‘Tucker & Dale vs. Evil’ – Gory horror comedy free on Kanopy and Hoopla

Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine in the horror comedy 'Tucker & Dale vs. Evil '

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010) turns a classic horror movie trope– the good looking group of city kids tormented by grimy rednecks and hermits in the backwoods – and turns it inside out, creating not so much a horror comedy as a comedy where the clueless characters think they’re in a horror film and act accordingly.

Call it a comedy of errors with a body count: a group of frat boys and sorority girls, led by sneering alpha male Chad (Jesse Moss), hits the backwoods (Alberta, unconvincingly subbing for the Appalachians) and sees a potential psycho in every hillbilly cliché they glimpse along the way. Enter the eponymous Dale (Tyler Labine), a sweetly stupid idiot savant, and his best friend Tucker (Alan Tudyk), the proud owner of a new “vacation home,” a real fixer upper that appears to have been inherited from a disciple of Ed Gein.

“Officer, do we look like a couple of psycho killers to you,” smiles a bloody, bee-stung Dale. Seen through the eyes of superior breeding and conceited presumption, they apparently do, especially after the kids throw themselves in ill-advised attacks and hysterical flights of panic. The gore is epic and the self-destruction all the funnier when it appears inevitable (case in point: a wood chipper minding its own business as a college kid sneaks up on it). Labine and Tudyk sell it all with their gob-smacked reactions to the unprovoked attacks, but it’s their best-buddy chemistry that makes them so much fun to hang around.

Eli Craig directs and Katrina Bowden costars as the sole sympathetic college girl.

This is very much rated-R but it’s gory good fun.

Streams for free on Kanopy and Hoopla, which are available through most public and college library systems.

Also on Blu-ray and DVD and on SVOD through Amazon Video, iTunes, GooglePlay and/or other services. Availability may vary by service.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil [Blu-ray]
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil [DVD]

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Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears at RogerEbert.com, Turner Classic Movies online, The Film Noir Foundation, and Parallax View.

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