By C. Michael Forsyth
“Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil” is one of the best horror comedies ever! It would certainly have made my list of top ten films in the subgenre if it was available on DVD when I made my picks a while back.
In the movie, a car-load of dimwitted college students on a camping trip encounter two guys they fear are killer hillbillies – but are actually harmless good ol’ boys fixing up their summer house. What ensues is a wild comedy of errors with plenty of over-the-top gore.
Although I’m a fan of the “Scary Movie” series, I found it refreshing that this is not an “Airplane”-type spoof like that, but instead a classic screwball comedy. The humor flows from goofy but basically realistic characters responding to a situation that keeps going from bad to worse. The physical gags – often involving the idiotic college kids accidentally killing themselves in gruesome ways – are handled so deftly that however improbable, you buy them.
I like the reversal of stereotypes. Although Tucker and Dale aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer, they’re rocket scientists compared to the college kids, who have the survival instincts of barnyard turkeys. There is a sweet love story between one of the coeds and hulking, bearded Dale, played with charm by Tyler Labine.
The heart of the movie is the friendship between backwoods buddies Dale and Tucker (Alan Tudyk). The actors’ timing and chemistry makes them a great screen duo. I’d love to see a series of Tucker and Dale pictures, like the old Abbot and Costello comedies — perhaps battling vampires, zombies or other things that go bump in the night.