Tucker & Dale vs Evil (Blu-ray) (2010)

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Released 5-Oct-2011

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy / Horror Interviews-Cast & Crew-(12:23) Presented 1080p with dr, wr. and stars.
Gallery-Photo-Sixty stills in excellent HD quality.
Theatrical Trailer-The Beaver (2:07) 1080p,
Theatrical Trailer-The Tree of Life (2:06) 1080p,
Theatrical Trailer-Bunraku (2:25) 1080p,
Theatrical Trailer-A Christmas Tale (2:09) 576i,
System Setup-DTS HD Master checks for 5.1 and 7.1.
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 88:34
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Eli Craig
Studio
Distributor
Reliance / Big Pics
Icon Entertainment
Starring Tyler Labine
Alan Tudyk
Katrina Bowden
Jesse Moss
Philip Granger
Brandon Jay McLaren
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $49.95 Music Mike Shields


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, "Blair Witch" parody opening then title only.

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     The fact that I have voluntarily sat and watched Tucker and Dale vs. Evil should preclude me from knocking the film. It's a bit like jumping into the ocean and then complaining that it's wet. The trailer certainly gives a very accurate idea of what to expect, and in doing so exposes the few genuinely inventive, and funny, gory bits. Anyway, here we have Tucker and Dale in their full Blu-ray glory.

     Young writer director Eli Craig, the highlight of his previous experience as a director seeming to be one episode of TV's Brothers and Sisters, strove for four years to get this project before the cameras. His initial inspiration came from a couple of ideas, admitted in the making-of extra, that I would assume are the best bits of the movie. Craig's ideas were the germ of a comedy/horror film that he hoped would turn every hillbilly-slasher cliché on its head. With fellow young writer Morgan Jurgenson, Craig finally got his project up and running. What we have is a parody of the genre that normally has inbred hillbilly maniacs terrorizing the college kids in the wild. After a Blair Witch opening we find ourselves with eight college students driving down a highway in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. After almost colliding with a pickup, a pick-up truck passes them with two menacing looking scruffy yokels inside. The students then realise that they've forgotten to bring any beer with them, so they stop at a backwoods store only to find the same two yokels already there buying supplies for an escape to their rustic cabin where they intend to do some fixing-up and some recreational fishing. One of the pick-up driving yokels, Dale (Tyler Labine) is attracted to the leggy blonde teen Allison (Katrina Bowden), and his buddy Tucker (Alan Tudyk), urges him to approach the girl. Dale's awkward advances frighten the young thing, and yokels and alienated kids set off on their separate ways. Later in the woods the kids are "skinny dipping", modestly clothed, when they see the two fishermen apparently spying on them. Panic and confusion reign, resulting in Allison falling into the water and knocking herself unconscious. Tucker and Dale rescue the drowning girl, but their attempts at mouth-to-mouth resuscitation are misinterpreted by her friends as a couple of cannibal psychos in a feeding frenzy devouring young female flesh. Assuming that their "maimed" friend is being held captive in the fishing cabin, the teens try to rescue Allison. One by one the would-be rescuers, in bizarre accidents, are gruesomely killed as they try to rescue Allison. The naive and bewildered Tucker and Dale conclude that the teens are on some sort of orgy of mass suicide. There is also a past history of a mass murder in the region, which eventually has a connection to the leader of the teens, Chad, or "Evil".

     The high points of the film are, naturally, the deaths of the students. A couple are quite amusingly staged, and these are featured prominently in the trailer of the film. Inspiration flags elsewhere, with other deaths much less memorable. There is, however, plenty of gore, but not many guffaws. The comedy of the film generally comes from the two leads, with Tyler Labine (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Alan Tudyk (the original Death at a Funeral) reining in the extremes of their characters so that they become two quite sympathetic protagonists. At times the scripted "humour" just isn't funny, unless you happen to be amused by chopping off a couple of fingers. Katrina Bowden (30 Rock) is a very decorative heroine, and an attractively natural screen presence. Jesse Moss is suitably creepy as the "evil" Chad. The director keeps the action moving, and technically the film is extremely solid. The director of photography, David Geddes, has TV credits extending back to 21 Jump Street and beyond, and he has made excellent use of the wider 2.35:1 image.Mike Shields’ music is suitably hillbilly and horrific in turn and adds to the fun, without being memorable.

     This is all very silly, violently bloody, predictable stuff. The film has a few almost inspired moments of gore, and two central characters who could have been ugly buffoons, but instead become quite endearing.Tucker and Dale vs. Evil delivers exactly what the trailer promises, but not much more.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is presented in an impressive 1080p transfer at the ratio of 2.35:1.

     The widescreen image is extremely sharp, with very good detail. The shadow detail is extremely good, an important point for a film which has plenty of dark and threatening scenes. The colour palette is subdued, which is fairly normal for films today, with brilliant flashes of red for the gory bits. Skin tones are very pleasing. Overall, this is an excellent looking disc.

     As with other recent Icon releases, the English Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired are outstanding. Once again, alternating colours are used to indicate a change in the speaker, with the lines placed on screen as close to the speaker as possible. These are excellent examples of captioning.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The soundtrack is as lively as the images on the screen. There is one audio stream, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.

     Dialogue is basically front and centre and very distinct, with hillbilly accents providing no problem. There were no sync problems. There is minimal movement across the front, but the surrounds are used extensively for ambience and a barrage of sound effects as bodies are ripped apart, shredded and otherwise maimed. No subtleties to be found here, but it is a lively aural experience, with all channels, subwoofer included, bouncing with action. The music, a mish-mash of hillbilly and typical horror-type themes, also gets the full surround treatment.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     The local release has modest but enjoyable extras.

Start-Up Audio Logo (0:49)

     The DTS HD Master Audio logo is presented 1.78:1 and 1080p.

Start-Up Trailers :

     On start-up we are served up four enjoyable Icon trailers, the first three in excellent 1080p and the final one 576i.

Main Menu

     A simple graphic, utilising a still with the two heroes in their fishing boat, plus some hillbilly music.

Cast and Crew Interviews (12:23)

     With interview footage at 1.78:1, combined with film footage at 2.35:1, this enjoyable making of is presented 1080/24p. On screen we have comments from the director Eli Craig and his co-creator writer Morgan Jurgenson. Both young men come across as sincere and likeable moviemakers who have relished the opportunity to work on this pet project. The three stars, Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk and Katrina Bowden also contribute and manage to steer clear of the customary reciprocal back-slapping. This is all very light and superficial, but free of the grating ego usually displayed in these featurettes.

Photo Galleries

     Here we have approximately sixty shots, mainly stills from the film but with a few behind-the-scenes shots as well. The quality, in high definition, is beautiful - and in glorious colour. I do wish we saw more of this colour in movies today, instead of the subdued palette most filmmakers seem to prefer. Bring back black and white and full palette colour!

DTS Master Audio Sound Checks

     Here we have separate speaker assignment along, as well as phase, sound checks. There are separate checks for 5.1 and 7.1 installations. My system is only 5.1, and I found the check to be excellent.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The DVD and Blu-ray release of Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is set for November 29 in the United States and I can find no details on what extras may be involved.

Summary

     This film knows its target audience and it serves them well. Really a one joke parody, there are a couple of genuinely funny moments, and a whole lot more that are repetitive and not particularly amusing. There are a couple of occasions that are grossly tasteless, but for the most part it is good humoured nonsense. The two male leads are very likeable, and the scantily clad feminine interest is both beautiful and charmingly natural. The high definition widescreen transfer is very good, and the limited extras are worth seeing. The short featurette gives us some insight into the two enthusiastic young filmmakers chiefly responsible for this overall enjoyable exercise in gory comedy.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BLU RAY BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA55A950D1F : 55 inch LCD HD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

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