Sunday, January 29, 2012

Friday the 13th Part 2




This movie opens with Alice (our survival girl from part 1) alone in her house.  She’s having a nightmare, and the events at the end of part 1 are shown again.  She wakes up and gets a call from her mom.  After getting off the phone, she starts hearing strange noises.  She opens her fridge, finds the rotting head of Mrs. Voorhees…and is promptly killed by Jason (screwdriver in the temple).  I guess a survivor girl is only guaranteed the end of her first movie.



The set-up: A bunch of teens gather at Crystal Lake for a class in camp counselor training.  This is not Camp Crystal Lake, but it’s another camp on the same lake.  A murderer surfaces and begins killing them off.

Let’s meet our characters for part 2:



Ginny: Our survivor girl.  She is Paul’s assistant in this counselor training camp.  She’s a normal girl…very likable.  She's fantastic.



Paul: Ginny’s love interest.  He’s in charge of the camp.  He is tall, blonde, and looks like a classic 80s bully.  But, once you get past his initial introduction, he’s actually a decent guy.  

 However, someone needs to teach him how to wear a hat.




Ted: The prankster of the group.  Same kind of look as Ned, but much more likable.  I’m pretty sure DJ Qualls was a clone of this guy.



Jeff: Dating Sandra.  Wears a dressy hat and tank tops.  Like a gentleman.



Sandra: She looks like she’s 12 years old, so that’s off-putting.



Scott: Total jackass.  You can see it from the first time you look at him.  He has one of those faces you just want to punch.  He wears a polo with a popped collar and dances with Terry’s dog to try to hook up with her.  It doesn’t work.



Terry: Remarkably slutty.  If there were actually kids at this camp, she would be the most inappropriate counselor ever.



Vickie: Seems nice enough.  Hits on Mark very aggressively a number of times before he seems to realize what’s going on.  She reminds me a little of Linda Cardellini.



Mark: Wheelchair bound.  Seems like a decent guy.  Isn’t bitter or angry about the fact that he’s in a wheelchair.

Mark & Vickie, in happier times

There is also a black character, but I don’t think he has a name.  Still, you don’t see him die, so that breaks the “black character always dies first” stereotype.

The Killer:



Jason Voorhees: But he doesn’t get his hockey mask until part 3.  In this movie, he simply has a bag over his head.  He uses a number of different weapons: machete, pitchfork, knife, spear, pick-ax, and the aforementioned screwdriver.

The Deaths:

Ralph (the town crazy from part 1) is the first to go.  Strangled by piano wire while leaning up against a tree.



A cop chases someone through the woods.  He finds a dilapidated shack in the middle of the woods.  He goes in, snoops around, and gets a hammer in the back of the head.



Scott goes next.  Terry (wearing not much to begin with) goes for a walk by herself at night, and decides to go skinny-dipping.  Someone is watching her, and they steal her clothes.  We find out that’s it’s only Scott…laughing like an idiot.  He runs away and gets caught in a trap that hangs him by his feet from a tree.  Terry leaves him to try to find some help.  But it doesn’t matter.  Jason comes by and slits his throat with a machete.



Terry comes back to Scott and finds him dead.  She screams, turns to the camera…and we don’t see her die.  The next time we see her, she is dead at the shrine Jason built to his dead mother (the centerpiece of that shrine being her shriveled head).



Vickie goes back to her cabin to get freshened up.  Wearing only a sweater and underwear, she runs out to her car to grab her hairbrush.  [Meanwhile, Mark, Jeff & Sandra are all killed.]  She makes her way back to the main cabin (now wearing pants).  She finds Sandra in the bed…with Jason lying next to her.  Vickie screams, and is stabbed to death.



Mark, rolling out on the porch to look for Vickie, unceremoniously gets a machete in the face, and rolls backwards down a ton of stairs.



Jeff and Sandra are upstairs in the main cabin, having sex.  Jason – having grabbed a spear from downstairs – skewers both of them.



Following the Survival Girl:
She takes off her shirt, but she’s wearing a bra.  That wasn’t enough to save Brenda, but it’s not enough to kill Ginny.

While in a bar, Ginny talks about what Jason would be like if he were still alive.  She paints a sympathetic picture of Jason…a child isolated from everyone but his mother, who he was forced to watch die.  It’s a terrific speech.  It almost makes you see him in a more positive light.  Until you see him killing more kids.

As Jason attacks Paul, Ginny repeats “Paul” while backing away.  I guess that’s why she’s called a survivor girl and not a fighter girl.  However, in a later scene she kicks Jason in the nuts, so I guess that’s something.

Much like Alice, Ginny spends a lot of time running from Jason.  And, like Alice, there are a handful of times where she is able to knock him to the ground, but fails to deliver the finishing blow.



Once inside Jason’s hovel, she slips on his mother’s sweater (and grabs a machete) and attempts to talk to him like his mother would have.  He advances, kneels in front of her, and sees his mother’s head.  She tries to cut him with the machete, but he blocks it with his pick ax and cuts her leg.  Paul shows up, and, as he wrestles with Jason, Ginny is able to embed the machete into Jason’s shoulder.  He keels over, presumably dead.



They get back to the cabin.  Paul comforts her.  They hear a noise at the door.  Paul goes to check it out…and there’s a little dog.  But Jason (sans mask) busts through the back window and grabs Ginny.



And then she wakes up as she’s being loaded into the ambulance.  She asks for Paul, but there’s no sign of him.

Notes:
Jason is kind of a big, fairly uncoordinated oaf.  He’s a far cry from the immortal killing machine we see in future installments.  He stumbles around, and he’s easily tricked.  With his appearance (overalls and a sack over his head), he looks more like a angry farmer than the symbol of terror he becomes.  But he’s strong, and he’s better than his mother.

Jason finds out that Ginny is hiding under a bed when she pees her pants out of fear.  Not a survivor’s girl finest moment.

Final thoughts:
It seemed like there were more people involved in this movie.  But really, the main list of characters is only 9 (and of those nine, three of them – Paul, Ted and Ginny – are alive the last time we see them.  Paul is assumed to be dead, but the last time we see Ted is at a bar.  As far as we know, he didn’t make it back to the camp until the next morning, when the killing was all over).  It also seemed like there was more sex and nudity.  That wasn’t necessarily the case (still only one sex scene and one nude girl), but there was definitely more skin in this movie than the last one.

I really like this one.  Not only are we introduced to Jason (as the killer) in this movie, but we also have Ginny, who is probably my favorite survivor girl in the series.  She’s a very likable character.  Also, if she needs to, she knows how to use a pitchfork.



As always, we’ll end with Final Girl’s deaths of Friday the 13th Part 2.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday the 13th



As I stated in my last post, I was planning on doing a live blog of sorts for this movie.  As it turns out, I’m terrible at live blogging.  It turned into a four-page synopsis, with a handful of other thoughts thrown in.  But that’s no good.  So I edited it down to try to make it a more cohesive post.  In the end, it may be a bit more cohesive (and it turned out to be a slightly better analysis of the movie as a whole), but it didn’t end up being any shorter.  So I apologize for that.  Hopefully you’ll stick with me through this.  I’ll try to get better for the next movie.  If you feel like joining in on this, leave your thoughts in the comments.  It would be fun to make this into a kind of movie club.  After all, that’s how this blog got started.

I should also point out that there will be spoilers throughout (starting in the very next paragraph).  But, since it’s a classic horror movie that was released in 1980, I don’t really feel like I’m giving anything away.  If you haven’t seen it yet, well, that’s your fault.

I thought it would be cool to look at the “final girl” in each of these movies (Leslie Vernon refers to them as “survivor girls”.  I like that term better, so I’ll be using that).  We know there are certain rules that a survivor girl must adhere to: basically, they must live a chaste and clean life.  No nudity, sex, drugs, etc.  But is that really the case?  Our survivor girl in this film is Alice.  Does she break any of these rules?

The movie starts in 1958, but the story starts in 1957 when a child at Camp Crystal Lake drowns.  From what we learn later, he wasn’t being watched because the counselors were having sex. 
In 1958, we are looking through the eyes of the killer as she follows two counselors, who are going to have sex.  They are stopped when the killer stabs both of them.

After those deaths, the film takes us to 1980.  A list of our characters:


Steve: His family is from the nearby town, and he is in charge of getting the camp back up and running again.  When we meet him, he is wearing cut-off jean shorts, no shirt, a red bandana around his neck, and a glorious mustache. 


Alice: Our survivor girl.  She appears to be at the camp as a handy-man of sorts.  She talks about possibly needing to leave early to deal with some “family stuff”, but we never hear anything else about it.  Steve likes her (he creepily hits on her), but not much happens.



Annie: She is hitchhiking her way to Camp Crystal Lake.  We see her as she is walking through the town nearest Camp Crystal Lake.  Ralph – “the town crazy” – tells her that “Camp Blood” has a “death curse”.  She gets a ride with one of the locals who dismisses Ralph, but then immediately tells her that she shouldn’t go out there.  She laughs him off.



Jack: Played by Kevin Bacon.  He shows up with Marcie and Ned.  He and Marcie are dating. 



Marcie: She is dating Jack.  



Ned: The goofy one.  There seems to be one of these in every movie.  Socially awkward, and usually very horny.  There’s always one person that is a good friend of this person (in this case, that person is Jack).  He does a lot of things for attention, whether that’s running around in his underwear and an Indian headdress or shooting an arrow at a target that a girl is holding.  He’s an odd duck.



Bill: Good guy, if a little anonymous. 



Brenda: Her and Alice seem to be good friends.  She’s in charge of outdoor activities.  I believe the first time we see her is when she’s setting up the archery range.

Those are our 8 kids.  Now meet the killer.



Mrs. Voorhees: It was her son (Jason) who drowned in 1957.  The date of all these murders in 1980 would have been Jason’s birthday (in looking at the calendar, I found out that Jason’s birthday was June 13).  There are a couple of things to keep in mind with her.  She will talk in Jason’s voice and have conversations with him.  Through these conversations, we learn that, not only are these revenge killings, but that she believes it is still 1957.  She accuses Alice of not watching Jason.  Also, when we finally see her later in the movie, we see that Mrs. Voorhees is not he most coordinated woman.  She’s in her 50s, and at times she struggles to run.  Most of her kills have the element of surprise, but there’s still a certain amount of strength involved in some of them.  This will come up from time to time in this post.

The Deaths.

Annie is the first to go.  After being dropped off by the local she was riding with, she hitches a ride in a jeep (we don’t ever see the driver, but it’s Mrs. Voorhees).  Annie realizes something is wrong, so she jumps out of the speeding jeep (head first…probably not a good call by Annie).  She runs through the woods, but the killer tracks her down and slits her throat.  Goodbye Annie.  We hardly knew you.

Ralph shows up in the camp with an ominous warning: “You’re doomed if you stay.  Go.  Go.”  If a crazy person shows up at a camp with a bad history, spouting words of doom, you should probably listen to him.  Alas, they don’t.

Ned is the next one to go.  He sees a figure entering a cabin, so he follows the person in.  “Hello?  Can I help you?”  We don’t see him die on camera, but it’s the last we see him alive.

Not long after that, a huge storm rolls through.  Jack and Marcie enter the cabin Ned was just killed in.  One thing leads to another, and they have sex on the bottom bunk.  As they’re having sex, we see that Ned is dead (throat slit) on the top bunk.  After they finish up, Marcie goes to the bathroom and Jack lays back on the bed.  He feels blood dripping on his head.  Before he can react, a hand comes from underneath the bed, holds his head, and jams an arrow through his neck from underneath the bed.  Far and away the best death in the movie.  This is one of those moments where the killer’s strength comes into question.  How is a woman in her 50s able to hold Jack’s head against the pillow with one hand and jam an arrow through the bed and through his neck with the other?  That would take a lot of strength.



Marcie is in the bathroom in a small shirt and her underwear.  She hears a noise.  She investigates.  And then she gets an ax in the face.  That’s what you get for getting naked, Marcie.



Alice, Bill and Brenda are all in a cabin playing strip Monopoly.  They break out beer and weed.  Bill partakes in both.  Brenda partakes in beer but no weed.  Alice – the survivor girl – partakes in both, thus breaking at least one rule (drug use) of the survivor girl.  By the end of the game, Bill has lost most of his clothes, and Brenda has lost her pants and shirt, but Alice is still fully clothed.  She is getting ready to take off her shirt, but they’re interrupted and the game stops.  No nudity for the survivor girl.

Brenda goes back to her cabin, puts on her full-length nightgown, and reads a book.  She hears a call for help, so she goes out in the rain to investigate.  She goes to the archery range.  The lights turn on, the camera leaves the scene, and we hear her scream.

(In looking at it from this perspective, Brenda would have also made for a good survivor girl.  During strip Monopoly, she had a beer, but didn’t have any weed.  She took her shirt off, but she was still wearing a bra, so she wasn’t nude.  But that’s immaterial.  She’s dead now.)

Alice and Bill go out to look for Brenda, after hearing her scream.  They go to her bed and find an ax covered in blood.  It’s on, now. 
They walk around the camp looking for their missing friends, but they can’t find them anywhere.  They make their way to the office to call someone, but the phone line has been cut.  They try to drive somewhere, but the truck isn’t working.  Bill and Alice are trapped at Camp Crystal Lake, stalked by a killer they’re still not even sure is out there.  (There’s a whole lot of horror movie clich├ęs in that paragraph.)

Steve, who has been out all night, comes back to the camp.  In looking through the killer’s eyes, we see him almost immediately killed (from the looks of it, a knife to the stomach).

While Alice goes to sleep, Bill goes out to refill the generator with gas.  This is the last time we’ll see him alive.

Alice goes out in search of Bill.  She finally finds him…but he’s dead, and being held to the back of a door by a bunch of arrows (another “how did a woman in her 50s do that by herself” moment).  Alice screams and runs.  She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s the only one among her friends who isn’t dead yet.  But she’ll find out soon enough.

She goes back to her cabin and barricades herself in.  She grabs a bat and the fire poker to defend herself.  The dead body of Brenda comes through the window.  For reasons unclear to me, Alice drops her weapons.  This becomes a theme with her.  She doesn’t deserve to live.

Mrs. Voorhees shows up in her jeep.  To Alice, she just looks like a harmless old woman in a blue sweater.  Still, Alice should know better than to just run to the first person she screams.  After all, a stranger is killing her friends…why couldn’t this be the stranger?  Does Alice not think?

It is this scene that we learn about Jason, and we find out that Mrs. Voorhees is the killer.  She charges Alice with a knife.  Alice picks up the fire poker, hits Mrs. Voorhees a couple times, knocks her on the ground…then drops the poker and runs.

Bam!  Annie is dead in the jeep.
Bang!  Steve is hanging upside down from a tree.  (How did Mrs. Voorhees find the strength and time to do that?)

The end of this movie is a lot of Mrs. Voorhees chasing Alice through the camp, Alice hiding, attacking Mrs. Voorhees with some sort of weapon, dropping that weapon, and running away.  Apparently her plan is to run Mrs. Voorhees around until she collapses from exhaustion.

There’s a big showdown on the beach.  It’s a clumsy fight scene that ends with Alice taking a machete and chopping off Mrs. Voorhees’ head.  For being a brutal killer, that last fight scene was severely uninspired.

Alice ends up in a canoe in the middle of the lake as the music swells.  The cops come, she smiles…and deranged little Jason pops up from the water and pulls her in.  But she wakes up in a hospital bed.  That last part was a dream...or was it?

Some final thoughts.  The concept of the survivor girl as being the only clean-living, virginal one in the bunch doesn’t really apply in this movie.  The only people in that group that had sex were Jack and Marcie.  If Brenda had been the survivor girl instead, it would have made just as much sense.  Basically, most of the people in this movie actually seemed to be decent human beings, which is in stark contrast to a lot of the jerks and horndogs that make up most slasher movies.

I was thinking of why this was.  This movie borrowed pretty heavily from Halloween, and that kind of set up the whole “killer with a code” rules.  Michael Myers was the boogeyman.  Laurie Strode was a chaste, studious girl.  Her sexually active friends were killed by Michael Myers as she made it out alive.  Why wasn’t that the case here?
The answer I came up with was that the killer in this movie was not Jason; it was Mrs. Voorhees.  She was not killing out of some sense of a code.  She was killing out of revenge.  Her son died as the result of neglect, and it was her duty to right that wrong.
But what of Jason?  Does he have a code, or does he just kill?  I guess we’ll find out in part 2.


Lastly, I am currently in love with the Final Girl blog.  She has drawn up all the deaths of Friday the 13th 1-6 in comic book form.  They're terrific, and I will be including them at the bottom of these posts.  Please head over and check out her blog.  It's a lot of fun.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday the 13th: The Intro



After Christmas, I bought a pack of the first four Friday the 13th movies.  And then I bought Jason X separately (because all the movies in between are pretty much the same, but Jason X is pretty awesome).  So I’m working my way through them.  Since most of these movies are pretty much the same, I’m guessing these reviews will all be pretty short, and will be comprised mainly of me questioning the decision-making of these randy teens.

So we’ll go through them together.  But I’ll do something different with this series, since I doubt I’ll have much interesting to say about them (as opposed to most of my reviews, which are great founts of wisdom).  Instead of just a straight review with things I liked or didn’t like, I’ll try some sort of “live blog” attempt with these.  I’ll follow the characters, and you can follow along with me.  We’ll chart their lives, their conquests, and their deaths.

One of the reasons I thought this might be a fun little exercise is because it's an early example of the conventions that are all too familiar throughout slasher movies.  Halloween came first (and is a vastly superior film) and Friday the 13th definitely borrowed (or stole) from it, but I have already reviewed the Halloween series.  Besides, they both really helped to popularize the genre, and made it take off in a way that it hadn't done previously.  The "horror movie rules" (as made so popular in Scream) find their birthplace in Halloween and Friday the 13th.  So I thought it might be fun to go through and watch this series and write about it as it's happening.  

This may be one of those things that sounds great in my head but will be executed horribly.  But, since I only have a couple people who actually read this thing, I’m not in any real danger of alienating anyone.

Coming up tonight: the original Friday the 13th.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rammbock: Berlin Undead



A man named Michael was dumped after being in a relationship for 7 years.  Her name was Gabi.  She dumped him, and then she moved to Berlin.  I don’t remember where they originally lived, but it wasn’t very close to Berlin.  Michael decides that he needs to return Gabi’s keys to her.  So, in true stalker fashion, he travels to Berlin to give her back her apartment keys.  When he gets to her apartment, Gabi is nowhere to be seen, but there are two plumbers in her apartment.  Immediately after walking in the door, one of the plumbers turns into a zombie.  He attacks the other plumber (a younger guy, named Harper).  Michael is able to pull the older plumber off and get him out the door.  Michael and Harper barricade themselves in the apartment.
The apartment complex is u-shaped, so they’re able to communicate with the other occupants of the complex.  However, the zombies are drawn to sound, so they can’t talk to each other too much without drawing the attention of the zombies.  Every time they try to discuss some sort of plan with the others, a pack of zombies flood the complex. 

This movie had an interesting take on zombies…although they weren’t really zombies, in that you didn’t have to die for the infection to take place, and they could run.  It was kind of like 28 Days Later in that respect, but with a big difference.  An infected person would not actually turn into the zombie-like creature unless their heart rate increased to a certain level (if one wanted, they could compare this to a zombie version of Speed).  There was a radio broadcast early in the movie that made mention of a possible cure, so the infected tried to stay calm as long as possible, in the hopes that a cure would come before they turned.
I kind of enjoyed that aspect of it.  You had infected people trying to find ways to keep their heart rate down.  One character tried meditation.  Another character’s wife was infected, so he kept her on a steady diet of sedatives. 

The zombies looked good.  Very creepy and menacing.  I particularly liked their eyes, which where completely white.  It made for a disturbing look.



That’s the good.  Now the bad.
I hated Michael.  Hated him from the very beginning.  I’ve read a handful of reviews that described him as “lovestruck”.  I describe him as useless.  Everything was about Gabi.  “Gabi this” and “Gabi that”.  For the majority of the movie, he was paralyzed in his decision making, because all he could think about was Gabi.  He and Harper had literally just shoved a zombie out of the apartment door when they heard a banging at that exact same door.  Michael rushed to open the door, convinced that it was Gabi.  Harper had to hold him back.  He overcame this as the movie progressed, but by that time it was too late.  I was already thoroughly entrenched in my hatred of Michael by the time he came around.  I could appreciate what he did, but I still couldn’t like him. 

I have one more nitpicky point.  The movie is called Berlin Undead, but the creatures weren’t actually undead.

This movie was pretty short, clocking in at a little over an hour.  And the last 10 minutes or so were pretty good.  But it wasn’t a great movie.  It was decent, and I enjoyed parts of it, but it wasn’t a great movie.  But it wasn’t terrible, either.  And, in a world filled with terrible zombie movies, that has to count for something. 

Rating: 2.5/5

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Maniac




I usually hear this movie mentioned in the same breath as Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.  I don’t think that I necessarily enjoyed Henry, but it was a good movie.  So I thought I would give this one a shot.

After watching it, I can see why they’re mentioned together.  They both had the same feel to them: less scary and more unnerving.  More like a documentary than a normal horror movie.  They both are extremely raw, and unsettling with their intimate brutality.

The story is simple: Frank Zito is a lonely man.  His mother was a prostitute, and she abused him.  She died in a car wreck years ago, but he has never been able to escape her grip on his life.  So he kills women, scalps them, and puts them on his ever-increasing collection of mannequins in his small apartment.  He keeps one mannequin in his bed, who he talks to as if she was his mother.  When he tires of that particular mannequin, he kills another woman, scalps her, and puts her hair on another mannequin.
Eventually, he meets Anna, a photographer.  They go on a couple of dates for some reason (they don’t really talk about why she has agreed to go on these dates).  He meets some of her friends at a photo shoot, and he kills one of them.  Because that’s what he does.
The love story element of this movie bothered me quite a bit.  It felt extremely forced (the love story element of Henry, on the other hand, felt very real and organic), which hurt the movie.  It’s a complex movie, with a complex lead character, which made the love story seem even more ridiculous.  It’s like they shoehorned this storyline into an otherwise well thought-out and realized story.  I don’t understand it at all.

I also had a major problem with the ending.  [SPOILER ALERT…even though this movie came out in 1980]  Frank had gone on a killing spree spanning a few days and several bodies.  He terrified an entire city.  And yet, when the police are finally tipped-off, they send two cops to his apartment (one of whom appears to be comfortably in his 60s).  They bust in the door, and find him on his bed, stabbed through the stomach by a sword.  Instead of checking his pulse, they shrug their shoulders and leave.  When Frank opens his eyes at the end, instead of being shocked, I was just mad at the ineptness of the police.  [END SPOILER]

There was one scene that was more popular than others, so I would be remiss not to mention it.  That scene would be when a character referred to as “Disco Boy” on IMDB (played by special effects wizard Tom Savini) has his head blown off by a 12 gauge shotgun at close range.  It was glorious: insane, brutal, and very realistic (Savini served in Vietnam and used his experience there to create as accurate a depiction as possible).  It was pretty shocking, even though I knew it was coming.



It wasn’t an amazing movie, but it was really good.  Like Henry, I can’t say that I enjoyed it, but I’m glad I watched it.  Again, it was in the same vein as Henry (Maniac came out 6 years prior to Henry), but it wasn’t nearly as good.  So I guess I would say, “If you can only watch one serial killer movie that makes you feel pretty dirty, make it Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.  But, if you have the stomach to watch two, make the other one Maniac.”  Still, it was very well done, and extremely well-acted (after seeing Joe Spinell in this movie, I’ll never watch Rocky the same way again).  It was pretty disturbing and very unsettling.

Notable actors: Joe Spinell, Tom Savini

Rating: 3.5/5

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil


I read a favorable review about this movie yesterday, so I looked it up on Netflix, where it is currently available to stream.  So, after watching the Cowboys lay an egg against the Giants last night, I went home and fired it up.  And I'm glad I did.

This movie takes the "hillbillies in the woods killing college students" genre (like Wrong Turn) and flips it around.  Here, we follow the hillbillies: Tucker (played by the always tremendous Alan Tudyk) and Dale (played by Tyler Labine) as two sweet, well-meaning hillbillies on their way to their new fixer-upper vacation cabin.  On the way up, they run across a group of college students on their way to a weekend of drinking and debauchery.  The college students are creeped out by Tucker and Dale.
After arriving at their destination, one of the college kids tells a story of "The Memorial Day Massacre", where a group of hillbillies tortured and killed a group of college students.  Only one person survived.  This story puts everyone on edge...until one person suggests that they go skinny-dipping.  So they all run off to the lake.  The very lake where Tucker and Dale are currently fishing in their boat.  One of the girls sees them, slips, and falls into the lake.  Dale rescues her and brings her onto their boat.  The other college students see this, and assume he is kidnapping her (Tucker screaming, "We got your friend!" certainly doesn't help matters).



That's where the fun starts.  The college students think that Tucker and Dale have kidnapped their friend, and try to devise a way to rescue her.  They are led by Chad, who is gets more and more sadistic as the movie goes on.

The rest of the movie is a series of misunderstandings between the two groups.  The college kids try to rescue their friend, but, through their own clumsiness, they keep getting killed in extremely violent and bloody ways.


Of course, to the outside world, it appears as though Tucker and Dale have been on a killing spree.  This comes up when a cop appears and Tucker tries to explain what has happened.  "Officer, we've had a doozy of a day."

There's also a terrific scene were Tucker appears to be chasing one of the students through the woods with a chainsaw, but he's really just running away from a swarm of bees.

This was a very funny and creative take on the redneck slasher genre.  I have to admit, even with the good reviews I had read, I wasn't expecting great things.  I have only seen a handful of great horror comedies: most of them seem content to just parody certain scenes in horror movies.  I was hoping for something good, but was bracing myself for something extremely cheesy.  Thankfully, I was wrong.  I'm sure this will become one of my new favorite movies, and will add it to the list of great horror comedies that I will recommend to anyone who will listen (right now, that list is Shaun of the Dead, Severance, and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon).

I recommend this to anyone looking for a good horror comedy, especially if you're familiar with the subgenre of backwoods killers.

Also, as if you needed another reason to watch this movie...Katrina Bowden as Allison, the girl who Dale saves.


Notable actors: Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Dodgeball, 3:10 to Yuma, Arrested Development) , Tyler Labine (Reaper, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Katrina Bowden (30 Rock)
Slightly smaller actors: Jesse Moss & Chelan Simmons (both were in Final Destination 3)

Rating: 5/5

Here's the redband trailer: