This week’s pick: "Tucker and Dale vs. Evil," a bloody, ridiculous, absolutely hilarious, oddly-endearing and occasionally unsettling "horror" film. Now, we know those are a lot of adjectives but this film deserves each and every one. Prepare to fall in love with one of the weirdest mainstream movies of the 21st century.
WARNING: Gore ahead!
Before we get started here, a little PSA for your viewing pleasure: if you are not into blood and guts, turn around now. In my eyes, TADVE isn't scary, it's just jam-packed with "Final Destination"-esque death and if you don't have the stomach to see someone get their's torn up by a woodchipper well, we're sorry. Holding your hands in front of your eyes is a fine alternative (cough*scaredy-cat*cough).
What's it about, you ask?
Believe it or not but at the end of the day TADVE is a love story. It's the love story of two best friends overcoming their differences. It's the love story of a woman who falls for an unlikely hero in an even more unlikely place.
It's also a story about utter stupidity exhibited by of a group of high school kids (as portrayed by a cute crop of Hollywood 20-somethings).
Here's a little synopsis for ya: Best friends Tucker and Dale are on their way up to a newly purchased lakeside "vacation home" which, unbeknownst to them, also happens to be on the site of a grisly murder. Simultaneously, that group of aforementioned genius teenagers treks to a camping site on the same lake, so they can, you know, drink.
One (insanely absurd) thing leads to another and before you know it, the teenagers have mistaken Tucker and Dale (who are admittedly a little rough around the edges) for killer hillbillies.
Complete and total madness ensues, but you'll have to watch for yourself to find out how it ends.
But what makes it <i>different</i>?<div><sup>And why should I care?</sup></div>
"Tucker and Dale vs. Evil" is truly an original film and you really don't get that much anymore. We know, it was made waaay back in 2010, when Marvel, Disney and every other major studio in California had only just embarked on their cinematic universe conquests to secure never-ending, cash-grabbing sequels, but still. It paved the way for "Cabin in the Woods" (2012); won awards at SXSW, Sitges and Fantasia; and has quickly become a cult classic.
In our humble opinion, the best part of the movie (besides the frequent splattering of blood and guts, of course) is the miscommunication between Tucker, Dale and their unfortunate high school friends that leads to said splattering. We never thought we'd laugh at a kid impaling himself on a tree branch, but when it happens because that kid is running from a dude with a chainsaw, who is actually running from a swarm of bees and not chasing the kid -- man, it forces a chuckle outta you.
Watching TADVE for the first time is a rollercoaster ride. It shines a funny, fresh light on the classic "kids go camping in the woods" film, reminds us that you should never judge a book by its cover and it doesn't waste one scene, shot or line because the whole movie is certified comedy gold.
If you're still on the fence...
Watch the first 10 minutes. Chances are, you'll get sucked right in. When I watched it for the first time on a whim almost nine years ago, 10 minutes was all it took. I haven't even watched the first "Saw" because I'm too afraid of the blood, and I loved "Tucker and Dale vs. Evil." Check out the trailer below.