Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Tucker & Dale vs Evil (2010) Canada

Okay my faithful readers I have a huge announcement to make - <takes deep breath> I can be a total idiot when it comes to determining whether a movie is good or not. This movie is an example. When I first saw it on Netflix I gave it two stars, considering it to be garbage and really, really dumb. I then read on several sites that this movie was witty and clever, and a great twist on the typical 'teenagers get whacked' type of movie. 

So I decided to give it another go and really pay attention this time. Five stars (their highest). Of course I still have my complaints about certain parts but hey, that's my job, right? Oh and this is a complete review so if you want to see it... you know... spoilers...

The movie starts as a typical slasher film - a guy chasing and killing a group of teenagers. Their bodies are never found...

Tucker and Dale (played by, respectively, Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine, two actors you see everywhere but don't know their names) are blissfully on their way to a cabin Tucker has just purchased for a 'vacation home' in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. The movie was actually filmed in Alberta, Canada but we won't quibble too much with that - both are beautiful areas. On their way they pick up equipment and supplies to clean up the cabin (as it is a 'fixer upper') at a nearby gas station. 

Also there is the SUV full of college students that you only have to look at for a second and want them dead. They storm through the store for beer and whatever else they plan on consuming on their camping trip. Now they've already almost sideswiped Tucker and Dale (to keep this shorter I'm just going to put TaD) and had been passed by them so were aware of these two potential psychos watching them. 

One girl is not like the others - her name is Allison (Katrina Bowden which you may know from 30 Rock [I don't] or as the popular and nasty girl in Fall Out Boy's video Dance Dance [I do]). So my problem is this: If these kids are self-centered, rich and privileged as well as rotten as hell, why is Allison with them? Doesn't that make her just as nasty as they are? Why would a sweet girl be travelling with... okay, minor detail. But wait - another boy is wearing a service station shirt. That doesn't really smack of money either. Huh.

Now this is a funny you really have to listen for (thank you CC) to get 'cause it runs in the background. Tucker has given a shopping list to the owner and asks him to read it back to him: 3/4 inch nails, hacksaw, baling hooks, brush-clearing scythe, clamps, cross cut hand saw, lubricated condoms, hand drill, feminine napkins, stone bits, 1/8th hole saw, jointers, nail file... Umm, okay. Why certain, uh, items are on TaD's list I'm not gonna speculate.

Another minor detail but still showed that they kind of oopsed when they tried to convince their audience they were in West Virginia - throughout the movie Dale is wearing a cap that says Giv'er. That puzzled the heck out of me so of course I looked it up. It is Canadian slang, used to give someone permission to do something they never really asked to do ie: when speeding and a passenger notices, he says 'giv'er buddy' encouraging the driver to go faster.

On some of the movie posters the description says 'When up against pure evil, just giv'er.' You're supposed to be in the US dummies - give us a git-er-done or something (although I hate that phrase too). But whoever made up the posters for this movie apparently wasn't too swift anyway - on another it says 'This year spring break is cut short.' Spring break is anywhere from March to April. This was supposed to be Memorial Day weekend. That's at the end of May. Sigh.

TaD arrive at their dilapidated cabin which they are pleased as punch with, thinking it the best place in the world. They have all their equipment, plus have rented a wood chipper and can't wait to fix the place up. The inside is pretty bad but they're determined to make it nice. Meanwhile the college snots set up camp nearby.

Around the campfire Chad tells everyone that 20 years ago that night (wow, convenient) there was the 'Memorial Day Massacre' - the same guy who owned the cabin had been the one who wiped out the kids, leaving one survivor. And they want to camp there? Why?

That evening TaD are fishing while the students decide to swim. Allison is on a rock ready to dive when she sees the two in their boat, panics, and falls into the water, hitting her head on something. After she doesn't come back up, Dale dives in and saves her. The other kids see him put her in the boat and panic, running off and leaving her. Nice. TaD take her back to the cabin to help her out until her friends pick her up.

The next morning Allison is frightened to find herself in the cabin in strange clothes (umm where did - forget it) and Dale nervously serves her breakfast. At first she's terrified but then after he explains she had hit her head and they were waiting for her friends to come get her she calms down and wonders why her friends just left her. Duh.

The kids, waiting for daylight, discover the cabin and one takes off to get the Sheriff. Dale stays inside to talk to Allison, leaving Tucker to work outside, chopping up wood with a chainsaw. Sawing through a hollow tree he saws through a hornet's nest and of course runs screaming, chainsaw still in hand, through the woods just as one of the college kids tries to sneak up on him - now he assumes Tucker wants to kill him and runs frantically not looking where he's going - which is splat into a broken tree, impaling and killing him. His body is found so the rest of the kids assume they have to kill the killers.

The kids really just want to get out of there but Chad eggs them on - he really REALLY hates hillbillies. Dumb preppy bastard. Another kid impales himself while yet another dives head first (he was aiming for Tucker) into the wood chipper. Now this I like. Nothing like kids that do your work for you. But gee, Tucker must be a real quick healer 'cause those nasty wasp welts fade and disappear within a couple of scenes.

TaD know what's going on now - these kids are part of a suicide cult and they won't stop until they're all dead but they know because of prejudice against their looks, the police will assume they did it. When the Sheriff arrives (just in time to find TaD dragging the half-body of the kid from the wood chipper) they tell him to talk to Allison first so he goes into the cabin  and leans against an unstable beam, impaling his forehead on a piece of wood with nails in it. He lives long enough to get to the car as the kids scream for help.

This is where it gets... cartoonish and not for the last time. The kids get out of the car and one guy grabs the Sheriff's revolver. Um, revolver? So me being me I had to check - do police officers use revolvers? Yes and no. Generally they are issued something like the Glock although different states have their own policies. Sometimes an officer is allowed a reserve weapon that can be a revolver as long as he 'qualifies' for one. There are few departments though that have revolvers as a main weapon. 

And, unlike the one in this movie, they do NOT have safeties on them. The hammer IS the safety on a revolver. Duh. The kid though, points it at his face as he tries to find this phantom 'safety' and manages to blow his own head off. So Chad grabs the gun and starts firing. And I'm a total gun idiot, but even I know that a six shooter is not going to be able to fire a total of 29 times (I counted twice). Duh again. 

He hits... nothing. Dale fires back with a nail gun while Tucker sneaks out the back - and is captured. They hang him upside down from a tree and cut off two of his fingers. These are great teenagers, love to have a dozen of 'em <insert heavy sarcasm here>.

So each 'team' attempts to save the 'captives'. Then we get backstory (sigh). Chad hates hillbillies with a passion because his parents were two of the victims of the Memorial Day Massacre, his mother being the sole survivor, not even knowing she was pregnant. His father's body, like the others, was never found. She was institutionalized. 

Now my worksheet is out (patent pending) and I'm filling in the blanks (yeah, I know I watched it already, shut up) as to what the rest of the story is. All merge inside the cabin and a fire breaks out - TaD and Allison barely get out in time before the whole cabin explodes. So that's it.

Umm, nope. We have Chad, whose hatred apparently makes him Superman 'cause out of the cabin he comes, half of his face and head looking like a marshmallow dropped in the fire. Unfortunately, if you look carefully you can tell when they use a double 'cause the guy is at least 10 years older, has chest hair and a gold chain. Chad does not. TaD and Allison jump into the pickup and drive away but in movie-stupid fashion promptly crash into a tree and pass out.

Whoops, wait - this isn't it...
When they come to, Chad has taken Allison to a conveniently located ancient abandoned mill which sends us back into cartoon land because not only does it still have electricity, but lots of wood - he ties Allison in Snidely Whiplash style to a 2x6 (even though a 2x12 is right next to it which would have been more comfortable) that lays on a carriage leading to a circular saw, which is obviously brand new and never used. Besides which, there would not be such a plank on this particular carriage - it would have a cant. So there. 

AND the only sawdust is on the boards, not the fixtures, equipment or floor. And the duh continues when Dale gets to the mill, and conveniently finds not only a newspaper article that shows that Chad's father actually WAS the hillbilly killer who had raped his mother, but a whole box of Chamomile tea which they previously established Chad was violently allergic to. You may say DUH as loud as you want now. I did.

Okay, this is it...
Chad is shown the article which sends him into paroxysms of joy to now know he is half hillbilly himself. Just kidding, actually it just makes him more insane if that is possible. Dale then throws the chamomile into Chad's face, causing a horrible reaction (face it, this whole setup is horrible) and he goes into massive spaz mode and falls backward out a window, impaling himself on whatever garbage was piled up on the ground below.

We then get the whole news crews and tons of police (Where the hell were they anyway?) and it is reported that apparently these kids were the victims of a deranged killer who had made a suicide pact. Meanwhile Tucker is recuperating in the hospital with his fingers reattached (although one has a painted long fingernail - oh never mind) watching the news when Dale comes in. 

They have one of those please-stop-trying-to-be-bosom-buddies-it's-sickening talks and Dale tells him he is going bowling with Allison. Later at the alley, he and Allison make it a sticky sweet ending by kissing.

All right, despite the problems and the major DUH spots this was a pretty funny flick. If you think I was too harsh, just read my blog title please. Thank you.