A gang of good-looking, well-off college students travel to West Virginia to spend some free time at a friend’s mountain-house. They’ve got beers and plans for countless hours of sex. Unfortunately for this bunch, they run into Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine); a pair of local rednecks whom have some plans of their own. What follows is bloodshed, gnarly deaths and a few fingers getting lopped off.
However, Tucker & Dale vs Evil isn’t what you might expect. Yes, the premise presents itself as yet another Deliverance or Texas Chain Saw Massacre knockoff; it’s actually flipping that idea on its head. Tucker and Dale are just two good ol’ country boys, hoping to do some fishing and fix up their dilapidated new vacation home. The college kids think otherwise though, possibly due to watching too many of the Wrong Turn series. When Allison (Katrina Bowden) knocks herself out and falls into a river, Tucker and Dale’s rescue of her is mistaken for the devious deeds of psychotic movie monsters. A plan is forged to rescue Allison, all the while she gets to know her saviors while playing board-games.
The picture is directed by first-time filmmaker Eli Craig, whom also co-wrote the script with Morgan Jurgenson (Glass Desert). It fits along nicely in the horror-comedy genre, an always ripe genre for this time of year. Fans of Sam Raimi or 2009’s Zombieland will likely find much to guffaw at here. There is the madcap zaniness of Tucker mistakenly chasing someone with a chainsaw, even if he’s merely trying to regain control of the malfunctioning thing; not to mention an unfortunate stumble into a woodchipper. Craig pitches this all smartly; letting the charming performances of Tudyk and Labine push the story forward and less through its plot.
Now, this does become a slight problem as the movie nears its close. As amusingly goofy as the whole scenario is, Craig’s film still feels a tad too long at 90 minutes. There is more than a short’s worth of material, but the gags can only hold one’s attention for so long when they hit the same note over and over again; even if said bit gets a chuckle. With the movie currently available On Demand, perhaps renting it at home while prepping your house for Halloween is the best option.
Tucker & Dale vs Evil opens in limited release in Seattle today.