I imagine now that it’s hitting Blu-ray/DVD, the cult following will grow, and sure enough, of the recent spate of indie horror-comedies, TUCKER & DALE is one of the best, mainly thanks to the chemistry between Alan Tudyk, and Tyler Labine as the titular pair. A couple of Pabst Blue-Ribbon drinkin’ good ol’boys, Tucker & Dale may look like a couple of backwoods killer hillbillies, but really, they have hearts of gold.
Not that this matters to a randy group of college kids, and a sex and beer drenched camping trip, whose only notion of good ol’boys comes from films like DELIVERANCE and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. In their panic, the kids start offing themselves in amusingly gory ways (with the old genre standby- the wood chipper, making a particularly memorable appearance). The hapless TUCKER & DALE become convinced that they’re being stalked by a suicide cult, and “rescue” a nubile young college gal (30 ROCK’s Katrina Bowden), while they’re stalked by the increasingly thinned-out ranks of the college kids- who think the fellas are psychos.
For a horror parody, I gotta say, the premise of TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL is actually kinda fresh. The killer hillbilly stereotype is still going strong, with the modern remakes of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE and LAST HOUSE OF THE LEFT, and director Eli Craig does a nice job taking the piss out of the genre, while giving us a couple of eminently likable leads. Like I said in my initial review from Sundance, Labine & Tudyk’s chemistry is too good to be confined to one film, and while they may have taken TUCKER & DALE as far as they can (with the one-joke premise being stretched just far enough to keep this from feeling drawn out) , there’s no reason the two can’t be paired up again somewhere down the line.