Starring: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk and Katrina Bowden
By far the sweetest slasher film I've ever laid eyes upon, Tucker and Dale vs EVIL has a lot going from charming leads and crazy characters to hilarious deaths and one awesome killer "college kid".
Opening with a handheld camcorder's POV, a news crew ventures upon an abandoned barn ala amateur snooping only for the anchor and cameraman to get killed by who appears to be a mad man with a gnarly burned face.
That night, as the teens share the typical campfire tale of killer hillbillies massacring partying teens, Tuck and Dale go on fishing nearby and sees one of the kids, the lovely Allison (Katrina Bowden), slips from a jump and nearly drowns in the lake. Dale swims in to save her and takes her to their cabin so she can rest, a gesture Allison came to like and quickly befriends the two country folks in gratitude.
For so many years, we've been bombarded by tons of Hillbilly horror from the mainstream cinematics of Deliverance (1972), to underrated names like Southern Comfort (1981), to the basic slasher killer tropes ala Madman (1982) and even the latter Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequels. What Tucker & Dale vs EVIL did with this Hicksploitation, however, was give it a good eye as a social commentary, turning tables at the usual stereotypes and showcase us dirty hillbillies to love and a set of teens to fear for a change, all of it wrapped in a genuine romantic-comedy take on a backwoods slasher in the vein of Shaun of The Dead (2004).
|At last, the perfect slasher-smile!|
Another factor that got me liking this movie were the kills; you could say that it's a slasher-less slasher thanks to the copious amount of "accidental" kills, such as tripping into pikes, running through an uprooted tree and the messiest woodchipper dive, but thanks to the comical nature of these kills, as in watching the two hillbillies react in disgust and horror as they watch all of happen right in front of them, is snorting-laugh material for me. That, and "Burn Face" Chad putting up a nice chainsaw fight with the "intimidating" Dale.
But what I really like about the film the most is its warm and very campy nature. It's gruesome in terms of splatstick material deaths, but the overall effectiveness of the film was more on it being a romantic comedy than horror. There's more care than hate. More kindness than meanness. Heck, the teens' attack on the Tucker and Dale was more on saving their friend from what they thought were evil people. From this, you can tell this is a twisty kind of feel-good film, which may or may not be such a bad thing, leading us to my next point.
It's a weird choice to suggest as a Valentine movie but, yeah, if you have a good gal or guy with a morbid or, at least, a good sense of humor, try cackling with them at this gem. Tucker and Dale vs EVIL is bound to cause some winces, tickle some funny bones, and melt a few hearts.
1 female had her head jabbed with a pipe
1 male had his head beaten with a pipe
1 male gets a buzzsaw thrown to his face (story)
1 female gets a machete to the neck (story)
1 male and 2 females killed (story)
1 male accidentally ran through a tree root, impaled
1 male trips and accidentally impaled himself on a javelin
1 male accidentally jumps into woodchipper
1 male nailed board hits his head by accident
1 male accidentally shot himself in the face (see where this is going?)
1 male thrown into incinerator, burned to death (story)
1 male accidentally set ablaze
1 female had her face shredded on tree-trimming saw by accident, immolated in TNT explosion
1 female immolated in TNT explosion
(In case yer wondering why I sometimes spell "evil" as "evol"? Cuz it's a play on the word "love". Cheesy, but for Bloody Valentine week, I'm super cheesy!)