Over the many years of watching horror I have seen my fair share of hillbilly horror. You know the type…college kids go into the woods for a weekend of drug abuse, alcohol poisoning & sex. They don’t heed the warnings & don’t believe the stories so one by one they get picked off by the local rednecks.
It’s been done to death & few can touch the classics such as Deliverance, Texas Chainsaw Massacre& Two Thousand Maniacs. Originality isn’t something you can expect from the genre….Tucker & Dale vs. Evil attempts this.
Tucker & Dale are hillbillies, they know it & so does everyone they come into contact with. They are on their way to their vacation cabin in the woods to relax & do some fishing when they run into a group of college kids heading in the same direction. The kids make the presumption based on their looks that they are nothing but inbred hicks looking to kill.
When one of the kids has an accident forcing Tucker & Dale to intervene they appear to be kidnapping her in the eyes of her friends. This starts a chain of events that makes a mockery of the hillbilly killer genre.
I love that Tucker & Dale vs. Evil takes the genre & turns it on its head; the hillbillies are likeable guys being treated very badly. The preppy college kids are nasty pieces of work & happy to judge instantly. One of the earliest scenes sees an awkward Dale attempting to talk to one of the college girls at a gas station. He doesn’t know how to talk to girls so Tucker tells him to be himself & laugh often. Dale leans on a scythe inadvertently as he fumbles his way through a conversation & laughs so awkwardly he sounds threatening. It’s a fantastic scene that shows how easily a bumbling hillbilly can be mis-represented.
Part comedy, part horror, Tucker & Dale pulls no punches when it comes to gore as the hapless college kids end up dying at their own hands but always in a way that could be blamed on Tucker & Dale. I can’t talk up the wood chipper scene enough, it is absolute genius.
All the actors in the movie are excellent but special mention must go to Dale whose loveable yet cuddly character shows real development throughout the movie & you can’t help but root for him to get the girl. The same goes for the main lead of the college kids Chad, whose personal vendetta against hillbillies makes for a fascinating motive.
The one drawback is the final parts of the movie that feels somewhat drawn out. The showdown between Dale & Chad an anti-climax & because of an unnecessary opening, predictable.
A beauty of a movie that does a good job of being funny while remaining quite gory. The leads are all very good & taking the hillbilly horror & reversing the roles made for some amazing scenes.
Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil