Tucker and Dale vs Evil

Year: 2012
Production Co: Reliance Big Pictures
Director: Eli Craig
Writer: Morgan Jurgenson/Eli Craig
Cast: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk

It's a solid idea, but this one of those films that runs the risk of falling flat somewhere during the 90 minute running time. In another universe I'd be saying it should have been a ten-minute short, but director Eli Craig and his co-writer do a good job of keeping the pace up and the jokes coming from what could have turned out to be a very one-note movie.

Tucker and Dale are two simpleton hillbillies who want nothing more than to enjoy a weekend staying in their fixer upper and fishing in the local lake. They first come across the stereotypical group of horny teens when the latter stop for petrol at a remote highway truck stop. Tucker (Tudyk, one of the most versatile actors working) encourages the shy, sweet-natured Tucker (man-oaf Labine) to approach the pretty college girl he spies among them and talk to her.

Tucker walks over with his enormous steel scythe and stammers over his own tongue, unable to get the words out and looking like an inbred psycho straight out of Deliverance.

The kids flee and Tucker and Dale think no more about. That joke forms the basis for the rest of the movie. After they see the pretty girl Dale liked fall into the lake they fish her out and take her back to their cabin to get better. When her friends witness the act, they convince themselves Tucker and Dale are psycho killers intent on raping and butchering her.

In a series of miscommunications and mistaken assumptions that borders on the Shakespearian, Tucker and Dale can't convince the kids they're harmless, and the latter start killing themselves in ever-grotesque ways that make it seem like the increasingly terrified and frustrated heroes have done it in their efforts to save their friend.

The plot changes in the climax with the reveal about the kid who's all front and has a hidden past, going a little off the rails from the rest of the story, but it might be that the film could never escape the inherent limitations of the premise, like the similar but inferior Lesbian Vampire Killers.

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