[This is a re-post of my Yoga Hosers review from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The movie is now playing in limited release.]
What a strange, winding road Kevin Smith’s career has taken to bring him to Yoga Hosers, a “comedy” in which Nazi sausage monsters terrorize a convenience store by crawling up people’s butts and out their mouths, killing them in the process. The movie is the second film in Smith’s self-professed “True North” trilogy, which began with Tusk, a film where Smith at least seemed like he was trying. Yoga Hosers, meanwhile, is pure self-satisfaction, putting together this nonsensical, juvenile story just because he can. Which is fine, but as a movie—you know, a story told visually with actors and dialogue—it barely exists, registering as more of a “funny video” a guy decided to make with his friends and family despite promising turns by Lily-Rose Depp and Harley Quinn Smith.
Much like Clerks, the story of Yoga Hosers revolves around a pair of convenience store clerks, this time a pair of teenage BFFs both named Colleen, played by Depp and Smith. Canadians through and through, their time working at the “Eh-2-Zed” is mostly spent wishing they were somewhere else, or at least in the back room jamming away in their three-piece band. Complications arise when, after attempting to throw a party at the mostly deserted convenience store with a pair of cute older boys (Austin Butler and Tyler Posey), Nazi sausage monsters (played by a heavily prosthetic’d Kevin Smith, obviously) invade the store and murder both boys, revealing a conspiracy that involves the town’s dark history with the Nazi party.
That’s pretty much it, story-wise. While Clerks’ narrative can be summed up in a sentence, it’s filled with smart dialogue, hilarious punchlines, and a surprising emotional kick. Yoga Hosers, meanwhile, is more like a stream-of-conscious comedy filled with every kooky idea that popped into the incredibly high writer’s head in the 30 minutes it took to come up with the entire movie. As such, it plays out in random fashion, with various familiar faces popping up here and there (Jason Mewes, Jennifer Schwalbach, and even Lily-Rose Depp’s mother Vanessa Paradis, making this a true family affair). Which would be totally find if the film had anything to say, or even an engaging story, but it has neither.