I really don’t know what has gotten into Kevin Smith.
The fan favorite director who manned such films as Clerks, Chasing Amy and Dogma has taken the film community into a stranger and more bizarre place than he did with Tusk. And that was a movie about a man who turned into a walrus.
Yet, I cannot say that there wasn’t a perverse amount of enjoyment to be had in the world of cartoon Canada, where mini, one-foot tall Nazi made out of bratwurst (aka Bratzis) who had sauerkraut for blood ran around killing people for… you know…reasons.
The film was pretty stupid. Still, I found it fun. Kind of like the fun of watching a ten car pile up on I-80. You just can’t look away.
Kevin Smith took two characters from the film Tusk and spun them off into their own film. He further connected Yoga Hosers to Tusk by returning Guy Lapointe (Johnny Depp) to appear in the film once again.
Colleen C (Lily-Rose Depp) and Colleen M (Harley Quinn Smith) are 15-year old girls who are always on their phone and work, begrudgingly, at the Eh-2-Zed convenience store in Manitoba, Canada. They are all “aboot” their own lives and can barely be considered clerks. When they are invited to a senior party, they are out of their minds, until they get stuck working. Unfortunately for them, the Bratzis have awakened and are ready to re-establish the Nazi Party in Canada.
There is just no way around it. This movie is a full-on, ridiculous B movie in the spirit of Plan 9 from Outer Space or Piranha. It is the kind of film that would be a perfect fit for the Rifftrax boys. Still, there is some kind of joy here, maybe because Kevin Smith is so in on it. He full admits that this film may not be for everyone, and that he made it because he thought it was funny. It is a passion project for Smith that is unceasingly brave in taking that next ridiculous step.
Lily-Rose Depp and Harley Quinn Smith, daughters of Johnny Depp and Kevin Smith respectfully, are actually quite good in this. They are real life friends and that camaraderie plays through with the two Colleens. They feel natural (to borrow a line from Smith). They are very lovely and command attention on screen. Yes, the material around them is strange and, conceivably, dumb, but they go past it.
Now, some of this movie does seem amateurish. The music sometimes is too loud to hear dialogue (especially Harley Quinn Smith, who is too soft spoken at times) and some of the shots are very weird. Since Kevin Smith has been a successful director before, I suspect that some of this manner of creating film was intentional. I think he intentionally made a film that would be seen as a low-level B film (if not even lower) and embraced the quirks of it. If he purposefully made a movie bad, does that make it a better movie?
I was able to see this on a special premiere night as a Fathom Event and that meant that Kevin Smith introduced the film. When Kevin Smith introduces something, that means he is going to talk. Kevin Smith is known for being a talker, and I think he is legitimately one of the best storytellers that we have today. The 20 minutes or so that Kevin Smith talked about the making of Tusk and, eventually, the spin off of Yoga Hosers, really helped the film take on a new life for me. I do not know what I would have thought if I did not have that initial story surrounding how the two daughters ended up in Tusk, how Johnny Depp wound up with a “dick” on his nose and working on Tusk, how Depp loved the Guy accent despite everyone in his life hating it, and how Yoga Hosers came about because Kevin Smith felt bad for taking his daughter to all of these male dominated super hero movies. The introduction by Kevin Smith really put me in a proper mindset and I do not know what I would have thought of Yoga Hosers without it. I have a feeling that I would not have as much of a positive feeling as I do without it.
The movie is not good, and there is no denying that. But I found myself entertained by the sheer brazen silliness and outright camp of the film. I had fun that night, even though I could barely believe what I was seeing. I have always been a fan of Kevin Smith so I probably came in with a predisposition toward liking Yoga Hosers. That helped.
Kevin Smith said he made this a child’s movie even though the target audience wouldn’t be able to see it. I commend him for doing something so out there that I had a lot of trouble deciding what I thought of it afterwards. I wasn’t sure how I was to score this film. I did have a lot of fun, but the film was not a good one. Smith even admits that. So in the end, as a critic, I am giving Yoga Hosers a….
However, if you are in the proper mood, and don’t mind some seriously weird and warped storytelling, including a bizarre performance from Johnny Depp, then maybe you should check out this movie. If you approach it with the proper mindset, you may even laugh a few times.