It’s been ages since I’ve seen a really good movie at the cinema, let alone a genuinely funny comedy, but Tucker and Dale vs Evil is a real hidden gem in that it’s both.
Tucker and Dale vs Evil is about a pair of hillbillies. Tucker (Alan Tudyk, who I totally recognised and spent ages trying to work out what else I’d seen him in – he was Steve the Pirate in Dodgeball) and Dale (Tyler Labine). His face didn’t ring any bells until I saw a trailer for The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which is also a better film than I’d anticipated as far as blockbusters go, and realised he plays the guy who looks after all the the monkeys in the lab. The pair head off to spend the summer in their new dream vacation home. But things don’t exactly go to plan as they bump into a group of college students who are also heading out into the forest. These include the lovely Allison (Katrina Bowden, who again I couldn’t quite put my finger on where I knew her from. She played Cerie in the hit US TV series 30 Rock of which I’m also a huge fan). Without giving too much away a series of sitcom-esque misunderstandings in Tucker and Dale vs Evil lead to hilarious, and gruesome, consequences.
Written by Eli Craig and Morgen Jurgenson (it’s also Eli Craig’s directorial debut) Tucker and Dale vs Evil goes to show that you don’t have to spend millions to make an entertaining and original film. Iit wasn’t just me that thought so – the whole cinema was laughing out loud too.
Tucker and Dale vs Evil has been compared to Shaun of the Dead and it’s easy to see why. It’s not so much a horror but more of a comedy with lots of gore and guts, plus a bit of a love story thrown in too for good measure. Tucker and Dale vs Evil has some killer one-liners (pun intended): ‘I should have known if a guy like me talked to a girl like you someone would end up dead’. My personal favourite was a joke based around hillbillies (which I can’t reveal without ruining the plot) that absolutely cracked me up. And the scene round the camp fire where Chad smokes a spliff while simultaneously using his asthma inhaler is brilliant.
I went to the screening with my friend Phil who’s a bit of a film buff – he was excitedly pointing out some of the most prestigious film critics in the audience to me as I was none the wiser. Phil reckoned that Tucker and Dale vs Evil was a love letter to horror – the film pays homage to a whole host of classic horror films including Friday 13th, Evil Dead 2 and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But even if you miss the nuances and take it at face value it’s still bloody funny.