Opening 10 Feb 2011
I never thought I’d giggle to see half a corpse pulled out of a tree shredder, but there’s a first time for everything. This black comedy splatter movie was most popular at Hamburg’s Fantasy Film Festival in August; lucky for us, it is back. Good friends Tucker and Dale (Alan Tudyk/Tyler Labine) are naïve, innocent hillbillies driving their truck to their “summer home” in the woods of West Virginia. Rich, beautiful college students camp out nearby. One young student, Chad (Jesse Moss), tells about the Memorial Day massacre which happened on this very spot twenty years ago. Naturally, history repeats itself; Allison disappears and another friend hangs dead, spiked on a branch. While misunderstandings accelerate and students die like flies, the survivors decide to eradicate the obvious suspects, Tucker and Dale, unaware that one of their own is the psycho.
The plot effectively rotates from hilarious (Tucker serving breakfast to Allison) to spoof (Allison mediating a counselling session) to frightening (Tucker strung upside down from a tree) to cliché (body lashed to a board going through a saw mill) to moral lesson (one must make more of oneself). The characters grow in their roles; every scene leads perfectly to the next one. It’s not just slapstick, but often serious as well as very scary. See it in English for the vocabulary and the accents (“You want a killer hillbilly, I’ll show you a killer hillbilly.”) Wait for the final credits to see where director Eli Craig really shot the film – not in West Virginia. (Becky Tan)