Eli Craig’s Tucker & Dale vs Evil

What if those creepy backwoods rednecks in every other horror flick aren’t creepy or homicidal at all but simply nice fellas on the wrong end of a colossal situational misunderstanding? That’s the running gag in Eli Craig’s Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil and it’s one of the flat out funniest films I’ve ever seen. Sweet, good natured Tucker & Dale (Alan Tudyuk and Tyler Labine) are two steadfast buddies who just wanna head out to their cabin for a chilled out weekend of fishing, having beers and enjoying nature. A gaggle of tiresome big city college kids have other plans though, and from the moment they blunder into their secluded rural enclave, chaos ensues. The comedy here is all a matter of perspective, prejudgment and mindset: These kids have watched too many of the kind of horror films that this one spoofs and naturally assume that any rugged looking country boy in the sticks simply must be an inbred serial murderer. As for Tucker & Dale, they just can’t figure out why a group of kids would be terrified of two unassuming, obviously affable gents like themselves and become increasingly confused when each new attempt to be nice ends in them running for the hills. It’s a hysterical premise and probably the funniest horror satire ever made, with Tudyuk and Labine giving it their all and making these two dudes not just the funniest bumpkins this side of the Ozarks but actual sweet, well developed human characters too. My personal favourite bit is Tudyuk taking care of an old tree stump with his chainsaw and not realizing he’s about to cut into a wasp’s nest. The next shot is a perfect example of the levels of misperception that goes on here: He comes screaming out of the woods followed by a cloud of angry wasps, chainsaw still roaring away in his hand, terrified of being stung. A few yards away the group of kids sees this and obviously thinks he’s a maniac about to chop them up. It doesn’t get much better than that with this clever, ragingly funny, on point horror comedy.

-Nate Hill

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