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IN SHORT: It's a fact: Stupidity trumps gore every time. [Rated R for graphic violence, language, and sexual situations. 89 minutes]
This be the review of Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, IN WHICH a bunch of stupid college students go camping in the wooded mountains of West Virginia fully aware of the rampage of a "teen killer" mimicking (or perhaps paying homage to) a similar, and now legendary, series of killings exactly twenty years to the day earlier. Said kidlets aren't worried at all about running into said killer and spend their first night in the woods going skinny dipping in a nearby pond.
Don't get ahead of me.
Also in the woods are West Virginia natives Dale and Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine). Tucker has spent his hard earned money on a new (for him) mountain cabin -- a real fixer upper as it turns out -- and Dale is, uh, his best friend since childhood. Get your mind out of your pants. Dale is "Stupid on the outside. Smart on the inside." and is looking to change his luck with the ladies. Tucker is going to help him with that. Tucker has a wood chipper and a chainsaw. That's always good for gettin' ladies . . .
On the surface, Tucker and Dale vs Evil doesn't seem to be anything other than a standard gore filled horrorflick crossed with a standard highbrow (meaning "intelligent") comedy. The only exception we'll take with that last line of description is that there isn't anything "standard" about Tucker and Dale vs Evil, excepting that it stars no one that you've ever heard of. Because the gore wasn't enough to make us run, heaving, towardsthe bathroom. Because the comedy was better than first rate, playing stereotypes against each other and pinning it all to a story which holds up fairly well.
Yeah, OK, there doesn't have to be much of a story to be pinned to. We remember the nervous giggles that Halloween elicited when we saw it first run way back when the genre was still called "horror" and the nervous energy generated by expectation was much greater than what we considered the eventual sickening joy of mindless dimemboweling. Of course some goreflick is always going to be someone's first so . . . back to that first night in the woods . . . Dale and Tucker go fishing. The stupid college kidlets go skinny dipping (though they forget that "skinny dipping" means getting naked, which they don't). Lovely blonde Allie (Katrina Bowden) is, for reasons we don't remember late to the party and, by sheer coincidence, jumps into a part of the lake closer to our heroes than to her friends. Good thing, too, 'cuz she hits her head on the way down and Dale has to save her from drowning. Our heroes take Allie back to their cabin to ressucitate her and her friends spend their time not realizing she isn't with them. That's because the aforementioned serial killer has set his sights on the group. Tucker and Dale vs Evil is off to the races from there.
The only other kidlet of note is named Chad (Jesse Moss), who has an unrequited lust for the lovely Allie. When she disappears after the commotion on the lake, Chad convinces the rest of his gang that the stars of this show are homicidal lunatics like the slayer of two decades past. Under his direction, his gang of five prepare to attack the rundown cabin where Allie is recuperating (or is being held hostage) under Dale's care. Under said care, of course, the pair talk and bond and I said get your mind out of your pants.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Tucker and Dale vs Evil, he would have paid . . .
We dreaded screening Tucker and Dale vs Evil because we dread horrorflicks, in general. But we laughed much more than we wanted to heave. So find it. See it.
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