Tucker and Dale stars two funny, relative unknowns — Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine — in a pretty clever premise: what if they made one of those college-kids-vacation-in-a-backwoods-cabin horror movies, only this time, the hillbillies are the good guys? Unfortunately, either not enough time or not enough thought came between funny premise and finished script, and the result is a movie that’s just sort of mildly amusing.
T & D V. E (remember that acronym, people will think you’re cool) is kind of like watching Chelsea Lately: everyone around me is laughing, and I can sorta see why. It’s kinda funny. I like the idea of the joke. It’s not unfunny. But for me the writing just isn’t sharp enough to warrant more than a chuckle. Here, I’ll give you an example of a line that drew a huge laugh at my screening:
DALE: [to the college girl he falls in love with but doesn't think he's good enough for] I just knew if a guy like me tried to talk to a girl like you someone would end up dead!
*guy next to me brays like a retarded donkey*
It’s sort of a microcosm of the movie. If you think that was a hilarious line, you’ll probably love the film. I find it irreverent without being particularly humorous, like an old man wearing a colorful hat.
- Director Eli Craig mentioned wanting to do reshoots but not having time to do them before Sundance. I can see T & D V. E having the potential to be a really funny movie with a few tweaks here and there, but I can only review the movie I saw.
- I asked him why with all the gore in the movie there was no nudity (since they clearly weren’t aiming for a PG-13). His answer was that there was a nude scene in the script, but when the actress who was supposed to do it showed up, she sort of balked. At which point the producers told Craig he’d have to try to convince her to do it. Instead, he sent the crew to scour strip clubs all over Calgary for a girl who’d do the nude scene. When the stripper who agreed showed up, she turned out to be a lot older than he’d expected and he had to shoot her from really far away where you could barely tell she was even naked. Funny story, sounds a lot like my prom.
- At one point Craig started comparing the theme of his film to classism in society, and saying how his film was dedicated to the hillbillies and the working class or something like that. Dude, you don’t have to start smelling your own farts just because we’re at Sundance.