Eli Craig’s Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, is a hilarious response and welcomed change to the hillbilly horror film genre. Many have grown weary of seeing horror films that feature hillbillies as backwoods, chainsaw wielding, lunatics, (as in Rod Lurie’s remake of 1971’s Straw Dogs), who attack any and all unsuspecting college kids on vacation. Fortunately, this was not the case.
Dale (Tyler Labine) and Tucker (Alan Tudyk) are two of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet. They have just purchased an old, dilapidated cabin–a “fixer-upper”–deep in the woods of West Virginia. There, they had lake nearby to afford them the privacy that they needed to spend time together fishing and drinking beers. Tucker and Dale wanted to use their vacation as an opportunity to fix the place up, when a group of college kids hampered their well-intended plans.
Dale and Tucker made it to their cabin, and the college students made it to their destination in the woods, pitching a couple of tents, and gathering around the camp fire. Chad (Jesse Moss) decided to tell the story of how campers like them were massacred on the same spot they pitched their tents. In the meantime, Dale and Tucker begin work on their cabin. The college kids do pretty much what they always do in genre horrors—drink beer and go skinny dipping.
Things seem to be going pretty well—until an unfortunate accident happens to Allison (Katrina Bowden) while the group is out skinny dipping in the lake where Dale and Tucker just so happened to be out night fishing. Allison fell and hit her head on a rock, and Dale dove in to rescue her. Chuck (Travis Nelson) witnessed the entire rescue, and saw Dale eating Allison’s face off—when he was instead giving her CPR. He tells his friends what has happened, and of course, they all get the wrong idea. Thereafter begins a cliché of one event after another, where the college kids become so engrossed in rescuing Allison, that their attempted interventions result in a series of gorily depicted, unfortunate events that befall each of them.
Allison, Chad, and the rest of their friends get the wrong impression of our gentle hillbillies. Maybe it did not help that Dale approached them wielding a scythe and laughing manically as he asked them what they were up to, although Allison’s “capture” allowed her to get to know both Tucker and Dale. Eventually, possibly due to Stockholm syndrome, Allison and Dale begin dating. Not the best of beginnings for a relationship, but somehow, through a barrage of misunderstandings, there is still enough room for a little romance.
The DVD special features include “The Making of Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.” Director Eli Craig and co-writer Morgan Jurgenson discuss making the film; there is some commentary going on between Labine and Tudyk during the movie closing credits, poking fun at the individuals who were part of the film-making process delivering witty quips at the cast and crew. There’s a hilarious “outtake” option, where you have the opportunity to view the actors miss a few lines in a couple of the scenes; including hearing planes flying over and disrupting the set; and Labine enduring take after take eating pickled eggs when he eventually begins to gag on them. The “storyboards” section of the DVD features a total of 97 of the film’s storyboard drawings, and is displayed in a comic book format. In order to flip through the pages, all you have to do is use your television remote left and right guide buttons to flip through the pages. In addition, the theatrical trailer for the film and the HDNet: A Look at Tucker and Dale vs. Evil; which is similar to the “making of” Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.
Overall, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is an excellent and absolutely hilarious horror-comedy that satisfies even the most skeptical horror movie fanatic in more ways than one. It is an “intelligent” spoof of other genre horror’s like; Friday the 13th; Evil Dead; Deliverance; and possibly Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It is a refreshing take on the hillbilly-horror genre—if there is such a thing. There is something for everyone to enjoy, because the script is extremely well written and the stunt scenes, well executed. Even the acting is absolutely brilliant, and it is rare to see a comedy horror film that actually does what it sets out to to—deliver a decent amount of laughs, with satisfying thrills and chills.
“The perfect love story… with a high body count…”
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is a comedy/horror film directed by Eli Craig and jointly written by Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson. The film stars Tyler Labine (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Alan Tudyk (Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon), Katrina Bowden (Piranha 3D), and Jesse Moss (Final Destination 3). The film is about two guys, Tucker and Dale, on vacation in the woods when they are attacked by a group of college kids, who think they are a couple of crazy hillbilly-murdering lunatics.
Image source: Magnet Releasing