody Depp respectively, playing Colleen Collette and Colleen McKenzie: a pair of Yoga-loving sophomore high schoolers growing up in Manitoba, who spend most of their after-school hours overseeing a convenience store called Eh-2-Zed.
While the above Yoga Hosers clip and details might lead you to believe the film is essentially a gender-flipped remake of Smith’s own Clerks (complete with modern references to social media trends), the actual plot is another beast altogether. The film is, in fact, something of a twisted superhero adventure, as the Colleens are invited to a senior high school party by their school’s local hottie (The Carrie Diaries and Shannara Chronicles‘ Austin Butler), where they end up having to battle an ancient evil force – one that summons an army of knee-high Nazis made of sausage, among other things. Why Nazis? Well, it has something to do with the legacy of a Canadian Nazi party that never fully got off the ground during WWII – at least, that’s what the initial reviews for Yoga Hosers claim.
THR has already published its review of Yoga Hosers, a critique that can fairly summed up with the following excerpt:
CanadianNazi party, you say? Yes, Hosers is the densest embodiment yet of Smith’s strange conviction that anything north of Niagara is good for a laugh. Shot in L.A. but set in Winnipeg, the pic offers more outrageously bad Canadian accents than a man named Gordon can shake a hockey stick at… The young leads seem to be having fun even if you aren’t, but any acting careers they might go on to will not be the result of this film.
Yoga Hosers represents Smith’s own quirky take on not just the superhero genre but franchises in general – complete with a prequel comic book, titled Yoga Hosers: When Colleens Collide, that Smith wrote and Jeff Quigley illustrated, which was then handed out to those who attended the movie’s Sundance premiere. However, it also shares a whole lot in common with Tusk: a film that is filled to the brim with references to Smith’s podcast work that are so esoteric that most people won’t even recognize that they are references, unless they’ve actually listened to Smith’s SModcast. Yoga Hosers is unlikely to appeal to anyone but Smith’s hardcore fans for related reasons – though as noted in THR‘s review of the film, “Even Smith’s true-blue-est fanboys may have trouble with this one.”
Nevertheless, Yoga Hosers represents another step down an unexpected road for Smith, a filmmaker who broke out on the indie cinema scene in the 1990s at a time when writer/directors like Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and Richard Linklater were also beginning to mark their own marks as the idiosyncratic voices of a new generation. Smith is now in a similar spot as Rodriguez was for much of the past decade – where, Sin City movies aside, Rodriguez focused on making his own peculiar brand of cinema in the form of either grindhouse cinema throwbacks (Planet Terror, Machete, Machete Kills) or shiny and hyperactive kids-friendly action/adventures (Shorts, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World).
However, whereas Rodriguez is now moving back towards the mainstream of geek cinema by attaching himself to projects like Johnny Quest and Battle Angel Alita, Smith is already planning to move on to the finale to his True North trilogy with Moose Jaws, a film described as… Jaws with a moose. For better or worse, Smith is definitely dancing to the beat of his own drum right now.
We’ll let you know when Yoga Hosers gets an official U.S. theatrical release date.