Tucker & Dale vs Evil (2010) Hillbilly Hilarity

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I really should learn to stop underestimating the choice of films on Netflix. Although it may take me awhile. I’ve only just learned to listen to my daughter when she recommends a film, despite the fact that we both vehemently differ on our opinions of Baz Luhrmann‘s Moulin Rouge. She recommended Tucker & Dale vs Evil and I immediately decided to watch it, but only after learning that the wonderful Alan Tudyk was in it.  I’m glad that I did, as it is full of hillbilly hilarity from start to finish.

I adore Tudyk’s acting ability and my only complaint about the film Serenity was his character’s fate. I won’t say anymore, but it almost spoiled the film for me!

Written and directed by Eli Craig, who actually co-wrote the film with Morgen Jurgenson, Tucker & Dale vs Evil stars the aforementioned Tudyk as Tucker and teddy bear cuddly Tyler Labine as Dale and it is a great re-imaging of the 1980s slasher films that featured lots of vapid young people being hacked and slashed by some inhumanly strong psycho killer.

Tucker and Dale are on their way to fix up Tucker’s “vacation home” and when they stop for food and other supplies they come in contact with a group of young university students who are on their way to the lake near Tucker’s property. When Tucker urges his large best friend Dale to approach one of the girls to talk to her, he fumbles his way into a misunderstanding and “freaks” the kids out.

While the two groups go their separate, yet close, ways, the youngsters wind themselves up about hillbilly inbred murderers and one of the group, tells the story of the Memorial Day Massacre that took place in “these very same woods” back before any of the students were born.

In a plot that works on the base level of mistaken intent and the youngsters paranoia, things go from bad to worse for both the students on holiday and Tucker and Dale. Through a series of events that leaves dead bodies all over Tucker’s property, the two country men cannot figure out why, “all these youngsters are killing themselves all over my property.”

While I watched this film primarily because my daughter recommended it and the presence of Alan Tudyk, I was pleasantly surprised to see that everyone in the film did a brilliant job and I’m now a fan of Tyler Labine as well as Katrina Bowden who plays the student Allison who inadvertently causes all the death and mayhem.

The film makes fun of all those “inbred country yokels” who are deadly to strangers, and it does it extremely well. This is a real gold mine of fun and everyone works together to make this a very enjoyable film to watch. Sight gags and misunderstandings are in every scene and if you can’t see the humour in this film, perhaps you should stop watching films and take up knitting.

I give this film a full five out of five stars for Alan Tudyk, Tyler Labine and Katrina Bowden alone, I’d give it another star if I could for the hilarity of the script. In films the hillbilly has become a stereotypical slasher in a genre that has been done to death, this refreshingly funny film takes a humorous look at just how “deadly” stereotypes can be. Tucker & Dale vs Evil is available on Netflix in the UK.

By Michael Smith

Katrina Bowden in Oscar de la Renta.
Katrina Bowden in Oscar de la Renta. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

15 July, 2013