Sunday, August 28, 2011
hillbillies-in-the-woods genre -- get a delightful drumming from director, writer and sometimes actor (he plays the cameraman in this film) Eli Craig. In his first full-lenth venture as writer/director, he has gifted us with one of the funnier examples -- so much better than, say, Hobo with a Shotgun -- of a movie that wants to turn its genre on its head in some way; kick it in the pants, goose it into overdrive. With TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL, after a slow set-up, Mr. Craig succeeds surprisingly well.
Tyler Labine (above, left, as Dave), who, along with Alan Tudyk (above, right, as the titular Tucker) make great hillbilly fun (rather than simply making fun of hillbillies)
Katrina Bowden (above, center), and much of the film's sweetness and fun are provided by the very unusual relationship spawned between Bowden and Labine, who make a damned nice couple despite, well, you'll see (but you'll have to sit through the end credits to do it).
Jesse Moss (above, right, with Ms Bowden), who plays Chad, a fellow whose lineage provides the film with its single best laugh. Oh, yes, there's plenty of blood and guts along the way, as befits the genre, but most of it is done with humor, surprise and invention.
Magnet Releasing on September 30 (you can check the listing of theaters -- a lot of 'em -- across the country during October and November here), it is also available via VOD now. In fact, unless I am mistaken, this is the first film from Magnet/Magnolia that we critics have been asked to review during the week of its VOD release, rather than waiting a month until the theatrical release. So, whether you watch it at home now or in a theater later, you're hearing about it somewhat earlier than usual. Click the link above or consult your local TV reception-provider for the how-to-get-it-On-Demand details.