I’ve had a doozy of a day deciding what film to talk about next. But I settled on one that holds an important place in my history. Tucker and Dale vs Evil is actually the first feature film I saw at my first film festival. As a young college student Garrett (former writer here of course) and I went into Dallas for the Dallas International Film Festival. It was a great way for two film students to get into film festivals, so I’m excited to tell you why.
The film stars the titular Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine). They’re two well meaning hillbillies who are excited to spend a weekend fishing. See, Tucker just bought a new cabin and is beyond excited to check it out with his friend. It just so happens that a group of college kids are out to camp in the same woods. Even though the soft hearted Dale tries to make friends with them, they see the stereotype of hillbillies only. That wouldn’t be an issue if Allison (Katrina Bowden) didn’t go out on her own and get hurt. Tucker and Dale rescue her, but the rest of the college kids get the wrong idea and think they kidnapped her. What follows is death and distruction thanks to this misunderstanding. And its honestly a classic.
In a lot of ways Tucker and Dale vs Evil is kind of a pre-cursor to Cabin in the Woods. It smartly subverted expectations more than Scream had, while still being incredibly meta about horror. Tudyk and Labine have the best kind of bromance and are just the nicest of guys. There’s also a romance plot with Bowden as she learns how sweet they are. Also, the aptly named Chad (Jesse Moss) is the main college kid that swears vengeance against our heroes and he brings such a great energy to the film too. Director Eli Craig understands the balance of action and comedy perfectly. As the college kids kill themselves, and then think Tucker and Dale are the cause, it leads to the duo to have wild hypothesizations about the cause. It will have you laughing manically as blood spurts all over. This film means a lot to me and is one I revisit frequently.