Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (Eli Craig) 2011

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie.  The cover looks like DTV crap but I was battered down by so many positive reviews I had to see what the hub bub was all about.

The movie is a clever twist on very worn down horror cliches.  At first it plays itself as an Eli Roth horror film about snotty teens who are going to the woods to “ party“ when they are hunted down by a pair of hillbillies.  They are driving to their cabin when they cut off the titular character on the freeway and the teens think the hillbillies are gunning for them.  The clever turn is when we find out Tucker and Dale are really nice good ole boys who are just looking to fix up an old cabin so they can have a permenant vacation spot.  This sets up several funny misunderstandings about the teens thinking they are getting hunted down.

For example, Tucker and Dale are fishing when they see one of the girls fall and hit her head.  They decide to rescue her but what the rest of the partying friends see are these guys dragging an unconcious girl on their boat yelling “WE GOT YUR FRIEND!“  Or there is another scene where the group comes across Tucker and Dale’s Evil Dead style cabin they are fixing up and Tucker (while cutting wood with a chainsaw) accidentily cuts into a bees nest.  This sends him into a frenzy where runs around blindly with a running chainsaw.

The writing is very good in that it has many variations on essentially one joke.  I think they also realize how it can easily get repetitive because they don’t overstay their welcome.  T&DvE barely clocks in at 80 minutes but this is a good thing because of the thin premise.  I also like how Tucker and Dale aren’t overwritten as Larry the Cable Guy “Get er done!“ broad stereotypes.  Yeah they have some redneck traits but they are not overdone cariactures.  Both are really nice guys who have a really nice friendship.  What is surprising is this almost touching friendship and small message about believing in yourself.  This is helped by actors Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk.  I mean come on, you can’t beat Wash from Firefly.

This was a pleasant little surprise.  I was expecting something very lazy but got a clever little comedy.  The actors are having fun with the material and the writing does as much as it can with the thin premise.  This flew under my radar but thankfully the positive reviews dragged me into seeing it.

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