Tucker & Dale VS Evil
Directed by Eli Craig
Sony Region 2
I was first made aware of the existence of this movie via the excellent blogger @filmforager’s review of it here. Since then I was recently reminded of it by seeing a fair few “good word of mouth” tweets and reviews and so I’d decided I would blind buy this one at some point in my quest to find unusually stupid films to review on my blog... err... I mean to render a service to the achievement and legacy of great cinematic art by writing about it on here.
A few weekends ago, all the necessary factors for the purchase of said cinematic contribution came together for me... the most crucial elements manifesting themselves with the essence of the following two phrases... “HMV Sale” and “Under a Fiver.”
Tucker & Dale VS Evil stars Tyler Labine as Dale (most recently seen by me in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes... thought that guy looked familiar) and the legendary Alan Tudyk (Wash out of Firefly/Serenity) as Tucker, the straight man to Dale. The two of them pretty much make up a typical comedy duo similar to the make-up of the Abbott and Costello team of years gone by in some respects... in that Dale is the stupid, funny guy who is actually the smarter one and Tucker is the smart, in-charge guy, who is actually not as clever as he thinks he is and holds the other guy back. And the routine still really works I have to say... or at least, these two guys are so good at it that they really make it work. There’s some nice comic timing going on here.
The two play hill-billy red necks who are going to Tucker’s newly purchased cabin in the woods, a definite fixer-upper, to... erm.. you know, fix it up. On the way they meet a bunch of “college kids” and, after Dale’s initial attempts to talk to one of the girls is, naturally, given the circumstances you see on film, perceived as sinister and threatening... they carry on their way to their new holiday home.
After the most intelligent of the college kids slips, bangs her head and nearly drowns, Dale rescues her... but the other college kids run off assuming that our heroes have kidnapped her. Our heroes take her to their cabin to recuperate and, as the frightened college kids are fired up by their “leader” to take revenge on Dale and Tucker and “rescue” the girl, they start dying accidental violent deaths around Tucker and Dale whenever they approach them... deaths involving wood chippers and sharpened spikes etc. And that’s about as much of the set up that I’ll reveal here.
In general, Tucker & Dale VS Evil is a great little movie which more than lives up to the fun of the trailer and, although I was quite worried because the film is pretty much a “one joke premise” deal, I was pleasantly surprised that the movie manages to both retain and sustain its sense of fun and its ability to keep you watching throughout its full length. The pacing is pretty fast on this one and the dialogue, although it relies on a certain small understanding of these “cabin in the woods” style genre movies, in no way relies on that kind of knowledge to push its points across. In other words... I’m not too familiar with these kinds of pictures myself but I didn’t find myself lost in gore-movie subtext like I’d feared. This is a movie which works fine with a general audience, I’m guessing.
My real regret with this movie is that it didn’t seem to get any theatrical run over here, which is a shame because it would’ve played pretty well in my local cinema where the audience would have really appreciated it, I think. Consequently, although it has tons of positive feedback, I don’t expect it’s exactly made a ton of money either... which means we probably wont be seeing a sequel to this anytime soon. Which is a shame because I think there’s probably room enough for a Tucker & Dale VS The Haunted Castle or a Tucker & Dale Go Egypt in the cinematic universe.
Still, never mind. At least we have this little b-movie comedy gem and this one gets a big “go buy it and watch it now” sentiment from me if you’re into both gory splatter movies (it is quite nicely gory) and... you know... if you’re into laughing. Get it while the shops still have it cheap!