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September 15, 2011

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Tucker-dale-evil Co-writer/director Eli Craig deconstructs nearly every slasher horror movie cliché dating back to "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" for a gross-out laugh fest that works better than it has any right to. Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine play the film's hilarious title characters. Tucker and Dale are a couple of backwoods best friends who fit the description of every hillbilly psychopath from "Deliverance" to "Creature." And yet, these two overall-wearing goofs are just a couple of well-intentioned beer-lovers who want to enjoy the serenity of a rundown cabin on a quiet lake. Enter a group of hysterical college hipsters to stereotype our scruffy duo as serial killers from their worst nightmares. The kids can't help instigating a series of guffaw-inducing suicidal accidents that leave behind an explosion of gore. The filmmakers get a little too carried away in a sloppy third act, but "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil" is a refreshingly funny black comedy. In turning the tables on worn-out horror movie tropes, Eli Craig and co-writer Morgan Jurgenson create a cogent diatribe on slasher movie clichés. They have purged 40 years worth of hackneyed ideas that deserve to be put out to pasture. We always knew that snotty young urban interlopers (read as capitalist imperialists) were the real blight on out-of-the-way regional locales; now here's your proof. Oh the irony.

Rated R. 86 mins. (B) (Three Stars - out of five/no halves)


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