Kevin Smith’s latest effort Yoga Hosers is an odd and often grating attempt at a comedy/horror film
Kevin Smith’s kooky new Canuck-centric film Yoga Hosers follows Colleen Collette (Lily-Rose Depp) and Colleen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith) – reprising their cameo roles in Smith’s previous flick, Tusk – as two yoga engrossed teenage girls living up north in Winnipeg, Manitoba. When plans to go to a senior party fall through because they have to work, the girls decide to move the festivities to their workplace the EH-2-ZED convenience store. In a twist of fate, the party quickly turns into an unexpected sausage-fest when classmates Hunter (Austin Butler) and Gordon (Tyler Posey) show up with malevolent intentions only to be butchered by a group of ankle-biting human-shaped Bratwursts’ dressed in tiny Nazi suits, or as Smith aptly named them, “Bratzi’s.”
Arrested and fighting to defend their innocence against the accusation of their classmates’ murder, Colleen and Colleen, with the help of the intrepid gumshoe Guy Lapointe (Johnny Depp, again carrying over his dick-nosed Tusk character), band together to find and destroy the sauerkraut-gut-packed minions (who are in fact digital duplicates of Smith himself) of Nazi scientist Adrien Arcand (Haley Joel Osment).
Hearkening back to ‘80s comedy horror films (according to Smith, it’s sort of a hybrid between Gremlins and Ghoulies III), Yoga Hosers boasts stylish production design by Cabot McMullen and the keen eye will enjoy the cartoon aesthetic and clever puns designed into the visual fantasy of Smith’s Canada. Some choice editing and social media screenshots to introduce characters adds to the all-encompassing world view of two teenage girls. As the two Colleens, Lily Rose Depp and Harley Quinn Smith are both naturals; for the first 45 minutes the girls’ deadpan delivery, primarily at their convenience store job, is funny and lets Smith flex his witty banter as he sees fit.
However the film loses momentum with the ‘Bratzi’ invasion. Unfortunately the pint-sized villains fail to provide any sort of horror or shock and their means of destroying their victims through fatal anal penetration is childish and obnoxious at best. Moreover, the films oscillating immaturity works contrary to Smith’s intention to make a movie geared towards ‘tween girls. Although noble in its purpose to appeal to kids via two ass-kicking heroines the film’s relentless potty humor is out of place, a tepid appeal to Smith’s die-hard fan base. Likewise, Smith commits to his humorous representation of Canada as a country of bored, apologetic “hosers.” Although funny at first, some may find this tiresome after the tenth ‘aboot’ or ‘oot’. Regrettably, the entire film has this aura of being undeveloped. It’s a movie in its infancy and although the formula has worked well for Smith’s films in the past, it now feels like a safe crutch. So really, the film ends up pleasing no one.
One would be best to come to Yoga Hosers armed with low expectations, advice given to the festival audience straight from the chatty Kevin Smith (whose epic introduction stretched to almost an hour!) at the header of the screening. Smith offered a passionate perspective on the industry, his family and working with his daughter (Harley Quinn Smith), as well as his personal connection to his Northern neighbor. For all that, whether Hollywood royalty or a horror film hobbyist, at the end of a screening a film has to stand on it’s own and in this case Yoga Hosers fails to follow through.