Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2011)
Directed by Eli Craig
Sometimes looks can be deceiving and that's never been more evident in Eli Craig's Tucker and Dale vs Evil.
The fun in Tucker and Dale is that it takes the redneck/hillbilly slasher and turns it upside down. What if the hillbillies were just regular Joe Schmoes and the douchebaggy college kids were the dumb schmucks that caused 'da killin.
If you ever saw Wrong Turn, Friday the 13th. Texas Chainsaw and Hills Have Eyes films, you can grasp where this is going. It's been a while since I've seen a horror comedy that knows the genre its making fun of. All the stereotypical elements are dropped in from the music to the scary general store owner to Dale's maniacal laughter. But all are misunderstood elements that twist the hillbilly horror genre into a world of strange coincidences and full of LOLs.
It's a film that definitely holds its own in the Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland horror comedy pantheon of films. Tudyk and Labine are a comedic duo of devilish funnies. I'll say it right now. It may be the best horror comedy this year. It hits all the right banjo notes, is awesomely quick witted and a very clever parody of redneck slashers.
Tucker and Dale are two best friends on vacation at their dilapidated mountain house, who are mistaken for murderous backwoods hillbillies by a group of obnoxious, preppy college kids. When one of the students gets separated from her friends, the boys try to lend a hand, but as the misunderstanding grows, so does the body count.
The formula is followed to the tee. Group of douchebag, frat potheads head to West Virginia (I mean seriously where else could this movie take place?) for some camping fun. You got the polo shirt (collars up) dickhead frat boy, his goofy friends, the one hot blonde chick (Katrina Bowden), the slutty girl and get this TWO! token black people (a guy and girl). They are easily spooked by their surroundings as well as our heroes Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine).
The misplaced stereotypes hit a mile a minute as our college kids think Dale is a carbon caricature of all that is redneck. But in reality Tucker, the confident thinker with dreams of a vacation home and Dale (a shy but smart bowler) are just regular folk doing regular things and somehow get caught up in a web of stupidity caused by our frightened college dweebs.
And the jokes are pure Three's Company like. From out of context conversations to Tucker yielding a smokin chainsaw, all the comedy revolves around Tucker and Dale's unfortunate events as they vacation and fix their vacation fixed upper. After they rescue Ally (the hottest blonde I have seen this year) after an accidental lake incident, she starts to realize Tucker and Dale are not what they thought they were. She and Dale bond because as you all know the fat guy always scores the hot chick.
But where Tucker and Dale shines are the ridiculous self deaths of our college kids. Impalements via trees, via sticks, via wood chipper and via gunshots are LOL hilarious. All are caused by the kids themselves with Tucker exacerbated tells the inept policeman: "Oh hidy ho officer, we've had a doozy of a day. There we were minding our own business, just doing chores around the house, when kids started killing themselves all over my property."
The movie does tend to drag a bit towards the end. A rescue goes awry and dogs are in danger. Ally goes all therapy session as Dale and Chad (our douchebaggy leader) try to talk things out. But the fiery conclusion is a bit over the top as Tucker and Dale try to rescue Ally from the clutches of Hollinger boy.
Tucker and Dale vs Evil is full of ridiculousness and genre cliches turned inside out. It works because the audience likes our heroes. Tudyk and Labine work well together acting as perfect clones of beer guzzling rednecks. Labine of course known for his work on Reaper and Mad Love (I remember him fondly for Dead Last) gives us the lovable unconfident fat guy he plays so well. Alan Tudyk (Firefly and Dollhouse 4 life!) is the perfect counterbalance to Dale. If your not a fan of The Tudyk, you will be after this flick.
Eli Craig makes this work because he knows what we look for in this sub genre. And by twizzler twisting it all around and making us root for Tucker and Dale, he's giving us a gimmick we haven't seen before. The movie has won a ton of awards via the festival circuit and a sequel is already being hinted at.
Whoever Tucker and Dale take on next is going to be in a world of hurt. Hurting from all the laughter they'll inflict to the audience.
Katrina Bowden in skimpy outfits is hotter than any naked chicks
Self inflicted deaths are o plenty and they are gruesomely hilarious
Impalements in various forms
Accidental fire combustion
The safety is off
The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis
Tucker and Dale vs Evil will be released by Magnet Releasing and will come out on August 26th via VOD and September 30th in theaters.
This a must see for all horror fans. It's that damn good.
Here's the trailer.