Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Tucker-and-dale-vs-evilIn horror movies, people from south of the Mason-Dixon line are usually backwoods genetic defectives who prey upon lost Blue-staters. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil turns this notion on its head as the title characters play innocent and very loveable West Virginian hayseeds who find the ultimate “vacation home”, a dilapidated shack deep in the woods.

When a group of college kid clichés happen upon this down home Shangri-La, it sets in motion a hilarious sequence of accidental deaths that are pinned on the duo, both of whom aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed (autodidact Dale is “dumb as a stump but remembers everything he’s learned!”) but have good hearts.

An early victim accidentally throws himself into a wood chipper and before trying to explain it away to an investigating cop Dale quips “he’s heavy for half a guy.” Little gems like this punctuate the film, a dynamite horror comedy in a genre that’s usually defined by being neither.

When a support beam with nails flies into a victim’s head it’s followed by “he’s gonna walk it off!.” Monty Python-esque.

TTucker_Dale_VS_Evilhe hottest of the college kids is (accidentally) hammered with a shovel and when she comes to, she’s nursed back to health by Dale, the Jack Black doppelganger who’s also a tour-de-force in the kitchen.

For the rest of the movie she has to try and convince her still-alive friends that they’re not being picked off one by one by bootleggin’ inbred stereotypes but by the offspring of the perpetrator of the Memorial Day Massacre. A critic in the Guardian says “a single-joke movie can succeed, if the joke is a good one.”

Something is done to Tucker’s “bowlin’ fingers” you’ll have to see to believe.

Sharp, goofy, gory fun.

**** (out of 5)

Published by Really Awful Movies

Horror movie authors and journalists who also review exploitation, action, grindhouse, kung fu, sci fi and other genre films. We are hosts of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, a celebration of low budget cinema - smart genre film chat, predominantly horror movies.

5 thoughts on “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

  1. I love when movies like this break down stereotypes and tropes from the genre. This is definitely one of my top 25 horror movies, and within the top five horror comedies I have seen.

    Like

  2. Horror comedies are a really tricky proposition. If the genre isn’t respected, the results could be disastrous. For an example of a horror comedy done wrong, see our review of The Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger. Tucker and Dale is a gem. Other great horror comedies include Shaun of the Dead, Re-Animator, Zombieland, Young Frankenstein and Friday the 13th Part 6 which did Scream way before Scream.

    Like

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