Tucker and Dale vs Evil missed out on an Irish cinema release date last year, but now it’s available for all to watch on DVD and it’ll rip your funny bone out.
Tucker and Dale are two shoddily dressed soft-headed hillbillies who want nothing more than to kick back and enjoy a few beers in Tucker’s new cabin. Unbeknownst to them, the cabin in the woods is where a series of gruesome murders were carried out back in the 1970s. Add to this a bunch of preppy judgemental students and you have a recipe for mistaken motives and farcical murders.
The film moves along at a steady pace as it has a lot to get through with a run-time of 89 minutes (the perfect length for any comedy/horror). We’re in the cabin within the first ten minutes, the majority of the characters have been established and we get down to business. I was reminded a lot of A Film with Me in It, the 2008 outing from Ian Fitzgibbon about a series of unfortunate deaths that all occur in the one house. The deaths in Tucker and Dale are much more gruesome and explicit, only adding to the humour. It looks great for what must have been a shoestring budget making you flinch and cringe throughout, so special kudos to Flicker, Fire for Hire and Anthem Visual Effects who were behind the special effects.
You’ll probably recognise Dale (Tyler Labine) from Reaper and Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Tucker (Alan Tudyk) from Dodgeball, but that’s about it with this young and perhaps “up and coming” acting cast. Tyler and Alan are the perfect Laurel and Hardy types, comically complementing each other in every scene they’re in. Dale is the dumb lovable oaf who never gets the girl while Tucker is slightly less dumb (but thinks he’s the brains of the outfit) who is always looking out for Dale’s best interests. Katriona Bowden puts in a more than passable turn as Alison the eye candy with heart. The rest are pretty redundant as they don’t last for long apart from Jesse Moss whose acting is atrocious. With the nature of the film you can’t help but wonder if he is purposely hamming it up or is just plain terrible and unfortunately I think it’s the latter if his IMDB head shot is anything to go by – one thing is sure, he ain’t Bruce Campbell.
Now the story is both predictable and unbelievable, especially the budding romance between characters but that’s just the cynic in me. What we have here is a brilliant comedy horror with heavy nods and winks to The Evil Dead (what horror isn’t complete without a chainsaw?). The way in which in the deaths are executed is commendable and I’m definitely interested to see what else the director Eli Craig has to offer.
Canada, USA / Directed By: Eli Craig / Written By: Joseph Cedar / Starring: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden / 89min / Comedy, Horror