You Meddling Kids
by Emily Pound
2011’s Tucker & Dale vs. Evil sees Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine step in to the redneck boots of the titular main characters to fight off a group of particularly dimwitted college kids. Eli Craig’s feature-length debut finds the footloose youths mistaking the two best buds for murderous backwoods hillbillies – someones been watching too many horror flicks. What follows is a gory, hilarious and heartfelt horror that turns the genre’s tropes on their head… before tossing them into a wood chipper.
Luckily Katrina Bowden’s Ali can see the two men for what truly are they are: simple folk in the wrong place at the wrong time. Her exchanges with the two gift the horror comedy a rare sense of humanity that contrasts nicely with the wealth of humanity splattered across the screen. Yet beneath the gore lies a message of acceptance and self-belief – an attribute you wouldn’t quite expect from a film where beehives, garden strimmers and bottles of moonshine have deadly consequences.
In all honesty, there’s really only one joke stretched throughout entire film, but with loveable performances and a clever script, it certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome. Yes, the gruesome fates of the unlucky campers seem absurd, but you constantly await the next with a sense of mischievous glee.
Despite not setting the box office alight, the picture quickly earned cult status, with wishful rumours of a sequel doing the rounds since 2014. At a swift eighty five minutes, this is a short, especially sharp and very funny look into the perils of judging a book by its cover… and a great life lesson that a frosty can of PBR can fix near enough anything.