In what feels like an overcrowded sub-genre, Tucker & Dale Vs. Evilstands tall as a horror-comedy with dramatic irony that works and strong chemistry between its three principal actors. A play on clichés and conventions, Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson’s script focuses on a pair of bumbling rednecks (Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine) who rescue a co-ed (Katrina Bowden) after she bumps her head and her cannon-fodder friends that suspect the strangers are murderous kidnappers. The disposable jocks are, of course, dead wrong. Their rundown shack might look shady, their rough exterior might be off-putting, and they might not exactly know how to act around those who aren’t “southerners,” but Tucker and Dale are kind, gentle souls who wanted to do nothing more than stop a beautiful woman from unconsciously drowning.
The slapstick comedy of errors works, even during the more predictable bits, but Labine and Tudyk really sell it as the two best friends, who feel as though they’ve had their relationship for years and years. And, on top of that, they feel like real characters, even if some of the situations are unbelievable, including the newfound fuzzy feelings between Dale and Allison – or, Stockholm Syndrome, as one of her mistaken friends theorizes.
Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil characterizes in a horror situation where stock characters normally dominate. The material doesn’t feel forced, the jokes rings true and, most importantly, it has the best death-by-wood chipper scene since Fargo.
Magnet’s 1080p presentation of Tucker & Dale looks really great. Blood red really pops, along with the greens and browns of the forest setting, but skin tones seem to be a little orange in a few scenes. Detail is absolutely mind-blowing; you can see every leaf, drop of blood, and bit of facial stubble. It’s a great transfer, made slightly more impressive by the fact that it was a low budget production. The 5.1 DTS-HD master audio track really captures the open space of the forest, giving proper echo to yells, chainsaw revving, and general mayhem. Dialogue is crisp and clear, and the music maintains a good balance with it.
Commentary – Co-writer and director Eli Craig is joined by Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine on the track, where they discuss the production and a few set stories. The guys goof off the entire time, but they do get down to technical aspects, including their experience shooting with the RED camera and practical effects.
Making Of Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (12:13) – Standard collection of interviews cut together with behind-the-scenes footage and clips. It’s a love fest, but everyone seems pretty sincere in their adoration for each other and the flick.
Tucker & Dale ARE Evil: The College Kids’ Point Of View (16:47) – A shortened version of the film seen exclusively through the kids’ point of view. It turns Tucker & Dale into a straight horror movie, which doesn’t work nearly as well , but it’s an interesting experiment and one of the more unique bonus features I’ve seen.
Outtakes (07:51) – I usually dismiss these since they really reach for laughs, but a few bits here are worth a chuckle – surprisingly, there’s very few gore gags.
Storyboards (97:05) – Storyboard featurettes usually don’t do anything for me unless they show big differences between what ended up on screen and what was originally conceptualized (not the case here), but if you’re into them, Tucker & Dale‘s collection shows the entire film.
HD NET: A Look At Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (04:32) – Uses a lot of the same footage as the Making Of supplemental on the disc. Don’t feel bad about skipping it.