Horrors Out Of Time #1: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Disclaimer:  I haven’t actually seen the movie I’m about to review.  In fact, no one has, because it hasn’t been released yet.  But I don’t intend to let that stop me; that’s why we have trailers and pre-release materials after all.  Some stuff I just made up though.

No disrespect to the late, great John Ritter, but Three’s Company kind of sucked.  Maybe it was funny the first time we ever saw a character on a sitcom overhear only part of a conversation, jump to some ridiculous conclusion, and then act in an even more ridiculous fashion as a result of the misunderstanding, but that horse was already dead by the time Three’s Company arrived on the scene.  Rather than beat it further, someone needed to breathe new life into the idea.  They needed to resuscitate that sucker.  We needed an undead one-trick pony!

Now, had Chrissy Snow arrived home late one night to find Jack in the kitchen with a dead woman (actually she’s just asleep, a sufferer of chronic narcolepsy) and discussing with an unseen person the best way to dismember a body (actually giving instructions via telephone to the sou chef at Jack’s Bistro for tomorrow’s prime rib special), leading her to burst through the door in an attempted ambush of her suddenly murderous roomie, but losing her balance and falling towards the sink where her arm becomes lodged in the garbage disposal, and where it is subsequently ground off almost to the elbow in a geyser of bone and blood…now that would have been awesome.  And that, my friends, is Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil.

As if the premise wasn’t awesome enough, T&DVE stars Alan Tudyk.  I love Wash, I mean Tudyk.  He’s not Nathan Fillion, but he’s plenty awesome in his own right.  *Spoiler* His death in Serenity actually chokes me up a little, a great moment in a movie that otherwise doesn’t live up to the promise of the TV series (geeks take notice, that’s just my opinion).  But Wash, I mean Tucker, survives this time, so that’s good. *End Spoiler*.

Not that it’s a perfect film.  Tyler Labine’s Dale is a likeable doofus, but his shtick wears thin pretty quickly.  Thankfully his character arc allows him to dispense with some of that as the film progresses.  And his romantic subplot doesn’t have legs, but whatever, that’s not why we’re watching this movie.  Also, there’s a twist in the third act which is completely betrayed in the trailer…I suspect it would have been obvious even without, but still, I hate it when they do that.

And of course, this being a horror comedy, it’s already being compared to Shaun of the Dead (because as we all know, Shaun of the Dead was the first horror comedy to treat both the horror and the comedy respectfully, not Re-Animator or Return of the Living Dead or a probable slew of other films I just can’t think of right now).  Which is major suck in my book because, really, that’s a losing battle.  Shaun of the Dead was funny, but it was also sweet and tragic and smart.  It transcends easy labels.  T&DVE owes more to Evil Dead 2 than it does to Shaun of the Dead, and even then it’s not a fair comparison because try as he might, Eli Craig isn’t Sam Raimi.  Bottom line, Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil is a fun movie, one you definitely want to see with your friends, but at the end of the day, it’s still the Three’s Company of horror movies.

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