Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tucker & Dale Vs Evil (2009) - ActionFest Buffet: Plate #5

On the Menu: TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL (2009)

Ingredients: Alan Tudyk, Tyler Labine, Katrina Bowden, Chelan Simmons and Jesse Moss. Directed by Eli Craig. Run time: 86 minutes. Rated: Not rated.

At First Bite: Aside from THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD, this film was the only one I was sure I wanted to see at ActionFest. I love, love, love horror comedies.

Two mountainfolk, Tucker (Tudyk) and Dale (Labine), are moving into their "new" summer home out in the middle of the woods. Not too far away, a group of college kids are camping.

According to a campfire tale and the decor of Tucker and Dale's vacation home, these woods have a hillbilly slasher history.

When one of the college girls, Allison (Bowden), bumps her head after falling off a rock, the hayseed duo comes to her rescue. However, the rest of the college gang assume Tucker and Dale are psychotic killers and that they've kidnapped Allison.

Misunderstandings abound, and the blood rains hard and heavy.

Tough to Swallow: I can't say for certain, but I'm pretty sure the locator title at the beginning of the film reads:
Appalachian Mountains
West Virgina
But, if the 2007 NIT champions don't mind...

In the closing credits, the credit for Construction Foreman is misspelled as "Construction Forman."

Something to Chew On: Theater audience = 40+. This was the biggest audience I was a part of during ActionFest, and the 5th movie I screened for the Saturday session.

This is Craig's directorial debut.

TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL premiered at Sundance on January 22, 2010.

Some of you might recognize Chelan Simmons; she played Hillary on the ABC Family show "Kyle X/Y." You might also know Katrina Bowden as Tina Fey's secretary on "30 Rock."

The film currently has an 8.8 user rating on (147 votes).

Aftertaste: This was, by far, the best film I screened at ActionFest. It's like SHAUN OF THE DEAD for slasher films. Seriously, I was laughing for the entire 86 minutes. Well, laughing or smacking my forehead for not coming up with this idea first. It might be a send-up of slasher films, but there's no real horror to it. It plays out as a straight comedy, albeit a bloody one.

It's the perfect premise for a movie. Take a typical slasher setting and characters, then throw in a healthy dose of misunderstanding (like dramatic irony, but for comedy). The audience is in on the joke from the start, but the characters know nothing.

The kids think the hillbillies are killers. And, eventually, the hillbillies think the kids are in a suicide cult.

I don't want to give too much away.

The acting, in my opinion, is terrific. The movie relies heavily on Tudyk and Labine, and they do not disappoint. Bowden brings the beauty. The others in the cast simply have to play dumb, although Moss has to also provide some raving lunacy, which he does in spades.

This is a low-budget picture, but you definitely can't tell from what's on the screen. Nothing about it looks amateur.

I hope TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL gets a wide theatrical release. Given the opportunity, this movie could be a major box-office winner.


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