Image: Courtesy of Alliance Films
Legal Line (C) 2010 T&D Productions Limited. All Rights Reserved. Distributed exclusively in Canada by Alliance Films. All Rights Reserved.
Dir: Eli Craig - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss
Reason to see: Huge positive buzz from my genre buddy friends
Every once in a while a film rides a wave of enthusiasm from genre fans and I have a conflicting set of emotions going in being both excited to finally get to see a film that has great buzz but also a moment hesitation of hoping it's as good as everyone says. That's exactly the energy I felt behind going into watching Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, and honestly I was hoping it would be as good as everyone says used to be just because not only did I wanted to see a good film but also I hate dealing with the backlash if I have a different point of view. Good thing that with Tucker & Dale vs. Evil I won't have to deal with that as it's a hilarious and wonderful film. This is exactly the kind of in-your-face with sugar on top nod to genre that I love, it plays with the slasher film genre of the often used story of bunch'o'college kids go to woods/cabin/swamp/outdoors-wherever and then craziness ensues (see Friday the 13th (2009), Hatchet II, Creature, and so many more). And wow, this has craziness ensuing but it's a whole new deck of cards. I was totally enraptured by this film, it won me over pretty freaking quickly as I would imagine it would for any genre fan. They know all the right beats and all the stereotypes and play with them in such an earnest and heartfelt way.
It's funny, because I often comment that I don't like comedy that much but I almost always love film that parody film genres, especially when there is an enjoyment and understanding of the genre at the heart of it and that certainly is the case with Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. I'm sure it must have looked ludicrous on paper (and from the feature commentary with director/co-writer Eli Craig and actors Tyler Labine & Alan Tudyk confirms this!), but they totally pull it off. Hilarious scenarios, brutal gore but at the heart of it is true & honest friendship and beautiful, lovable characters. I loved Alan Tudyk & Tyler Labine as Tucker & Dale, and was also Jesse Moss as Chad, one of the college kids, I'll be keeping my eye on what he gets up to in the future because he was fantastic here.
All & all it was a hilarious horror/comedy that shakes up and takes on the sub-genre of slasher films and has a lot of heart. And blood.Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is an absolute MUST SEE for genre film fans.
- Feature Commentary with director/co-writer Eli Craig and actors Tyler Labine (Dale) & Alan Tudyk (Tucker) a very enthusiastic & entertaining commentary with a conversational style and a mile-a-minute pace chatting in of the moments in the film from cracking jokes and giving alternate lines for the characters and moments, all over the placer chatting about film influences/references, nods to genre films, the music, when during the film it wins over audiences & when they knew it would work as a film, the effects including noting CGI vs practical effects in the film, drinking game suggestions, hilarious continuity notations and decisions/discussion on what should/shouldn't be on the DVD (hilariously doesn't match up to what is on the extras...) and nepotism shout outs.
- Featurette: Making of Tucker & Dave vs. Evil (12 minutes) film clips, behind the scenes and interviews with director/co-writer Eli Craig, co-writer Morgan Jurgenson, producer Rosanne Milliken, production designer John Blackie, actors Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden on what the film is about, how the idea & film came together, the hilarity of the premise, the amazing chemistry between actors Tyler Labine & Alan Tudyk, the character of Dale and Tucker, the importance of casting the Allison character, working together and especially working with first time director Eli Craig.
- Featurette: Tucker & Dale ARE Evil - The College Kids POV (16 minutes) hilarious re-cutting of the film from just the college-kids perspective, full on with creepy sound effects and eerie transitions.
- Outtakes (7 minutes) lots of great outtakes, mostly with Alan Tudyk & Tyler Labine as Tucker & Date but also some college kid action and ranges the gambit from missed lines, repeat takes, improvs, stunts, effects and more. Tons of fun to watch.
- Storyboards a slideshow of 97 screens of storyboards for the film
- HDNet: A Look at Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (4 minutes) film clips,interviews with director/co-writer Eli Craig, co-writer Morgan Jurgensonm actors Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk and Katrina Bowden on the premise of the film. Lots of clips from the film and added quotes from reviews, but all the interviews are from the Featurette: Making of Tucker & Dave vs. Evil.
- Theatrical Trailer
Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll watch it again, repeatedly
I highly recommend it to genre fans
Return to Film Reviews or see more DVD Reviews
© Shannon Ridler, 2011