Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I’ve seen my fair share of cannibalistic inbred hillbilly’s eating vacationing college kids with bad cell phone service over the years. We all have. But have you ever stopped and tried to see things from the hillbilly’s perspective? Perhaps the hillbilly is just misunderstood. There is the chance that circumstance led to the college kids getting maimed or gored or gutted. Maybe the hillbilly is the innocent bystander in all of this and is just simply trying to enjoy the hillbilly lifestyle in the midst of prejudging college kids. Have you ever given that any thought? I know I haven’t. Before I saw director Eli Craig’s ‘Tucker and Dale vs. Evil’ I was fairly convinced that the hillbilly’s sole purpose on this planet was to inbreed and eat college kids. Thank you, Eli Craig, for educating me that Hillbilly’s are people too. And that the cell phone is still the most useless device ever in a horror movie.

So a bunch of college kids are heading out to the hills of east nowhere to do some camping. I gotta say that as a St. Louis bred city boy, at no point in my college years did me or my friends ever get the urge to head out to the Ozarks of Missouri and do some camping. That never happened. Also heading this way are certified hillbilly’s Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) who are thrilled to death because these two gentlemen have realized a lifelong dream in purchasing a hillside summer home. You might call it a dilapidated shack, but they call it a palace and we are happy for them.

College kid Chad the preppy (Jesse Moss), and we know he’s a preppy because he wears his collar up in an irritating manner, tells one of those horror movie campfire stories that freaks everybody out, and then they go skinny dipping. That’s what they do. We should also mention that these college kids also include black person Jason as played by Brandon Jay McLaren and black person Naomi as played by Christie Laing. We only mention this because we saw the movie ‘Sea Beast’, a film in which Brandon Jay and Christie also played a couple. So either Brandon Jay and Christie are a couple for real, which would be GREAT for Brandon Jay, or horror filmmakers are like ‘We need an attractive black couple. Get me Brandon Jay and Christie!’ That would be great them as well. Not so great for all the other black actors on the planet seeking employment, but great for them.

Anyway, pretty college girl Allison (Katrina Bowden) hurts herself while skinny dipping, but is saved by Dale who was fishing at the time with his buddy Tucker. Note that Tucker was trying to get his peep on. This is where the trouble starts. While saving  Allison, her friends thought that Tucker and Dale were eating Allison and fled the scene. They are Hillbilly’s and that’s what Hillbilly’s do. Even Allison upon regaining consciousness thought she was in peril but soon all will become clear as Allison learns that Tucker and Dale, Dale in particular who the girl might be a little sweet on, are just a couple of good ol’ boys trying to fish and drink a PBR or two.

Her friends on the other hand, particularly Preppy Chad, see things differently and are determined to save Allison. They are not very good at this. In fact they are conceivably the worst people at saving people ever considering the college kids bodies are piling up at an alarming rate. Eventually Tucker and Dale have come to the conclusion that these deranged college kids are out to kill them and are determined to fight back. ‘Versus Evil’ if I’m reading the title correctly. Truth of the matter is this is ‘Tucker and Dale vs. Stupid’.

If ‘Tucker and Dale vs. Evil’ were a failure at being funny, clever and bitingly witty at the very least we would have to say it was unique and original. That in itself is an accomplishment. The good thing for us is this movie is also funny, clever and bitingly witty on top of being unique and original. This you cannot beat with a stick.

Right now I’m wracking my brain, which really isn’t that hard to do, in an attempt to think of something to criticize about this movie and nothing is coming. Truly this movie is about as consistently funny and ridiculously amusing as any movie I can recall in recent memory, ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ excluded. I can’t even describe these funny moments to you because so many of them come completely out of left field and this would just ruin it, so you will have to experience it for yourself. That is if you get to the chance to see it. For some unknown reason that I cannot even begin to fathom this film has yet to secure some U.S. Distro action with the film festival circuit being the only means of seeing this film, which is how I had the pleasure of seeing it. Part of this has to be because the filmmakers are holding out for a better deal because considering what I’ve seen play out on DVD and in the Cineplex, there’s no earthly reason that this movie shouldn’t be available to the masses. Ah… whaddayagonnado?

One of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a long time and since there’s no DVD release as of yet let’s see if I can think of a line to get me a blurb on DVD boxcover… I’m thinking… Let’s go with ‘Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is so funny it made me split my anus!’ – Christopher Armstead, If I can’t finally get on a box cover with that line, then there’s no hope for me.

Real Time Web