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Tusks (1988)

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Roger Singh is an animal poacher with hate in his heart, and revenge on his mind. Embittered by a recent stint in prison, Singh returns to the forbidden ivory trade only to lock horns with ... See full summary »


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Title: Tusks (1988)

Tusks (1988) on IMDb 4.2/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucy Gutteridge ...
Micah Hill
Mark Smith
Roger Singh
Ian Taylor
Wendy Clifford ...
Jane Taylor
Victor Melleney ...
Fred Johnson
David Phetoe ...
James H. Coburn IV ...
John Rixey Moore ...
Sekai Sadza ...
Roger's Girl
Tembi ...
Kathy Kuleya ...
Amanda's Friend
Sam Williams ...
Oliver Tengende ...
David Guwaza ...


Roger Singh is an animal poacher with hate in his heart, and revenge on his mind. Embittered by a recent stint in prison, Singh returns to the forbidden ivory trade only to lock horns with new game warden and former friend Mark Smith, whose testimony years before helped put Singh away. Written by sheba021

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Release Date:

29 July 1988 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Tusks  »

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User Reviews

Elephant Dung Smells Better Than This Crud!
4 September 2001 | by (Illinois, USA) – See all my reviews

This review has some SPOILERS in it. Do not read if you plan on seeing this movie.

It is shocking to think that in the late 70's and early 80's, Andrew Stevens was one of America's hottest young movie stars. Then, about thirteen years ago, his fire fizzled ,and he has done nothing but cheap, sleazy B movies, usually along the lines of those bad `Night Eyes' films. I think that `Tusks' was the first sign that something was dreadfully wrong with Stevens's career. I didn't watch `Tusks' so I could write a review and pan Stevens, but I watched it because I saw the name John Rhys-Davies in the opening credits. He was both the star and the writer. John Rhys-Davies is a wonderful actor, and I love seeing him perform. Even if he is in an utterly terrible movie, like `Cyborg Cop,' Rhys-Davies is able to shine, whether he is the good guy or the bad guy. But in this one, he is just as bad as everyone else.

The movie opens with a scene that will set up the rest of the tension. Stevens and Rhys-Davies are African safari tour guides leading a wealthy client on a private expedition. A wild animal crashes the party and Rhys-Davies tries to kill it, but instead he kills the client by mistake. We jump to the present, and Rhys-Davies is just getting out of prison for the killing and is set on turning to a life of poaching elephants. Stevens has become a game warden, and the tension between the two is immediate when they meet again. Then things get really bad as the non-acting Lucy Gutteridge enters the movie. She is some sort of conversationalist who goes to Africa to see boyfriend Stevens and to speak out against poachers. After a series of boring scenes, Rhys-Davies kidnaps Gutteridge and uses her as bait to lure Stevens into a fight to the death. A large chunk of `Tusks' is filled with stock footage of African wildlife standing around, doing little. Funny thing is, the stock footage is actually the best part of the movie. Those elephants that we see are far more entertaining and interesting than the cast of characters. There is plenty of things wrong with `Tusks,' and here are just a few points:

* The tension between Stevens and Rhys-Davies is laughable. For instance, the two have a horribly choreographed fist fight. Not only is it poorly filmed, but it leads to nothing but a disappointing end.

* Stevens claims that Rhys-Davies shot the client on purpose. Rhys-Davies claims it was an accident and that Stevens was wrong for testifying against him. Who was right? Was Rhys-Davies a victim of his former friend and the judicial system, or was he a cold-blooded murderer all along? I don't think the film cares what the answer to the question is. Too bad, because it might have helped make things a little more interesting.

* There is a stupid `mystery' about why elephants are wandering on private land where they can be shot. When Stevens uncovers the not-so-surprising solution, you would think the movie would be near completion. Alas, it drags on and on and on, as Stevens chases and chases and chases Rhys-Davies and his kidnapped girlfriend.

* There are plenty of moments where the script hammers in the fact that Rhys-Davies is cold to life. He guns down stock footage of elephants for the heck of it. He just leaves the carcass lying in the wilderness to rot. As a poacher, he knows the value of ivory, yet he doesn't even bother to take the tusks! This happens far too many times.

* When Stevens gets Gutteridge back, they are attacked by a wild animal. Stevens shoots it to get it off their case. Completely out of character, Gutteridge emotionlessly says, `I am glad you killed it.' This is someone who was crying five minutes earlier after an elephant was shot. I know the situation is different, but still..

* The ending is simply dreadful. I think this movie's final five seconds are the worst in film history. I am not kidding. Watch it for yourself if you don't believe me, as I would love to discuss it someone. Sure, there are bad endings, like `Nail Gun Massacre,' but none are as sudden and stupid as this one, and this one makes you feel completely empty.

Other than seeing Rhys-Davies do a poor job, I can't imagine why anyone would want to see `Tusks.' Stock footage of the elephants is the only good thing about it, and I am sure Animal Planet has more than enough for animal lovers. But the people that turn on `Tusks' expecting to find a good adventure movie will be continuously be scraping the dung that is `Tusks' off the bottom of their shoes. Zantara's score: 1 out of 10

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