It’s a familiar story: a bunch of college students travel out in the woods when the car breaks down, or they take the wrong turn on their way to their vacation. Then, some of the kids turn up missing, or dead, and it turns out it’s all because of some scary hillbillies who may be serial killers, cannibals or both.
However, what if college students get lost, meet hillbillies, and people get killed…and it’s because of a fluke and really dumb mistakes instead a bunch of hillbillies?
That’s the premise of Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil, which is available On Demand, Amazon Video and iTunes a month before it reaches theaters. It’s already been shown at the Sundance and South By Southwest Film Festivals, and got a preview at Comic-Con a few weeks ago.
It can be mistaken as a clone for The Hills Have Eyes or Wrong Turn, until you see how some of the kids get killed in ridiculous ways, and how our heroes Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) get caught in the middle of all this.
They were on their way to their new vacation home, which used to be owned by a serial killer (thus the human bones hanging from the ceiling and the news clippings of missing people on the walls). However, the college kids, led by intense Chad (Jesse Moss) easily mistake them for creepy rural folk. The fact that Chad recounts a massacre that happened at their campsite 20 years before doesn’t help.
When Tucker and Dale are fishing at a pond where the kids plan some skinny-dipping, Dale sees Allie (Katrina Bowden), and is really taken by her. When they startle her, she slips and falls off the rock, and the guys rescue her. The college kids, however, think she’s been kidnapped. Chad leads the “rescue” efforts, but some of the kids wind up getting killed in weird ways, It starts when Tucker chops a stump and cuts through a hornet’s nest. As he’s running with the saw in his hand, one of the teens thinks Tucker’s after him, and impales himself through a tree. It gets a lot stranger form there. Allie, though, gets along with Dale, and remarks that a lot of conflict happens when people don’t communicate. That just about explains why the kids, especially Chad, go off the deep end when they try to figure out Tucker and Dale. When the boys try to explain to the sheriff what happened…while half a corpse is behind them…it really puts the rural horror genre on its head.
Eli Craig does a great job directing and co-writing this horror spoof. There’s a lot of laughs, but also a lot of gore. Tudyk and Labine also are great as the confused hillbillies. They make a great comedy team, and we should hope they get together for another movie. Jesse Moss, though, is also good as Chad, who’s a little too intense in his efforts to battle Tucker and Dale. We do get a back story from him that explains it.
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is a good reason why sometimes a good film can be seen at home, or online. You can learn more at tuckeranddale.com.