Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)

Taking its inspiration from backwoods horror films where kids go into the woods, kids get killed by insane/cannibalistic/territorial and/or just plain vengeful hicks, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is a horror comedy that’s a rip-roaring good time! To tell you the truth, I wasn’t expecting much with this spoof, but was pleasantly surprised by just how laugh-out-loud funny it was! And it wasn’t just me…the whole room kept erupting into laughter right along with me!

The film is about West Virginian hillbillies Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) who head to their vacation home, a dilapidated cabin deep in the woods. Heading to the same area is a group of college co-eds for a weekend of partying. However, things go askew for both groups after a series of accidents and miscommunications lead the kids to mistake Tucker and Dale for a pair of backwoods killers.

This was such a raucous comedy, I really can’t believe it hasn’t been picked up for distribution yet! I’m not usually one for dumbed-down spoofs, but this one had a certain charm, originality and tons of hilarious moments. Plus, it wasn’t dumbed-down at all, but actually funny and smart.

Writers Morgan Jurgenson and Eli Craig (who also directed) certainly did a fine job of writing a hilarious script that keeps its tongue firmly in cheek without pandering to the audience. One of my favorite scenes involved Tucker taking a chainsaw to an old log, only to hit an angry hornet’s nest inside. As he flails around with his chainsaw (looking very much like Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre), he spooks the college kids.

I don’t think the film could have been as great without the wonderful performances from Alan Tudyk (of Firefly fame) and Tyler Labine (from the awesome but short-lived Reaper series). They were absolutely hysterical as the clueless but well-meaning rednecks. The rest of the cast did a fine job as well, but Tudyk and Labine really stood out! Their timing and how they played off one another was just comedic perfection!

Besides the great story and acting, I was surprised at how bloody the overall film is – we get gruesome impalements, a body put through the wood-chipper, brains splattered over a windshield and more! The kills are so over-the-top they can become a little ridiculous, but again, the tone of the film saves this from ever becoming an issue.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is a delightful gem of a movie which unfortunately hasn’t been released yet. This is really a pity, because this is one of the most fun films I’ve seen all year! If you get a chance to see Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, definitely do it as any self-respecting horror fan will no doubt have a grand ol’ time with this movie!

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