You’ve seen this story before, but never quite like this. A group of college kids on a road trip run into a couple of unsavory types in the back woods and terror and mayhem ensue. So what makes Tucker & Dale vs. Evil so different? The script by Morgan Jurgenson and Eli Craig turns the overused premise sideways and provides one of the craziest movies of the year.
Tucker & Dale vs Evil casts the two scary looking hillbillies not as potential killers but victims in a world turned completely upside down. Dale (Tyler Labine) and Tucker (Alan Tudyk) are no killers. They’re just a pair of guys looking for some time away at their new summer home in the Appalachian Mountains.
When they save one of the girls from drowning her friends believe they pair have kidnapped Alison (Katrina Bowden) and plan to kill her. What follows is a level of insanity that’s hard to describe without giving away some of the film’s funniest moments.
A series of misunderstandings lead the pair to be attacked by the frightened college kids (Jesse Moss, Brandon Jay McLaren, Christie Laing, Chelan Simmons, Travis Nelson) who do themselves far more harm than they could possibly inflict on Dale and Tucker. At a loss to explain the series events, the pair come to the conclusion the kids are trespassing on their land for the sole purpose of committing some sort of suicide pact. After all, what other explanation is there when one of them jumps directly into the wood chipper?
The film is a dark comedy that pokes as much fun as old slasher films as the ridiculous deaths from Final Destination as the kids’ misguided attempts to save one of their own from perceived danger leads them each to a bloody, but often humorous, end.
With a modest budget the film from director Eli Craig has to make the best with a simple, but increasingly abusurd premise, that’s played out to perfection by the two leads. Fans who know Tudyk and Labine from their more humorous roles should get quite a kick out of seeing their reactions to the insanity that unfolds around them. The more absurd the situation becomes the more fun they appear to be having. I’ll also take a moment to mention Bowden, who most know from her role on 30 Rock, who provides just the right mix of innocence and sexiness to the damsel in distress role work.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil may not be for everyone. It’s certainly bloody in spots (although far less so than the current crop of horror flicks), but everything shown on-screen is played for laughs. If you’re a fan of low budget horror comedies, or just these actors, and if you can find the film playing near you, I’d heartily recommending giving it a chance. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil may not be a great film, but it’s a bloody good time.