Sunday, August 11, 2013

An update, thinking about "Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil"

Alan Tudyk (L) as Tucker and Tyler Labine as Dale.  With chainsaw and a big jar of pickled eggs.

Well, sort of an update and something I just thought of. 

I saw the film "Cabin in the Woods" recently, after enduring months of almost universal head-over-heels in love hype about the movie. 

 Eh.  It was ok.  Clever.  A bit too clever and geekily self-reverential for my taste.  It has in common with "Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil" a sideways take on the horror genre and its conventions.  But, for my money, "Cabin" hits us over the head repeatedly and finally makes a nuisance of itself  ("hey! didja get the reference???  Huh?? didja?? Huh...huh??? DIDJA???").

"Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil" also turns the horror conventions inside out, but without taking itself seriously.  It manages to respect the audience's intelligence while still being funny and cuddly.   The conventions are there in both films:  isolated cabin,  stupid teens lining up to be massacred, backwoods hicks, bizarre and bloody deaths.    


stills from "Tucker and Dale vs. Evil"

Final analysis:   "Tucker and Dale" will make you happy.  "Cabin in the Woods" will knock you down and sit on your head until you cry, or at least get grumpy and achy and yell "OKAY, ALREADY!  I GET IT!!  GET OFF ME!!"

And in my review of "Tucker and Dale" I mentioned the Portage Theater in Chicago.  Alas, as of this writing the Portage Theater is closed.  The current owner is locked in a pissing contest with the city over permits.  My grief is limitless.  The Portage has been home to many of Chicago's horror film festivals, not to mention silent film festivals and a whole bunch of other fun stuff.  C'mon guys, settle it already!  I really don't want to schlep out to Des Plaines.  

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