TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL Review [SXSW Review Catch Up]

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Directed by Eli Craig, 2010
Written by Eli Craig, Morgan Jurgenson

I like a lot of horror comedies.  They’re obviously not my go-to choice when I think of the genre, but I’m all for horror movies that don’t take themselves too seriously.  I’m not including horror spoofs in this category, of course.  I’m talking about the ZOMBIELANDs and the DEAD & BREAKFASTs of the world, not the STAN HELSINGs.  But even though I’m a not-so-closet fan of horror comedies, I rarely find myself calling them hilarious.

TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL is hilarious.  It was easily the funniest film I saw at SXSW; BARRY MUNDAY, a film where Patrick Wilson plays an everyday office schlub who loses his testicles, coming in second place.  And it’s not hard to pin down why.  Sure, Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson’s script is a clever twist on the College Kids + Cabin in the Woods + Hillbillies = Death formula.  Sure, it’s got a fantastic amount of fake blood ready to splatter all over it’s cast.  But all of that is secondary to the pairing of Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine as Tucker and Dale, respectively.

Everyone should know how great Tudyk is on screen thanks to SERENITY and DEATH AT A FUNERAL, but unless you watched REAPER (and I told you you should have been, so you’ve got no excuse) on the CW, you’re probably not very familiar with Labine.  That’s okay because after T&DVE hits your eyeballs, you’ll be up to speed with why he’s a great comedic talent just waiting in the wings to really have a career take-off.  He and Tudyk have enough chemistry together that their on screen pairing should be traded on the stock market alongside Monsanto and Dow Chemical, which is why I really can’t explain how their first film together has yet been picked up for distribution.  When it does get bought up, though, it could well launch him into the mainstream not unlike THE HANGOVER launched Zach Galifinakis.  But before I turn this into the first official meeting of the unofficial Labine and Tudyk fan club, let’s get back to the story at hand.

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