Gore, Humor and the Fear of Rural Americans: “Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil”


By Trylon volunteer Colette Ricci


Start talking about the sprawling rural deserts of Texas and it won’t be long before someone mentions The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. For many, Texas Chainsaw introduced the idea of fearing rural southerners, and very well might be the crown jewel of the demented-rural-American horror movie genre. The ideas that sub-genre convey have seeped so heavily into our lexicon, you’d be hard pressed to find a city dweller that believes there’s anything to fear in the rolling countryside besides the people who live there.


Thankfully, Tucker and Dale vs Evil gives us a different take on rural-horror. Tucker and Dale have a rich friendship, they encourage each other, they react emotionally appropriate in horrific situations, they discuss those emotions as they emerge, they have mundane fears of rejection and being misunderstood. Almost every rural-American stereotype and trope is smashed through Tucker and Dale in creatively hilarious or gory ways. (I mean, this is a horror movie. People run themselves through with fallen tree branches, are burned alive, and are brained by nails through boards.) But the abundant humor is not at the expense of hapless country folk nor is the horror inflicted by a country hillbilly gone mad; most of the movies action revolves around people’s perceptions of one another and what can happen if you make all your judgements at face value.

As an openminded-liberal-country gal, I thoroughly appreciate this break from the chainsaw wielding, cannibalistic, tooth missing murderous representations of my southern brethren. I just wish it would catch on…


Colette Ricci hasn’t had a cigarette in six years, but every time she watches someone in a film light up, she inhales with them.


Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil screens Friday and Saturday, October 10 and 11 at 7:00 and 9:00, and Sunday, October 12 at 5:00 and 7:00 at the Trylon. You can purchase advance tickets here.


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