Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Review - Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010 - Dir. Eli Craig)

After the first five minutes of Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, I was fearing the worst. A group of college kids are driving along, when one of them pops up from the boot and makes a comment along the lines of, "Oh no! We've forgot the beer!". The others recoil in overacted horror. Things looked bleak. Could it be that I was watching a... spoof? Please, not that. Anything but that. (Well, apart from musicals that spurt forth from Satan's butthole when he's mixed up a particularly noxious batch of bum gravy.)

Spend another five minutes in the film's company and you get it (phew). It's a horror comedy, that luxurious blending of genres. The story is told from two points of view: the college kids and Tucker and Dale, two mountain men. The original part of this film is that these men of the mountains are loveable and kindly (okay, this stretches the believability factor of the film, but stick with it). The college kids, out for a good time, obviously see them as the more commonly held view of moonshine-drinking raccoon-hunting hillwilliams ever since the release of Deliverance. (Squeal, boy.)

What follows is really funny and heartwarming. Don't worry. It's not a feel-good film (sorry, for using that dirty word and any resulting mental damage that may have been inflicted by it). The humour revolves around chainsaws and tree shredders (phew, again). To complement the visual comedy you are also treated to a sharp script. I knew Alan Tudyk (Tucker) can turn his hand to comedy from Firefly and Serenity. But Tyler Labine (Dale) was an unknown quantity. He is actually the more likeable of the two in this instance. His relationship with one of the college girls, Allison (Katrina Bowden), is strangely touching, but completely preposterous. I don't like the look of his other films, but he's good in this.

The main downside is that the jokes dry up after the first half. It's not that the second half is rubbish, but after the laughs in the earlier scenes, it does put a slight downer on the proceedings. Even so, this is one of the best new films I've seen in a while and I will be adding it to my Blu-ray collection very soon. (I've included the trailer, as usual, but it's probably best going into it cold.)

If you like this you could also try:
Hobo with a Shotgun, Return of the Living Dead, Evil Dead 2, Braindead.

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