What You Need To Know:
TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL is a pretty hilarious spoof. It’s far funnier than other spoofs of its kind, like the big budget SCARY MOVIE franchise. However, it does contain the sort of strong foul language and extremely bloody violence of the movies it’s spoofing. The lewd content, however, is surprisingly light, considering the kind of movie being mocked. Extreme caution is advised for TUCKER & DALE’s gory, offensive parts.
(Ro, B, LLL, VVV, S, N, A, DD, M) Light Romantic worldview with some positive moral elements where shy backwoods boy who’s smarter than he looks gets pretty college girl and that spoofs gruesome horror movies; at least 64 obscenities, 14 strong profanities and 17 light profanities; very strong extreme violence that’s gory includes girl almost drowns as she falls into lake and hits head on something, man attacked by bees, man accidentally impales himself on tree limb, man jumps to tackle another man but he lands in a wood chipper, man impales himself on his own spear, man accidentally shoots himself in head, cabin and woman accidentally set on fire, man goes violently berserk and threatens people, and man falls and impales himself; some brief sexual innuendo; upper male nudity; alcohol use; smoking and brief marijuana use; and, man’s prejudice against hillbillies influences his companions to do rash actions after jumping to conclusions.
TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL is a pretty hilarious spoof of modern horror movies. It’s far funnier than other spoofs like the big budget SCARY MOVIE franchise, but it does contain the kind of strong foul language and extremely bloody violence of the movies it’s spoofing, though the sexual content is surprisingly light considering the kind of movie it’s mocking.
The story setup will be familiar to MOVIEGUIDE® readers who read our reviews of horror movies. A group of college students plan a weekend retreat in the rural countryside. At a stop for gas near the woods, they encounter two good old boys, Tucker and Dale. Tucker convinces Dale, who’s very shy, to try talking to one of the blonde college ladies, Allison, but his awkwardness scares her and her friends. The fact that Dale happens to be carrying a sharp, great big ol’ scythe doesn’t begin the relationship on the best footing!
Tucker and Dale are headed to a vacation lake cabin they’ve just bought. Of course, the college students plan to camp near Tucker and Dale’s cabin. All Tucker and Dale want to do is clean and fix up their new cabin a little and relax.
The first night Tucker and Dale go fishing, while the college students decide to take a swim in their bathing suits nearby and maybe even do some skinny dipping. Tucker and Dale are surprised to see Allison in a snug top and shorts, ready to dive into the water from a large rock.
Tucker encourages Dale to say hello, but this scares Allison off the rock, and she bumps her head under the water. Dale saves Allison, but her friends only see Tucker and Dale drag her unconscious body into their boat. Allison’s friends figure the two men have kidnapped Allison and are all set to have her for lunch the next day, so they sneak up on Tucker and Dale’s cabin. Just when they’re about to rescue Allison, Tucker hits a beehive with his chainsaw and runs screaming through the woods. The scared students run off in a big panic, and one of them accidentally impales himself on a sharp tree trunk that’s been struck by lighting.
The students start attacking Tucker and Dale, but one gruesome accident follows another. So, one student after another falls dead. Making matters worse, Allison gets knocked out, and Tucker and Dale begin to think that the college students are part of some kind of bizarre suicide cult.
When Allison wakes up, she tries to set things right, but everything she tries blows up in her face. It doesn’t help that one of the surviving male students, who’s jealous of Allison’s growing fondness for Dale (who’s not as dumb as he looks), goes berserk because he thinks hillbillies killed his parents (spoiler alert – actually, one of the hillbillies was his father, who died trying to save him). Hence, the movie’s title, TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL.
TUCKER & DALE is really funny not because of the sudden gory accidents that occur, but because the two title characters really are nice, likeable good old boys. Tyler Labine as Dale and Alan Tudyk as Tucker give truly appealing performances. Tucker acts like he’s the really wise, smart one, but Dale is actually smarter. Even so, Tucker is always trying to help his friend. Not only that, but Dale is very kind and considerate toward Allison, who turns out to be a really nice person herself. All three of them are honestly perplexed by the behavior of Allison’s crazy friends.
All in all, TUCKER & DALE deserves extreme caution for its gory accidents and excessive foul language. Its comical tone and sweet subtext are clearly the best, funniest parts. Like other classic horror spoofs from the past, such as ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL shows the absurdity of some currently popular horror movie clichés. Maybe, like the Abbott & Costello movie, it will ring the death knell for a certain kind of horror movie that’s become too schlocky and too lurid and that’s better off buried and forgotten.
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