Tucker & Dale Vs Evil (2010) … A Damn Near Perfect Farce!!

The horror-comedy.  No other sub-genre makes hardcore horror fans cringe more.  I’ve been pretty lucky and have seen some strong horror-comedies.  Last year I reviewed DOGHOUSE, and just last week I saw the surprisingly successful ATTACK THE BLOCK (I won’t mention the ones that suck; we don’t have enough room here).  Well last night I saw another entry into this rapidly growing sub-genre, TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL, and I was worried (very worried, in fact) that my luck was gonna run out.  But to my surprise, not only did TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL totally work as a horror-comedy, but it might just be the best horror-comedy I’ve seen (yes; even better than SHAUN OF THE DEAD).

Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are two self-described “hillbillies.”  No they aren’t inbred; no they aren’t cannibals; and no they aren’t looking to stalk, capture, and torture any- and everyone that stumbles into their neck of the woods.  Tucker and Dale are … brace yourselves … normal guys going out to the woods to fix-up a cabin Tucker brought for a vacation getaway spot.  On the way to the cabin they run across a group of twenty-something college kids who’re in the area to enjoy the great outdoors.  The college kids have watched way too many horror films because they take one look at Tucker and Dale and immediately think they’re out to capture, torture, rape, and kill them.  But they’re not.  They just want to spend a relaxing, albeit busy, weekend of fixing up the neglected property, drinking some beer, and going fishing.

Tucker (Alan Tudyk, left) & Dale (Tyler Labine). Yup; they definitely get bloody!!

Then one night while the college kids are getting ready to skinny dip, Allison (the very cute Katrina Bowden) slips on a rock and hits her head underwater.  Dale jumps to her rescue but the other 20-something’s think Dale has abducted her and they all run away.  (“Some people,” Tucker tells Dale “just ain’t good in a crisis.”)  Dale’s heroic act sets off a series of mishaps that usually ends in the 20-something’s killing themselves as they try and “rescue” Allison.  And let me tell you that this movie will have you laughing out loud.  Seriously!!  There were many scenes here that I almost woke my kids up because I was laughing so loud.

In all fairness TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL isn’t really a “horror-comedy.”  This falls more accurately as a farce, which is:

1. a light, humorous play in which the plot depends upon a skillfully exploited situation rather than upon the development of character

2. humor of the type displayed in such works

3. foolish show; mockery; a ridiculous sham

Scenes like this one will make TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL a modern day classic!!

The humor here isn’t external to the plot and characters (as it is in horror-comedies).  The humor comes directly from the situations that writers Morgan Jurgenson and Eli Craig (who also directs) create.  I know this is gonna sound weird, but as I was watching TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL, I couldn’t help but feel as though I was watching a story written by Shakespeare himself.  I know, I know; I’m fucked up.  But the way the plot unfolds and the way that Dale and Tucker find themselves in more and more screwed up situations really reminded me of THE COMEDY OF ERRORS.  No matter what Tucker and Dale did, they unintentionally kept making their situation worse and worse.  For example, Tucker uses a chainsaw to try and remove a tree stump from the yard.  He hits a bee’s hive and ends up releasing hundreds of bees that attack and sting him making him dance around maniacally and flail the chainsaw around.  He looked like Leatherface at the end of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE!!

The very cute Allison (Katrina Bowden) tries to straighten things out, but fails.

Everything works here, no doubt thanks to the actors playing Tucker and Dale.  Both actors have incredible comedic timing and each plays the “straight man” brilliantly.  At first they’re completely oblivious that the 20-something’s think they’re inbred killers, but as the college kids keep accidentally killing themselves they slowly realize what’s going on.  It’s a fantastically written and executed film.  And the gore?  Writer-director Craig doesn’t skimp at all.  This is the perfect film if your looking to laugh your ass off as well as seeing a gore-fest on screen.  Just wait until you see the wood chipper scene; not since AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON has a director made me laugh out loud and cringe all at the same time.

See what happens when they try to smooth things over with the sheriff??

I could go on and on praising how much I love this film, but you’re gonna have to check it out for yourself.  TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL expertly screws around with the established roles of “killer” and “victim” while at the same time giving us one of the funnest genre movies I’ve seen all year.  Do NOT miss this one!!  For the last year TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL has been dominating the festival scene, and finally on September 30, 2011, Magnet Releasing, who also brought us THE TROLL HUNTER and HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, will be releasing TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL.  No word yet on if it’s getting a theatrical release, but I’ll keep you all updated.  Don’t miss this one.

My Summary:

Director:  Eli Craig (& co-writer with Morgan Jurgenson)

Plot:  5 out of 5 stars

Gore:  8 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem:  0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

Stay Bloody!!!

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24 Responses to Tucker & Dale Vs Evil (2010) … A Damn Near Perfect Farce!!

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  3. Teddy Hernandez says:

    Finally got to watching this (and Attack the Block) over the holidays. It was great. Definitely one of the best horror-comedies (or genres akin to that) ever.

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  7. l3pr3chaun says:

    I love horror-comedies because they are so difficult to do but when they are done right they are pure gold! I have yet to view a mediocre horror-comedy, they are the extremes of really great or really crap.

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  9. Awesome review! Glad you enjoyed this movie. I think you nailed it when you called it a farce instead of a comedy. Yes it is funny, but the way it is set up especially early on, it is definitely a farce. When you said it was the funniest horror comedy (farce) that you have seen, I immediately thought of Shaun and Zombieland and was wondering if you thought this was better. Well, I got my answer. Once Tucker and Dale gets released to more people, I wonder if they will feel the same. I know lots of people loved Shaun, and I liked it too, but I enjoyed Zombieland a little more. You gave me something to think about because I’m not sure where I rank Tucker and Dale against those two. Again great review!

    • I love (really love) SHAUN OF THE DEAD. That film spoofed the zombie genre. But TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL wasn’t a spoof, and that’s why it worked so well. It’s a textbook example of a Farce, and a brilliant one at that. It wasn’t gimmicky at all and it wasn’t relying on & trying to sustain a one-note trick the entire film. I loved it.

      I must admit that I wasn’t that crazy about ZOMBIELAND. I enjoyed it but didn’t think it was anything that fantastic. The entire middle part of the film was oddly devoid of zombies … like ZERO zombies in it. I thought the country was over run by zombies!!?!??! 🙂

      • I LOVED Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. At the time I was reading Save The Cat by Blake Snyder so it was a real treat to see how they … I don’t know what to call it … subverted genre? All I know is it was the funniest movie I’ve seen all year. I’m a huge fan.

      • That’s awesome Karen … and it’s also a coincidence because I’m currently reading SAVE THE CAT!! Great minds think alike.

      • So far, the few reviews I have seen for it have been positive. Hopefully it does well. I wish I could squeeze in a review for it, but been to busy.

        As far as Zombieland, I agree, there was a lack of zombies for a while. I still found it amusing. Both movies were funny. I guess they stopped talk about sequels for these movies. Probably a good thing, it is hard to think they could be as funny.

      • I enjoyed ZOMBIELAND, horrosreviews, but I definitely didn’t think it was as great as the majority of the people who saw it. It was a semi-fun, mainstream zombie flick with a kick ass cameo.

  10. Scott & Friends,
    We have been lucky to get a lot of good reviews for T&D but this might just be the best one yet – and the first one that I have read that makes the subtle distinction between farce, spoof and comedy, quite rightfully so. Many have called T&D a spoof, which it is not. Thanks for the great review.
    Thomas Augsberger, executive producer of T&D vs Evil

    • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my review of TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL. The last 6 weeks I’ve been teaching a literature course and I just ended a section where I talked about Satires, Farces, Slap Stick, etc … I think it’s clear as hell that TUCKER & DALE is a farce!! And feel free to use any blurbs for the DVD cover LOL.

  11. goregirl says:

    I couldn’t agree more! I helling loved this movie! The kid throwing himself in the woodchipper absolutely killed me. One of the best horror-comedies I’ve seen in a long time.

  12. Joe McKinney says:

    Even better than Shaun of the Dead???? Really?? Wow, that’s quite an endorsement. I have to see this now.

  13. Demian says:

    I am excited to see this:) Good Review