×

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Pic amusingly reverses horror convention in which nubile urban youths are menaced by rural inbreds.

With:
With: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss, Philip Granger, Brandon Jay McClaren, Christie Laing, Chelan Simmons, Travis Nelson, Alexander Arsenault, Adam Beauchesne, Joseph Sutherland.

A hit in this year’s Sundance Midnight category, feature writing-directing debutants Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson’s “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” amusingly reverses horror convention in which nubile urban youths are menaced by rural inbreds. This time the hicks are innocent parties, fending off hysteria-prone college kids eager to believe the worst about rural life. Sorta doing for “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”-type slashers what “Shaun of the Dead” did for zombie pics, “T&D” offers good-natured, confidently executed splatstick whose frequent hilarity suffers only from peaking too early. Niche theatrical is a definite possibility, disc and cable sales assured.

A vanload of undergraduates on a weekend camping trip runs across the path of 40-ish lifelong best pals Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine). Tucker and Dale try not to ogle the party’s gorgeous, scantily clad girls, while the youths automatically assume these “hillbillies” are probably just a half-rung up the evolutionary ladder from “The Hills Have Eyes.”

When frat brat Chad (Jesse Moss) later comes on to Allison (Katrina Bowden), she storms off in a huff and winds up nearly drowning. The not-quite-local yokels — Tucker and Dale are just fixing up a nearby old shack as vacation home — save her. But the undergrads assume the two have kidnapped Allyto perform God-knows-what unnatural acts.

An initially oblivious Ally (a farm gal herself) bonds with Tucker and Dale, who took her home out of genuine concern, even as noxious Chad turns into a frothing junior Rambo in polo shirt (collar turned up, natch). He’ll rescue her even if he has to kill her doing it.

As misunderstandings escalate, the youths in their haplessness and panic accidentally off themselves, or one another with alarming regularity — with each incident interpreted as further evidence of the rednecks’bloodlust. Labine and Tudyk have terrific comedic chemistry as the down-home, very nice and not-so-dumb heroes. The co-creators have given them some bright lines (and others were apparently improvised by the thesps). But once the pic whips itself up to a fine frenzy around the midpoint, there’s a bit of a lull, and later action doesn’t quite match the inspired lunacy of the early reels.

Still, “Tucker & Dale” is more than promising as a first feature — it’s assured in every department, from comic timing to widescreen HD lensing to other polished design/tech contributions on a low budget.

Though set in West Virginia’s Appalachians, the film was actually shot in Alberta, just outside Calgary.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Canada

Production: A Reliance Big Pictures and Loubyloo Prods. presentation in association with Eden Rock Media, Urban Island, Kintop Pictures. Produced by Albert Klychak, Rosanne Milliken, Deepak Nayar, Morgan Jurgenson. Executive producers, Mark Ryan, Thomas Ausberger. Directed, written by Eli Craig, Morgan Jurgenson.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), David Geddes; editor, Bridget Durnford; music, Mike Shields; music supervisor, Natasha Duprey; production designer, John Blackie; set decorator, Sean Blackie; costume designer, Mary Hyde-Kerr; sound (Dolby Digital), Kirby Jinnah, James Fonnyadt; assistant directors, Jason Furukawa, Richard Worden; casting, Sean Milliken. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Park City at Midnight), Jan. 26, 2010. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: With: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss, Philip Granger, Brandon Jay McClaren, Christie Laing, Chelan Simmons, Travis Nelson, Alexander Arsenault, Adam Beauchesne, Joseph Sutherland.With: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss, Philip Granger, Brandon Jay McClaren, Christie Laing, Chelan Simmons, Travis Nelson, Alexander Arsenault, Adam Beauchesne, Joseph Sutherland.

More Film

  • 'The Current War' Trailer: Benedict Cumberbatch,

    Benedict Cumberbatch and Nicholas Hoult Feud in 'The Current War' Trailer (Watch)

    101 Studios has released an official new trailer for the Martin Scorcese-produced thriller, “The Current War,”  offering a glimpse into the dramatic 19th century battle over electricity that became known as the “war of the currents.” The film, which is a dramatization of real-life events, will follow the tumultuous journey of Thomas Edison, played by [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Oscars: 31 Upcoming Films That Could Enter the Awards Race

    The year reaches the halfway mark on June 30, and traditionally films from the first six months have an uphill battle in the Oscar race. However, this year’s January-June crop might get a boost from the accelerated schedule: Nominations voting is a tight Jan. 2-Jan. 7, 2020. So if voters start their homework now, early [...]

  • Yesterday Movie Danny Boyle

    Danny Boyle on 'Yesterday,' Leaving 'Bond 25' and Why the Beatles Still Rock

    Danny Boyle would like to reintroduce you to the Beatles. The iconic foursome certainly needs no introduction, but in his movie “Yesterday,” which debuts June 28, the director envisions a word where nobody has heard of John, Paul, George and Ringo. That is, nobody besides Jack Malik. When the struggling songwriter, portrayed by newcomer Himesh [...]

  • Svensk Filmindustri SF Studios logo

    Warner Bros, SF Studios Expand Distribution Deal Across Scandinavia

    Warner Bros. Pictures has expanded its distribution deal with SF Studios to include Sweden and have their movies released by the Nordic major through all of Scandinavia. Warner Bros. Pictures already has a distribution pact with SF Studios in Denmark, Norway and Finland. Under the partnership, SF Studios has been handling the sales, marketing and [...]

  • Nicole Kidman Meryl Streep

    Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman to Star in Ryan Murphy's 'The Prom' at Netflix

    Ryan Murphy enlisted a star-studded cast for his upcoming Netflix movie “The Prom,” an adaptation of the Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Awkwafina, James Corden, Ariana Grande, Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells are among the A-listers bringing “The Prom” to screens. “The Prom” follows a lesbian student in the fictional conservative town of [...]

  • Viktor Dvorak, Anna Geislerova Join Vaclav

    Viktor Dvorak, Anna Geislerova Join Václav Havel Biopic

    Viktor Dvorak has been cast in “Havel,” a biopic of Václav Havel, as the Czech playwright, dissident and national leader. Anna Geislerova, who starred in Oscar nominated “Zelary,” plays his wife, Olga Havlova. Jiri Bartoska, the president of Karlovy Vary Film Festival, will appear in the film as “Professor,” inspired by Czech philosopher Jan Patocka. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content