Stars: Lily-Rose Depp, Harley Quinn Smith, Johnny Depp. Justin Long, Austin Butler, Adam Brody, Ralph Garman, Tony Hale, Natasha Lyonne, Haley Joel Osment, Vanessa Paradis, Tyler Posey, Génesis Rodríguez, Jennifer Schwalbach, Sasheer Zamata | Written and Directed by Kevin Smith
So, Kevin Smith… A man whose work I’ve really enjoyed over the years (Clerks 2 and Dogma being my personal highlights, though I used to live for Mallrats), took a, let’s say, interesting path with his recent directorial efforts Red State and Tusk. Exploring the horror genre rather than the comedy/drama he became known for, Smith looks to have a new-found passion for filmmaking, seemingly no longer going through the motions with his View Askewniverse – though he has just announced another Jay and Silent Bob flick!
Instead Smith announced the development of a “True North” trilogy: strange genre tales set in Canada, a country that – like Smith – I have an affinity for. First came Tusk, the story of a man turned into a walrus after answering an ad; and now we [finally] have the follow-up, Yoga Hosers, which comes to the UK via digital formats (I bought the film on iTunes) rather than traditional physical media.
Yoga Hosers sees the two store clerks from Tusk, the Colleens, return – this time central to this films story. The pair spend their days studying yoga and working at the Eh-2-Zed convenience store (or not working, instead blaring out tunes with their band), owned by Colleen C’s father Bob. Leaving for Niagara Falls, Bob tells the two Colleens they have to work Friday night instead of attending the party of popular senior, Hunter Calloway. Not one to miss a party the Colleens tell Hunter to bring the party to the store… However the party is interrupted when an army of Bratzis – one-foot-tall Nazis made from bratwurst – attack and kill Hunter and Gordon and the Colleens are arrested for their murder. The girls arrest attracts the interest of Guy LaPointe, the “legendary man-hunter” who the Colleens helped previously [in Tusk]. Freeing the duo, they all head to the Eh-2-Zed to try and get more evidence to prove the Colleens innocence.
However they soon discover that the Bratzis are not the only bad guys hiding in the store… Andronicus Arcane, one half of the Canadian Nazis of Winnipeg, has set up camp under the Eh-2-Zed. Arcane reveals to LaPointe and the Colleens he dreamt of being a successful artist, but after receiving terrible reviews (hmmmm, how very meta) he decided to join the Canadian Nazis! Turns out, the Bratzis are the result of a failed experiment – clones of Arcane made from German sausage that, thanks to the Colleens blowing a fuse playing music in the back of the store, didn’t complete the incubation period, rendering them at just one foot in height. Discovering that the Nazis had been defeated, Arcane took up a new mission to kill all critics (hmmmm, even more meta) in revenge for his failed art career. To complete his plan he builds a giant 10-foot tall Golem, operated by the Bratzis – who turn on Arcane, killing him before being defeated by the Colleens, who use their yoga “powers” against it…
Yeah… If that overly-long synopsis hasn’t lost you then I’m sure you’ll love Yoga Hosers as much as I did. Packed with ridiculous characters, bizarre creatures, stupid humour and one of THE best soundtracks of any of Smith’s films, this is the kind of film that screams 80s; and more importantly 80s direct to video titles… In fact the film shares a huge similarity to one of my all-time favourite horror franchises, Full Moon’s Puppet Master.
But Yoga Hosers is more than that, it’s The Gate, The Monster Squad, it’s a myriad of those 80s kid-friendly horrors that people like myself, and undoubtedly Smith himself, grew up on. Whilst the film may be a feature vehicle for both Smith and Johnny Depp’s daughters, it also feels very much like a love-letter to DTV cinema, and as such I adored it. Oh and before I forget, I LOVE Harley Morenstein’s scene-stealing “toilet paper man” cameo!
Yoga Hosers is available on iTunes, in the UK, now.