Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010) Directed by Eli Craig. With Alan Tudyk, Tyler Labine, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss and Philip Granger. 

Tucker-and-Dale-Vs-Evil-2-in-Production-Soon-650x342

Co-penned and directed by Eli Craig, Tucker and Dake vs. Evil is an amusingly inverted teen-slasher movie with more than a few genuine laughs up its sleeve. Taking the established tropes of the genre (John Boorman’s Deliverance is invoked early on), the tone edges towards that of a spoof – but without over-stepping that particular mark. The titular Tucker and Dale are Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine, two stereotypical “hillbillies” – wrongly stereotyped as backward, uncivilised murderers by a group of “college kids” on a spring break retreat in the backwoods (where else!?).

Written with a solid understanding of the genre – and despite frequent bouts of gore, it has a surprisingly amiable centre about the power of friendship to encourage self-esteem. Amid the frankly ridiculous events of the film, it seems all the more impressive to have woven in such a beautiful message -albeit a gigantically exaggerated one. Yet, with two fun central performances, it subtly succeeds on a level above its level.

Of course, familiarity with the genre up for pastiche is essential to unlocking much of the comedy on offer. The film almost expects you to be in-step, with many of the gags loaded with mocking clichés. Labine and Tudyk delight in sending-up the stereotypes, creating some fine chemistry as their bewildered characters stumble from one misunderstanding to the next. One chainsaw gag, like much of the humour, is funny because it is preposterous – but it also ties in beautifully with other movies the film is attempting to subvert.

Inevitably, the joke wears a little thin towards the climax, but thanks to a sprightly 89-minute running time and an enjoyable first two acts, you shouldn’t feel too disappointed. Knowledge of films like Deliverance, or perhaps Wrong Turn (for a more recent generation), help identify the source of the humour – yet there’s still fun to be had with the two leads who make for a lovingly witless duo. 3.5/5

 

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About garethrhodes

Full-time lover of all things creative.
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15 Responses to Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

  1. theipc says:

    I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove this movie!

  2. filmfunkel says:

    This is one I’ve been needing to drag out of my ‘back-blog’ and watch. Thanks for the needed push!

    : D

    • garethrhodes says:

      I had it on my ‘back-blog’ (I like that) for ages. It was sat in my Netflix queue, being ignored. I had 90mins to kill on Wednesday, and I needed a film with just under that runtime. This one got selected. I lucked out. It’s a lot of fun.

  3. I wish more people knew about this movie. Really loved it.

  4. It’s funny because I’ve never seen Deliverance (or heard of Wrong Turn), but I absolutely loved this movie. It’s funny because the hillbilly stereotype is one that is so rarely challenged so it’s great to see this film doing so many fun and interesting things with three-dimensional characters/ hillbillies

    • garethrhodes says:

      You’re right, that hey challenge that stereotype adds a welcome freshness. In that regard. I recommend Deliverance, by the way. It’s a very good 70’s film with a few iconic moments. Thank you very much for commenting. It’s great to have your angle on this.

  5. I’ve added Deliverance to my icheckmovies watchlist! It was also great to see Katrina Bowden as someone other than Cerie from 30 Rock. She wasn’t anything that special, but played well of Labine

    • garethrhodes says:

      I’ll look out for a Deliverance review on your blog. It’ll be interesting to get your take on it. I haven’t had chance to see 30 Rock, which means I had no prior knowledge of Katrina Bowden. She was cute.

      • I haven’t seen Katrinda Bowden ever do anything with too much dimension, bot who knows. I just watched ‘Dead Man’, that Jim Jarmusch Western, and it’s gotten me thinking that maybe my dislike for Westerns was premature

  6. thefilmchurn says:

    Have heard a bit about this movie. Really want to see a few more horror comedies, and this seems to aptly fit the bill! Also I really enjoyed Deliverance so I think I’d enjoy something that copies/spoofs that setup.

    • garethrhodes says:

      Yes, with Deliverance under your belt, you at least know where the inspiration comes from. It’s a worthwhile little film. Don’t expect too much from it, and you should have a good time.

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