Is That a Banjo I Hear?
Eli Craig’s 2010 cult classic Tucker and Dale vs. Evil features two hillbillies, played by Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk, heading out to fix up their waterfront vacation house. The house is an abandoned cabin set deep in the West Virginian woods. While loading up on supplies, “Tucker” and “Dale” encounter a large group of college students heading out on a camping trip. Queue the banjos. Not so fast. As NPR’s film critic Ian Buckwalter asks: … “what if that banjo were just a bango?” This limited-release feature film upends the horror genre by injecting comedy into the plot.
A group of college students rely on stereotypes and mistake a couple of mountain men as serial killers. Through continuous miscommunication, the college students get picked off much like students in another cult classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Make no mistake, though, this is not a spoof or a reboot. The film stands on its own and deserves the favorable reviews it has garnered. Read some of them here:
New York Times Critic’s Pick: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/30/movies/eli-craigs-tucker-and-dale-vs-evil-review.html?ref=movies;
The Hollywood Reporter: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/tucker-and-dale-vs-evil-29235.
Filmed for $5 million, critics doubted the viability of the production. The movie was a film festival favorite being nominated and winning a few special awards. Its release was limited; however, it really—like really—bombed at the box office. Ultimately, the movie exceeded the budget by earning $15 million with strong screenings abroad. It became an instant classic. With it streaming on Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon, the R-rated comedy/horror movie has become a solid cult classic.
In 2014, the sequel was announced. Asked last month, Tudyk and Labine reaffirmed their interest in a sequel once a suitable script is approved by Craig. Seems they’re up for another adventure. Queue the synthesizer.