Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day One Hundred and Sixty-four - Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil, "I got this weird brain."

Occasionally cheese is a good thing, both for the diet and the soul.

Of course, I overindulge in actual cheese quite a bit in my life. Movie cheese, though? Well, I tend to have a more moderate attitude when it comes to the figurative. Sometimes, though, it's done just right so as to be a perfect example of both quality and camp.

Tucker & Dale comes pretty damn close to that ideal, if you ask me.

A low-budget slasher flick with the thinnest of premises, Tucker & Dale records the deadly misunderstandings between two jovial rednecks and an SUV full of judgmental college kids who take them for psycho killers.

When Dale (Tyler Labine) saves the beatiful Ally (Katrina Bowden) from drowning when she slips and falls while skinny dipping, her friends think he and Tucker (Alan Tudyk) kidnapped her and want to kill her just like the scary massacre story they just told around the campfire. Setting off to rescue her, several of them manage to accidentally kill themselves in quite a few gruesome ways which only escalates the conflict, much to the befuddlement of Tucker and Dale, who have no idea why college kids are committing suicide on their property.

Inverting the slasher trope, Tucker & Dale is comedy gold that never takes itself seriously, instead relying on the goofy charm of its leads and the many lighthearted scenes of death and dismemberment to keep the audience engaged and laughing.

It sounds terrible, to enjoy the horrendous ways that the frat boys and sorority girls manage to get themselves killed, but Labine and Tudyk play the harmless hillbillies so well that you can't but help be 100% on their side the entire time, even going so far as to feel disgust when Ally is forced to tell Dale just why her group was afraid of them.

Alan Tudyk will always have a special place in my heart thanks to his performance as Wash in Firefly and Serenity and Tyler Labine was great as the feckless sidekick in Reaper, both short-lived series being fun in their own rights... though, Firefly is much superior to Reaper, despite Ray Wise's genius portrayal as the Devil. While there's never really much of a stretch for Katrina Bowden in terms of acting, I think she performed pretty decently and will have to keep an eye out for her in the future.

While I probably wouldn't want my kids seeing this film till they reach the age of reason, for all it's blood and gore, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is good old harmless fun that turns the horror genre on its ear. Honestly, the only films that do it better, to my eye, are Killer Klowns and (the pinnacle) The Cabin in the Woods.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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