There’s a film available for Video on Demand right now that’s hitting limited theaters soon. It already has a cult following and a lot of buzz on the internet. No it’s not Kevin Smith’s Red State, but that‘s a good guess. This film stars an actor who was on a science-fiction TV show cancelled way too early and who was also a pirate in a movie about a game we played in gym. It also stars a guy who was in a supernatural type show cancelled way too early and who was in a monster hit movie this summer and his character in that film is going to lead to the fall of mankind and the rise of apes. The film is Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, the actors are Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine and they are two of the most underrated actors around, but that will come later.
Have you seen Deliverance? What about Cabin in the Woods or Wrong Turn? Ever thought well maybe these movies could be really funny if it was all one big accident and miscommunication? Ok there is nothing funny about Ned Beatty squealing like a pig, but for the most part the rednecks in the woods genre hasn’t had the mocking it deserved until now. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil takes a comical spin at these movies and a lot more.
Tucker (Tudyk) and Dale (Labine) are your prototypical hillbillies. They like their beer cold and their fish jumping. On their way to see their new “vacation home”, the pair stop for supplies and run into some college kids going camping. Dale thinks the one college girl is pretty and Tucker convinces him to go talk to her. Which of course leads to step one in the miscommunication game and starts the non-stop laughter. Tucker and Dale make it to the vacation home and see it’s sort of a fixer-upper, but still love it. They do some night fishing and see that the college kids are there swimming. The girl Dale tried to talk to is on a big rock, but she slips and falls. The friends row over to help the girl, but her friends see them dragging her body into their boat. That’s right, step two in miscommunication.
What happens next combines every stereotype you can think of when it comes to kids camping and redneck hillbillies. You get dead bodies (in some of the funniest ways possible). You get the scary ghost story around the campfire. You get the “my cellphone can’t get a signal”. And of course you get a Ned Beatty joke or two. But what separates Tucker & Dale is that instead of just mocking the genre the film is based on for cheap laughs, it flips it completely and adds heart and an underlying storyline of friendship and judging books by their covers.
You probably are thinking you don’t know who Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine are. Well you’re probably wrong, but even if you don’t, you should. Tudyk was in arguably the greatest cancelled TV show of all time (Firefly), he’s been in Dodgeball, 3:10 to Yuma and was about the only watchable part of Transformers 3 this summer. As for Labine, this summer alone he’s been in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and A Good Old Fashioned Orgy and most people first fell in love with him on the short lived show Reaper. If you don’t know them, find out about them and become fans because both men make everything they do better and both deserve way more recognition than what they are receiving. The film is fantastic because of the men’s chemistry together, but also because both actors have a scene or two by themselves that clearly shows why audiences are loving the movie. Whether it’s Tudyk’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre looking scene or Labine’s crapper whole digging scene, both men steal their own movie separately, but also together.
The supporting cast also adds to the mix. Sure it’s not difficult for 30 Rock’s Katrina Bowden to play the hot co-ed, but she has that extra heart and warmth that you can see why someone like Dale would fall for her. Add the token black guy in the woods, the over-hyped preppy guy who wants to teach these rednecks a lesson, the nervous, scared guy, the token hot chicks and you have a perfect combination of college kids camping where they don’t belong.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is clearly not for everyone. It’s that level of stupid that’s so stupid it’s funny and not everyone likes that. But underneath that stupidity and gore (and yes it’s quite gory) is a story of two friends who are more like brothers. And it also shows how we look at people in society. These college preppy kids thought they were so much better than these hillbillies and because they’ve seen too many Deliverance type movies, they automatically assumed they were murdering, in-bred, rapists.
If you liked movies like Super, Shaun of the Dead or My Name is Bruce definitely check out this movie. My initial reaction to the film was that it was stupidly fantazmical and no that’s not a word, but come on it fits perfectly. From the gruesome deaths to the laugh out loud moments, the film will have a cult following and will clearly be shown at midnight screenings for years to come.
It’s currently playing on Video on Demand and hits theaters on September 30. Below is a link on where you can find it on your local cable provider to purchase it on Video on Demand. http://www.magpictures.com/ondemand/
People in Boston can see the film at Coolidge Corner starting Friday.
As always feel free to subscribe and follow me www.Twitter.com/Murraymaker