About 15 minutes into Tucker & Dale, you will think to yourself: why did no one have this brilliant idea before? Maybe if they did, it would not the work of horror comedy genius that this film is. While initially worried that I saw all the best jokes in the trailer, I was amazed at how Craig and Jurgenson kept the entire film fresh and brilliantly funny.
Tucker (Tudyk) and Dale (Labine) are a couple of stereotypical rednecks, dirty baseball caps and all. Having just purchased their ‘vacation home’ (i.e. ramshackle hut in the middle of the woods), they dream of having the good life, just fishing and relaxing. That is, until a pesky group of bored college kids with their cell phones and attitudes show up to ruin everything. That’s right, this time the hillbillies have the floor, and show up every stereotype. When one of the kids falls into the river, Tucker and Dale rescue her; however, their calls of “We’ve got your friend” are met with screams of terror. And as the others try to “save” their friend from the “killer” hillbillies, they themselves die off one by one in nasty and bizarre ways. And in the meantime, Dale becomes more and more enamored of the ‘victim’, Allison. Craig runs through like every horror film involving a group of annoying teenagers, from Blood Bath to Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Cabin Fever. And like most of us probably always believed, the teenagers kind of have it coming to them. Except now Tucker and Dale have a growing pile of bodies on their hands and an impossible story to relate to police. So they try to cover it up, i.e. bury the bodies. The script not only plays on the big clichés, but almost every line of dialogue has a hidden gem or undertone to it, and it is never over or under played by any of the actors.
Tudyk is a natural comedian, and while most of his comedy is in his turn-of-phrase, it’s good to see him given a chance to execute his physical comedic ability as well. He and Labine play off each other extremely well, as the confident one trying to buck up the shy one. All of the cast are excellent, and each plays just enough to keep the comedy while not overdoing it.
After playing at a few festivals, this film seems to have disappeared, and there is no listing of a release date for North America on IMDB. Let’s hope this changes, because I can’t imagine this film not doing well among both horror and comedy fans.
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