From the Archives: Yoga Hosers Makes Me Miss the Old Kevin Smith

From the Archives: Yoga Hosers Makes Me Miss the Old Kevin Smith

In the interest of getting “hard” copies of my work under one roof, I plan to spend the next few weeks posting the entire archive of my film journalism here on ScullyVision. With due respect to the many publications I’ve written for, the internet remains quite temporary, and I’d hate to see any of my work disappear for digital reasons. As such, this gargantuan project must begin! I don’t want to do it. I hate doing it. But it needs to be done. Please note that my opinions, like everyone’s, have changed a LOT since I started, so many of these reviews will only represent a snapshot in time. Objectivity has absolutely no place in film criticism, at least not how I do it. 

Without further ado, I present to you: FROM THE ARCHIVES.
Originally posted on Cinema76.

I have now seen Yoga Hosers. For those not in the know, Yoga Hosers is part two of Kevin Smith’s “True North” trilogy, in which he places a trio of niche horror/comedies in a heightened version of Canada. It began with Tusk, the strange, underrated tale of a lonely man who surgically transforms a hotshot podcaster into a pet walrus, and it will end with Moose Jaws, a reimagining of Jaws, but with a moose. In the middle of it all is Yoga Hosers, which Smith is currently exhibiting with the tag that it’s the “‘wurst movie ever made”.

Because in Yoga Hosers Kevin Smith plays a squadron of “Bratzis” – little Nazis that are made of bratwurst and wear Canadian Mountie uniforms.


This is far from the weirdest thing in the film. Let’s get the basics out of the way: Yoga Hosers tells the tale of the Colleens, two best friends (played by real-life friends Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp) who work at the Eh-2-Zed convenience store/artisanal syrup provider. They spend their days at school, and their nights rehearsing with their band in the back of the Zed. When the Colleens are invited to the pinnacle of social events, a grade-12 party, on a night that they’re supposed to work, they decide to bring the party to the Zed, and all hell breaks loose. The above-referenced Bratzis have everything to do with it. Johnny Depp returns as Guy LaPointe, the bumbling detective from Tusk, which may or may not interest you.

It’s mostly harmless and often funny, even if it’s not very good. But I guess that’s the point, what with it being the, ahem, ‘wurst movie ever made.

If you’ve seen the trailer you know exactly what to expect, and based on the general response, most plan to avoid this movie like the plague. I don’t blame them. I, a dyed in the wool Kevin Smith fan, cringed at much of what the trailer had to offer, and uttered an audible expletive when Smith credited himself as a “human hockey jersey.” Still, my love for Tusk and for Smith in general was more than enough to get my ass into a seat, but as I left the theater I felt torn.

You see, Smith has more than publicly stated that he no longer wishes to make movies for audiences, but rather for his own entertainment. He’s certainly earned his right to do so, and has found a way to obtain the funding necessary, but it begs the question: if not for an audience, why release the movie at all?  Now it’s positively refreshing to see filmmaker creating a pure, unchallenged vision – the film he  wanted to make, no more, no less – but there’s an attempt here to have his cake and eat it too. This is why I’m so torn. Yoga Hosers IS for an audience. Amidst all of the colorful, unresolved plot threads, the film makes a pretty direct indictment of ‘hater-critics’ – that breed of fanboy/culture snob that loves something until they hate it, and then hate it HARD. Smith clearly feels burned by his fanbase and by critics in general. It’s easy to see why. He was once a critical darling and the face of a generation of nerds … now he’s become a punchline.


But whose fault is that?

The statement in Yoga Hosers is that ‘hater-critics’ simply NEED to hate, and will burn their idols just to stand atop the ashes. Yet the criticism feels disingenuous. Smith fails to realize that he has been very instrumental in creating this precise culture of entitled/reactionary fanboyism. He’s not solely responsible, but it’s undeniable that he’s partially to blame. Looking at Yoga Hosers, you can see an enactment of the very same behavior that he’s railing so hard against. It’s him saying to the audience “oh, you don’t think I make good movies??? Well now I ONLY make bad movies!” It’s a sneakily underhanded way to become critic-proof. It’s the cinematic equivalent of taking one’s ball and going home.

The strangest thing to me is how sloppily this message is handled. Smith has proven in the past that he is more than capable of mixing a potent commentary with his brand of crass humor. Dogma will always remain a strong criticism of the church that is as scathing as it is respectful … and it comes complete with a poop monster.

I guess what I’m saying is that I miss Kevin Smith. I’m not ready to give up on him just yet, and I’m holding out hope for Moose Jaws, yet I can’t help but to feel a little bit betrayed. I’ve always defended even the lesser works of this once beloved filmmaker, and I’m happy to half-defend the anti-establishment notion of Yoga Hosers*, but if Kevin Smith continues to attack his audience while hiding behind he idea that it’s all in good fun, my inclination to come to his defense will wane until it is negligible. You’re better than this, Mr. Smith. You’ve more than proved it in the past, and it’s time to prove it again. Stop working to validate the hater-critics. Prove your fans right. Prove ME right. I know you have it in you.

*All said, Yoga Hosers is certainly not a bad way to spend 88 minutes.

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