Tucker & Dale vs Evil
If there has been one genre that Hollywood has been unable to really churn out lately it’s solid original comedy. This year it seemed the only comedy that was liked by both critics and mainstream audiences was Bridesmaids, other than that we’ve had a string of mildly amusing, but sadly forgettable films. Romantic comedies have also been big this year with Crazy, Stupid, Love and Friends with Benefits, but again not really general comedies. In unfortunately limited release comes a solid entry into the lacking comedy genre this weekend with first time writer-director Eli Craig and co-writer Morgan Jurgenson bringing us Tucker & Dale vs Evil and just in time for Halloween.
Tucker & Dale vs Evil’s story doesn’t sound too different from your typical horror flick plot at first, it follows a group of college kids on their way to a remote camping site by the lake for a fun filled weekend of beer, girls, and whatever else may happen along the way. Heading out to the same lake are Tucker (Alan Tudyk of Firefly) and his best friend Dale (Tyler Labine of Reaper), who are just your average truck driving, beer-swiggin’ country boys out to fix up their newly purchased cabin and do a bit of fishing. Along the way they run into the group of kids at a small gas station, needless to say the kids don’t take so kindly to the two and head out as quick as possible. The group of kids is made up of your typical group of horror movie college students straight out of a Final Destination or Friday the 13th; the women are good-looking, the guys are testosterone filled frat boys with popped collars, and there’s your token African-American. The two groups get to the lake and setup camp, Tucker and Dale are pleased as punch about their new “fixer upper”, which is quite rustic to say the least. During a scene in which the two inspect their new vacation home we see a wall littered with tacked up newspaper clippings telling of local murders and missing persons, I couldn’t help but laugh when the two ignore the newspaper clippings and get really excited as they find a coupon for free chili-dogs with no expiration date. After some scary stories around the camp fire the students decide to go skinny-dipping. While out fishing the Tucker and Dale notice the kids swimming in the lake, they also notice one of the girls getting undressed (Alison played by Katrina Bowden of 30 Rock), she notices them and slips and hits her head, falling into the water. Seeing the accident Dale decides to come to the rescue and drags her limp body into the boat. From where the kid’s are standing they see the two dragging her body into their boat screaming “We got your friend!”, they assume Tucker and Dale are kidnapping her and run for it. The group, lead by Chad, (Jesse Moss who was actually in Final Destination 3) decide to get Allison back and make the hillbillies pay. The kids tag Tucker and Dale as murderous rednecks, but the only thing the two are guilty of is having trying to nice. One by one the group of students falls prey to hilarious accidents while trying to get to their friend which lead to one misunderstanding on top of the other, non of which I would say is overdone or felt rehashed. I will say that at the start of the film I rolled my eyes when the two guys get pulled over, a gag we’ve all seen a million times.
Tucker and Dale is a fresh parody of the horror genre, after all of the Scary Movie films we have had to suffer through. The film shows that you don’t need Family Guy-esque non-sequiturs and random rips on other more films to make a parody movie. I was also amused how the film turned the group of kids into the villains. Not only were they overly judgemental, but it felt like they wanted Tucker and Dale to be evil so they could kill them. This film doesn’t have the greatest budget, nor super stars to draw in big crowds, but it is honestly funny and that’s what I think is missing in comedy these days. If you’re sick of Hollywood remakes and die a little inside when a new Scary Movie is released (5 is coming in 2012) or are just looking for a fun Halloween flick then you’ll like Tucker & vs Evil. If it’s playing near you go support it and if not it’s on On-Demand at the moment so you can check it out at home.