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:

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