Saturday, May 20, 2017

When the Locals Are Afraid of You, or Thoughts on Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010) takes the back woods/Deliverance/Wrong Turn paranoia and flips it in a clever paradigm shift that plays with movie stereotypes and horror clich├ęs.  Tucker and Dale, two simple-minded country boys in West Virginia buy a cabin in the woods that looks like it would fit in a Sam Raimi movie to you and me, but it’s their dream vacation home.  After rescuing a cute coed from drowning in the lake, which her friends witness and naturally leap to the conclusion that she’s been kidnapped, (this is a horror movie, after all), the movie becomes a fight to the death between city folk and country folk, or college kids vs. hicks.
There’s a series of misunderstandings that could happen to anyone, including accidental impalements, accidentally leaping into a wood chipper, and Tucker accidentally chain sawing a beehive and then running away from the bees waving a chainsaw.  Each murder (technically manslaughter) escalates the conflict, while Tucker still manages to tentatively romance Allison, the cute coed he managed to save.
Written and directed by Eli Craig, Sally Field’s son (you remember Sally Field; Gidget, The Singing Nun, Smokey and the Bandit, Mrs. Doubtfire) and featuring Alan Tudyk as Tucker, and Canadian actor Tyler Labine as Dale, the kind-hearted hillbilly who wouldn’t hurt a fish.  Allison is portrayed by Katrina Bowden from 30 Rock, Piranha 3DD (2012) and Nurse 3D (2013).

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