CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’
Film Review: ‘Tucker & Dale vs. Evil’ Perfectly Blends Comedy With Gore
CHICAGO – Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine may be unknown performers to a majority of readers – they’re far from household names – but to the right audience, the people who might be interested in something called “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil,” they RULE. The stars of “Firefly” and “Reaper” have been bubbling on the periphery of fame for years and they prove why yet again with their best film project to date, a funny, clever horror/comedy hybrid of the kind that Sam Raimi used to make and that so many have tried to produce in recent years but have fallen remarkably flat. There’s nothing flat about this clever genre flick. For the right audience, it’s pretty great.
It’s almost surprising that the redneck horror movie hasn’t been skewered before. You know the kind, movies like “Cabin Fever” that play off hillbilly horror fears of the deadly people in the woods about to kill sweet, young suburbanites who take the wrong exit off the freeway. “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” plays off those archetypes – the suburbanite’s fear of a man who lives in a cabin, wears overalls, and goes fishing. Of course, most of the people who live in cabins in the woods aren’t psycho killers despite the urban legends you may have heard. In fact, Tucker (Tudyk) and Dale (Labine) are sweet, normal guys.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” in our reviews section.|
The titular pair happens to be fishing at night when they spot a group of young people (including Katrina Bowden of “30 Rock” and Brandon McLaren of “The Killing”) skinny dipping. When Allison (Bowden) spots them, she falls into the water and needs to be rescued by Tucker & Dale, the latter of which takes a liking to her. He takes her home to his new cabin in the woods (which couldn’t be creepier looking but they haven’t had time to fix up or take the evidence of a maniacal previous tenant off the wall) and makes her pancakes.
Of course, Allison’s friends think she’s been kidnapped by the new version of Leatherface, a fact made all the more certain in their minds when they approach the cabin at the same time that Tucker comes out swinging at bees with his chainsaw. In the ensuing chaos, one of the snobby brats ends up killed in an accident and the gang becomes even more convinced that Tucker & Dale have not only eaten their friend but will hunt them down next. What unfolds is basically a series of events in which really stupid college kids get themselves killed in the company of two freaked-out rednecks. And it’s great.
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
Photo credit: Magnolia Pictures