Dead Dick Hammer and the T.B.A.

If you’re in Louisville, Kentucky for the Fright Night Film Fest this weekend, you are in for a treat. Just a few blocks away sits a small bar called the Third Street Dive, where one of the most amazing shows will be preformed starting around 9pm. You get a night of musical madness with bands like The Local Skank opening up, The Creeping Cruds following after, and then the head liners, Dead Dick Hammer and the T.B.A.

According to their bio on Reverbnation, “The date was October 30th, 1957 and Richard a.k.a. Dick Hammer and his band the TBA, an extremely popular trio were on the road to the biggest gig of their entire career. As luck would have it, it was Halloween Eve and it was raining cold and dark it was when the car skidded and come to a haulting rest somewhere in the bottom of the Green River. Dick and the rest of his band died that tragic evening. Now over 60 years later the band has returned! Walking the earth, blood thirsty with a hard on to end all the mainstream music pollution that seaped into their coffins and awoken them from their dirt naps.”

Nowadays, the band travels all around spreading their music like a bad case of “Creatures from the Black Gal’s Poon”. Yes, that is a song of theirs and it is epic. You also have songs like “Catfish Gravy”, “Last Call” and “She Likes It Ruff (My Baby Do)”.  They’ve played Knoxville, Nashville, Louisville, and beyond. The music is phenomenal to listen to, but seeing the  band live is a whole different experience. I recommend a front standing spot when seeing this ghoulish trio because you never known what kind of stuff you can get thrown out at you. I once walked up to the Long Branch Saloon in Knoxville to find a package of scar ointment laying on the ground.

As a dedicated Dead Dick-Head, a name penned for the band’s fans, I invite you to come out and listen to their music. If you can’t, well I guess you’ll just have to watch the video clips on Youtube and be happy until Dead Dick rolls through your town. You can also find the band at the following link:

http://www.reverbnation.com/deaddickhammerandthetba

Grade: A+

 


Exit Humanity

So a lot of reviewers have already deemed this movie as just “another zombie movie” and that really irks me. This has a brilliant concept behind it that has been untouched by other zombie flicks. For starters, it’s an era piece film set back starting with the American Civil War. Then throw in that the director John Geddes and producer Jesse T. Cook also did Monster Brawl and you already have me giddy. The story is narrated by the voice of Malcom Young, who’s ancestor Edward Young had left behind a journal of his dealings with a deadly outbreak during wartimes in Tennessee. Mark Gibson really embodies his character Edward as you watch him struggle through surviving these trying times. 

The story begins with Edward waking from a flashback to the front of the line and fighting with his fellow men. You see him as he shoots a man several times, only to have him being attacked moments later as the other soldier doesn’t seem to be affected by the bullets wracked in his body. It then cuts to a scene of a bloodied Edward in his home, awakening and screaming. The scene pans from him and across the small living area towards the entrance, covered in blood and the body of his wife laying in the floor. She had been infected and now Edward’s son, Adam, is missing.

 

Now Edward isn’t your typical zombie hunter and goes out, just weilding an axe and gun while killing the zombies. He actually studies one for about 10 days before shoots it and then continues on. The great thing about this film though is that even though it is mostly live action, there is a massive amount of beautiful clasic animation splattered thoughout the film. It helps to break the monotony of some parts of the movie, and reminds you that this comes from a journal passed through generations. 

The movie has a real star studded cast. The voice of Malcom Young is done by the Emmy-winning actor Brian Cox, who got his big break as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Manhunter. Dee Wallace makes an appearance as Eve, and Bill Moseley makes an excellent evil General Williams. Despite what you may have heard about this film, check the movie out. I’m sure that you won’t be disappointed.

Grade : A -



DEFINITELY Don’t Go In The Woods

Described as a slasher musical, this thing has to be some kind of joke.
Incoherent and just plain stupid, this film is a disgrace to the name of Vincent D’Onofrio, the great actor who inexplicably chose this emo-band advertisement to stand as his directorial debut.
Yes, THAT Vincent D’Onofrio!

He is also credited with “story”, whatever that means. I guess he said, “So, we film a bunch of annoying emo kids singing terrible songs and flirting for an hour, then we start chasing them around with a hammer. Sound good? Let’s film!”

So, as the “story” goes, a bunch of whiny ass hipster kids head into the woods for a weekend of sitting around a fire holding hands and singing shitty songs. I don’t know their names, but there is the Conor Oberst wannabe lead singer, who earns our hatred in the opening scene by tossing a bag of weed out the window as they drive to their campsite. There are a couple other lame characters along for the ride, and they all look like hipster douche-bags. Young Dave Grohl, the blind guy, the buff Asian…
Within ten minutes, you will be ready to see them all die horrific deaths.

But no.
A bunch of whores show up, claiming that they followed the band up the hill hours ago, and they brought the booze and dope, so now it must be time for the killer to show up and start slashing, right?
Nope.
They sing more laughable songs, each one worse than the last, and even the girls get their solos, song after song…
Emo-boy starts moping around and whining about “creating” some new songs, and bashes everyone’s cell-phones to pieces before bursting into another trembly-lipped tune.

The characters are idiots, the songs are shit, and by the time a guy all dressed in black with a top-hat shows up and starts bludgeoning them to death, you will be hard-pressed to give a fuck.
Most likely you will be cheering the killer on, until the laughably blatant plot-twist is revealed, then you will be groaning with dismay…

I am sorry to report that this film is a huge pile of crap, and not recommended to anyone.
Grade : F




Book Review : Horns, by Joe Hill

Horns is the second novel from Joe Hill, after the awesome Heart-Shaped Box. Hill is an author to watch, full of interesting ideas and a style all his own that he comes by honestly.

Horns tells the story of Ignacious Martin Perrish, and how his life unravels after he wakes one morning with a vicious hangover and a pair of horns protruding from his head.

The first act, Hell, is appropriately disorienting, as Ig wanders through his day acutely aware of the new growths on his forehead. Strangely, no one else seems to notice them, and everyone he encounters seems oddly compelled to confess their darkest secrets to him in a conversational manner.

Ig has his own secrets, it turns out. His long-time girlfriend, Merrin, was murdered exactly a year prior to this black-out, and with his newly-acquired mind reading powers, he discovers that he has been the main suspect in the minds of his friends and family all along.

Part one is especially effective, since Ig’s disorientation is directly in line with the reader’s confusion as characters make confessions that take us all by surprise. We stumble through the first few chapters with Ig as he tries to get a grip on his spiralling-out-of-control life.

His live-in girlfriend stuffs her face with donuts and tells him he blew a guy in the parking lot last night. His parents secretly can’t stand him, and dread his coming around. His frail old grandmother harbors hateful feelings toward him, until now held deep inside. Worst of all, his famous brother Terry actually knows who killed Merrin, but has never told anyone. Until Ig’s new powers start to work on him, that is…

As the story progresses, we are transported back to lost youth, where we get to meet all the characters when they were young, before they become either hateful monsters or dead in the future.
Ig and Merrin have one of those unforgettable meetings and passionate romances that only seem to exist in fiction. Merrin is the kind of girl we all want to have, sweet and caring, with a deep and true love for Ig.
A sort of imaginary love triangle forms between Ig, Merrin, and Lee, an increasingly disturbing character with many secrets.

In the later chapters, Ig comes to embrace his new powers and form. He gleefully experiments with mind-control and his other newly-acquired tricks of the devil. When he decides to just let it happen and fully lets himself become a mischevious demon is when the book is at its best, in my opinion.
Of course, Ig has no choice now. He has somehow been transformed from the caring innocent boy in a treehouse with his girl, into a devil. He hides out in the old foundry where Merrin’s body was found, sulking with a congregation of snakes and brimstone.
He doesn’t want to be the devil, but he is.

Joe Hill has said that the inspiration for this story was to “take an unsympathetic character and see if he can make the reader care about them for a couple hundred pages”. And in that, he is wildly successful.
The character of Ig is an intriguing one, and some of his actions and reactions are the most interesting parts of the book. The question seems to be if you found yourself in this position, what would you do?
If you know the worst in people, could you still forgive them?

Even the author seems unsure.
The devil in Horns seems to be one who still believes in and fights for humanity ( his own and others).
In an afterword, Mr. Hill includes a very contrasting short story called “The Devil on the Staircase”, in which the devil is a very different type of character, one who sees humanity as a punchline to an old dirty joke.

All in all, Horns is a great read, playful and mean at the same time.
Recommended to all you weirdos.

Grade : B+



Review: What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

Having read a couple of Koontz novels in the past (although I’m convinced it was really the same damn one donning different covers) I didn’t have high expectations for this book. However, it had been a few years since he had last pissed me off so I decided to give him another chance. Plus, someone bought this book for me as a Christmas gift and after staring at it for months I gave in and cracked the bitch open.

I was intrigued when I read on the back cover that this book would be about the ghost of a serial killer haunting a family, albeit still a bit skeptical that it would somehow turn out to be amnesia, aliens, and/or a government conspiracy behind it all. I’ve been burned by this dickhead before. <shakes fist violently at the sky>

Horror writers and readers have a special bond. As readers, we agree to cast aside logic, skepticism, and common sense; we vow to accept the supernatural as real; up can be down, black can be white, and all laws of physics and time can be shattered.

That being said, the most believable character in this shit-stain of a novel was the ghost of the misshapen serial killer, Alton Turner Blackwood, who was born out of incest and slaughtered four families before a 13-year-old boy emptied a pistol (that was conveniently lying on the floor) into his head. Our story begins when his spirit returns 20 years later to exact his revenge on the now-grown man, John Calvino, who ended his spree of murderous mayhem.

That’s all fine and fucking dandy, until you’re introduced to Calvino and his family. I agreed to believe a ghost can invade and control peoples’ bodies and minds, as well as live in the walls and mirrors of houses. I did NOT sign up to read 600 pages of Leave it to Beaver: The Haunted House Episode.

Not a single member of this family has even the slightest character flaw. The wife is a commercially successful painter yet still manages to homeschool her kids while maintaining a perfect marriage. Oh, and like ANY respectable artist, she’s great with a shotgun. Calvino himself is a homicide detective, but always home in time for dinner! The kids are all sickeningly wholesome. The prepubescent boy, who’s ALSO a talented artist, sketches only the nose of the girl he’s crushing on. Riiiight. And the girls are even worse. At age 11 and 8 they think in four syllable words. They’re so perfect, in fact, that they seem to be the only five people in the world that Blackwood’s soul can’t infiltrate. They’re too “pure”.  (Apparently the 12-year-old boy he tapped in the novel’s opening to murder his family while savagely raping his sister wasn’t quite so virtuous.)

Did I mention the 8-year-old kid sees dead people, Sixth Sense style? Well neither did Koontz until three quarters of the way through the story, but by that time you’ll be wishing so hard for the ghost to brutally murder each and every one of these Earth angels that you won’t care. In fact half way through this butt fruit of a book you wouldn’t be surprised if our happy family went tap dancing on the moon. Although perhaps they DID, but were abducted by aliens and the government had to brainwash them so they wouldn’t remember. I smell a sequel!

What I’m trying to say is, don’t waste your time with this piece of shit unless you’re running low on toilet paper and it happens to be lying around. Although it would be a shame to get a rectal paper cut from such putrid pages. I solemnly vow to never pick up a Koontz novel again…. unless, of course, the army of aliens erases my memory. Those rascally bastards are everywhere!

 

GRADE: D-


The Walking Dead video game

 

So, after a few years of being the best comic around, and more recently a popular (though mediocre) TV show, we are finally getting a Walking Dead video game!

Set in the same universe as the comics, with graphics inspired by Charlie Adlard’s distinctive art style, the new game from Tell-Tale claims to be a more story-driven zombie game experience.
You play as new character Lee Everett during the beginning of the zombie outbreak, and the events of the first episode take place at the time Rick Grimes is still in a coma.


The makers of the game, and comic writer Robert Kirkman himself, describe it as a cerebral zombie adventure, where every choice you make affects the outcome of the story in very different ways.



It sounds interesting to say the least. Although I really hope the gameplay involves more than taking the batteries out of a radio and turning them around to “fix” it for the helpless NPC’s populating the story.

The game is being released in an interesting way, at least. It will consist of five monthly episodes, downloadable on your PC, PS3, or XBox. $5 per episode, or the whole package for $20.
It is a bold experiment, to be sure, and after watching these videos, I am currently downloading the demo on my PS3 to give it a try for myself. I will report back soon with my hands-on impression.
What are your thoughts on this game, students?


Cabin In The Woods

 


Hello, class. Biscuits here.
I just got back from watching this one at the theater, and all I can say is wow!
I don’t even know where to start.

This film claims to be something new and different, aiming to re-vitalize horror films by changing the game up on us. To take the well-used scenario of a group of teenagers spending the weekend isolated in the woods, and turn it into something new. It succeeds on all fronts.

It is difficult to describe this film without ruining it for you guys, but I will give it a try.

It opens with two middle-aged scientist types trading clever dialogue back and forth, bustling to their job and making mention of “something big” in the works. From the opening scene, the audience is thrown off-balance, this being such a stark contrast to what we were expecting. It works to get us thinking from the beginning. Right off the bat, the film-makers let us know this is not what you thought it was.

Then we quickly cut to the typical modern horror set-up, meeting our likeable victims and following them to the titular Cabin. Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Jesse Williams and Fran Kranz fill the five usual archetypes of a horror movie like this – Dana the virgin, Curt the jock, Jules the slut, Holden the brains and Marty the stoner… only those roles aren’t exactly as we’ve always come to know them.

The story of their creepy weekend in the woods unfolds pretty much as would be expected in a typical horror film. The trick of the film is, every few minutes we get glimpses of the machinations behind all those stereotypes, in very clever cut-scenes to the scientists. Little by little, what is really going on is revealed, to the audience first and eventually to the surviving characters.

By the time the third act arrives and the worlds collide, it is nearly impossible not to look at the screen without a grin from ear to ear. The finale is packed with such deranged insanity, I wonder if anyone will ever be able to top it in terms of pure mayhem.

It is great fun to take this ride, and the script is very clever and well-written. It has been described as a love-letter to horror fans, and the winks to us along with references to easily-recognizable classics are plentiful. I believe there are even more layers to this film, but we will discuss them in a later class, after all of you have done your homework and seen this new classic.

In fact, us horror geeks that constantly whine and complain about remakes and sequels should consider it their duty to see and support Cabin In The Woods, which is a truly unique milestone for horror in film. It is not only a film with something new and different to offer, but it’s script even provides the answers as to why there are so many remakes and sequels if you pay close enough attention.

We, the movie geeks of the world, are the Old Gods, and we demand a sacrifice.

Grade : A

Faithfully submitted by Darth Biscuits.

 


The Walking Dead : Books vs. TV

I have been a huge follower of the Walking Dead for years now, it was in fact the graphic series that brought me back into the world of modern comics. I have the whole series bagged and boarded in my mom’s garage in Florida right now (I hope). Despite a very irregular publishing schedule in the early days, my son and I always looked forward to new comic Wednesdays, hoping for the next chapter in the story of the Walking Dead.

I was such a fan, I even read the lengthy letter column every issue, interested that the writer Robert Kirkman took the time to thoughtfully (or humorously) answer every question posed him by his fans. He gives great insight into his ideas for the story in those responses, and I always found them intriguing.

This  article will refer only to season 1 of the show, since I haven’t yet seen the 2nd season, and really wasn’t too keen on it, until I read Kimmy Karnage’s excited review of the finale here http://horrorhomework.com/blog/?p=1396.

Ok, here we go!
5 reasons the Walking Dead TV series is inferior to the Walking Dead comic books :

1. Black and White.

Right off the bat, the first mistake they made was not presenting this in black-and-white. It would have been a bold move for a modern TV series, and could have been used to great effect, as it is in the books.

The artwork in the books is amazing, particularly in the first issues, drawn by Tony Moore. The black, white and grey help to set the tone, and give the book that great classic cinematic flair.

When Tony Moore moved on to write and draw his own great series Fear Agent, Charlie Adlard took over art duties with a distinctly different style that was still used to great effect without color. Adlard has drawn all the issues since #6, to my knowledge.

Black and white would have truly helped the atmosphere and starkness of this story on the screen as well. It is, after all, a defining feature of the source material.

2. The characters are all wrong.

One of the things Robert Kirkman said over and over again in those old letters columns was that the Walking Dead story was not about zombies, but about the characters, and the different ways they choose to react to the horrific situation they find themselves in.

If you aren’t even going to bother staying true to the characters that were well-written, why bother with the adaptation in the first place? Just call it something else, and poof! You have a new story. I mean the core idea of a zombie apocalypse is not exactly original, but the selling point is your original characters and situations in this frame-work.

Robert Kirkman knew this when he was writing the original books. In fact, he said from the beginning that his goal was to write a zombie story that didn’t have to end after 2 hours,  because he found he was always curious what happened to the characters after the credits rolled on Night Of The Living Dead.

So, Rick is pretty well done, but that is only because his character starts off as the do-gooder, generic hero archetype. He goes to very dark places in the books, which I am sure we will never see on network TV.

T-Dog? Um, is that seriously supposed to be Tyreese? No fucking way. Take one of the toughest characters ever written and turn him into background noise…
I will never understand the logic here.

Merle and Darryl, what is the point? Although it is always nice to see Michael Rooker chewing on scenery, that contrived scene of him being left handcuffed on the roof-top and having to saw off his own hand = snoozeville. Boring, lazy and just a stupid side-plot that was never even resolved that I know of.

 

3. Shane.

Which brings us to Shane. His character is completely wrong.
Not only does he look much less physically imposing, he hardly acts like the complex character he is meant to be.


Add to that the way they monkeyed with his story-line to keep some love triangle drama going on to entertain the soccer moms, and they have pretty much destroyed his excellent story arc from the books.
As I understand it, they finally killed him off in the second season, but his demise would have made a much more effective first season finale, but we will get to that later.

4. Vatos.

Out of the incredibly short six episode run, one episode in particular stood out as a complete waste of time. It was (I think) the fourth episode, entitled “Vatos”.
You might remember it as the “gangsters with a heart of gold” sub-plot, where all these tough gang-banging thugs were really just threatening to kill our heroes to protect a nursing home filled with elderly people. This episode was just irrelevant and insulting, and completely unbelievable.
I was actually really angry at this silly pointless waste of an hour.

5. The 1st Season Finale.

Here is the worst crime against the story.
A complete change of the plot and actual point of the source material. The focus in the final episode becomes the search for answers to why the zombie outbreak happened.

This is something that the writer Robert Kirkman was explicitly against when he created his series. He wrote around that, and made it his mission NOT to try and explain where the zombies came from, just how his creations deal with them. This is one of the most attractive things about the story, the fact that he leaves this ambiguous.

Because somethings just ARE.
Sometimes shit just happens, and no one knows why.
That is where the comic series is most effective, because it’s focus stays on it’s characters and their immediate survival, not on the larger universe. It is a common thing in horror fiction of today to over-explain everything, and the season finale of the Walking Dead went directly against every thought that created it to begin with.

Who is responsible?

I blame the director, Frank Darabont.
He has a history of fucking with the adaptations that he has done, and some of them have been very popular. His adaptation of the Shawshank Redemption is somehow everyone’s favorite movie, same goes with his version of the Green Mile.
He is a director that has proven to be bankable and trustworthy to the suits, and I think it is possible that he thinks he knows best. And the producers are probably letting him do his own thing, since it has proven to be a great success on cable.
Oh well, at least I still have the books to entertain me…
And to all of you fans of the show, do yourself a favor and pick up the paperback or hardcover collections for a much more satisfying experience.

Walking Dead graphic novels – Grade : A

Walking Dead AMC season 1 – Grade : C



The Walking Dead Season Finale

I’ve heard people say The Walking Dead is arguably the best show on TV right now; but I have to ask, what the fuck is there to argue about?? The competition isn’t exactly “stiff”; I’d say the flesh-eating cadavers bumble away with the title easily. I understand those that are committed to the comics are split on their opinions of the show, but having never opened a comic book in my life I salute AMC for producing the only show I’ll admit to watching in real time… commercial hell and all. (Speaking of which: Hey Kevin Smith—STOP IT.)

This season grew tiresome in a few spots. The hunt for Sophia, the ordeal with the prisoner—but both plotlines still managed to turn around and slap me in the snatch with their solutions. Oh, Sophia… the first time I ever cried during a show about zombies. Why couldn’t it have been Carl?!? That little turd needs a good zombie-chompin’, as do his parents. “I know we’re in the midst of the god damn apocalypse, but I think we should give our prepubescent son a loaded gun and then never account for his whereabouts. That’s a GREAT idea!” And that little shithead is the reason Dale died—which ALMOST made me cry for a second time this season. I’ve found that people who liked Dale didn’t like Shane and vice versa, but it’s all a moot point now since both became the proud recipients of mercy bullets through their brains.

But that’s the point, right? I mean, from Romero to Shaun of the Dead, not much changes from movie to movie, show to show, or book to book about zombies. Sometimes it’s a disease, other times a comet passed a little too close to Earth, but otherwise zombies are pretty much the same. They make guttural noises, stumble around like they’re traveling between a bar and the local Denny’s at 3:00 AM in a college town, and feed on human flesh. Sometimes just brains, but I guess those are like the vegans of zombieville. Damn snobs.  Anyway, what makes the story infectious is the survivors, and having people argue about Rick vs. Shane or Dale vs. Shane or Herschel vs. Shane just proves The Walking Dead is doing its job. (And that Shane was a douchebag.)

That being said, I hesitate to express my “issues” with the finale. Every time this show has made me roll my eyes in the past, it’s fully redeemed itself and more—usually in the same episode.  I’m sure they’ll address the concerns left behind by the Season 2 finale and blow my mind again in the fall. But until then, these things are flooding my RV’s engine:

Rick—a dick?? While he gained a tiny bit of respect from me this season by finally taking off that god awful cop uniform, he remained an annoying twatwaffle with a stupid wife and a dumb kid. However, from the beginning his character has been about doing the “right thing” and looking out for others, as well as Shatner-esque dramatic stares into nowhere until the camera finally pans away (without the Shatner sex appeal, unfortunately.) So why did he go all Kim Jong Il with his “This is NOT a democracy” crap when he could’ve just told the TRUTH– that Shane lured him out into the wilderness (which was a few hours walk but within sight of the farmhouse, another dar moment) to murder him, so he had to turn and kill his so-called best friend in self-defense? Hell of a time to pick to lie, dipshit. Now everyone hates you just as much as the viewers do. Good job, fuckface.

Second Season rules change? Speaking of Rick’s lying, I’m not sure if the scientist at the CDC actually told him that every human carried the “zombie virus” and that people who die of any cause would become flesh devouring monsters (all that really sticks with me from the first season was the horse scene), but even if I give the show the benefit of a doubt that this conversation did take place, how come the wannabe thugs that Rick, Glen, and Herschel gunned down in the bar didn’t come back to gnaw at them? They stayed holed up in that bar for possibly hours; Shane came back within minutes. I give this gaping plot hole a giant W T F ?

The zombie whisperer. I’m of course talking about the hooded figure with the armless pet zombies that came to Andrea’s rescue. Whaaaat? Those uppity comic book fans probably already know all about this guy/girl, but us lowly television viewers are wondering what the shit is this?!? Whoever the dickhead is, their introduction was… well, stupid. I didn’t see if the figure had two hands, but I’ve heard a couple different fans theorize that this could be Daryl’s brother, Merle, that was abandoned on a rooftop in Atlanta in the first season. If this turns out to be the case I will pitch poop at my TV. If you can leave a moronic redneck handcuffed to a zombie-infested rooftop in an inner city overrun by monsters, and he not only lives but manages to make those zombies his bitches AND shows up in the very place where his brother has become incredibly awesome without him… well, then how did every other idiot on Earth get pulled apart by these boorish beasts? If saving civilization was that fucking easy someone should’ve just called Dog the Bounty Hunter. Not to mention, if it is Merle, he appears to have grown a nice set of tits.

Your move, AMC…. and I can’t wait to see what you do.

Note: After writing this I checked into the new character (Yes I research AFTER I write, shut up) and the reason those who theorized Merle as the keeper of the undead are still alive is they have no brains to be eaten. But I kind of wish it was him now. Damn it.


Tucker & Dale vs…. a plot.

After months of being hyped as the best movie streaming on Netflix (which is the equivalent of being dubbed the sweetest smelling turd in the toilet—or smeared on the wall, if you happen to be using a public crapper) I finally gave in and watched Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010).

The premise: A group of bratty college kids take a camping trip into Deliverance country, where they encounter bumbling bumpkins Tucker and Dale. When the kids start dying off one by one they suspect the aforementioned hillbillies as murderous masterminds and hilarity ensues.

For the most part, the flick lives up to its reputation. Alan Tudyk is brilliant as Tucker. Well, as brilliant as one can be when portraying a backwoods buffoon, but Tucker’s antics and accidents are the highlight of the film. Tyler Labine’s Dale, the redneck rendition of an idiot savant, is laughable and lovable enough from the start but loses some of his charm as the movie drudges on.

The only likable spoiled college kid is Chloe, the big-breasted blonde with the hooker shoes, and probably only for those reasons I just stated.  (Extra Credit: Chloe is played by Chelan Simmons, who’s first movie role was Laurie Ann Winterbarger, the little girl killed in the opening sequence of the 1990 TV Miniseries IT.) The lack of likability in the liberal arts majors is perfectly acceptable, since most of them end up as corpses anyway. It would spoil the side-splitting slaughterfest if we became emotionally attached to the victims.

This is mostly a refreshingly new take on the age-old tale of horny rich kids embarking on an odyssey of debauchery into the wilderness only to be gruesomely slayed. However the writers did get more than a little lazy when two different kids at different times meet their death by being impaled by tree branches. This isn’t Slingblade; repetition doesn’t work here.

I’m sure I’ve been spoiled by the golden standard set for horr-coms (comedorrors? Horredies? Shut up.) by the never-boring Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, which I realize is an unfair rubric by which to judge a movie’s worth. However, Tucker & Dale spent nearly an hour living up to the genius of the genre (whatever the fuck that genre is called), but when the fun faded it faded FAST.

Do yourself a favor and turn this movie off with ½ hour left so you can remember it for the cleverness it displays before it commits filmocide by attempting way too late to force a plot, turning the whole thing to a steaming pile of shit. Coincidence is what built the movie; diabolical deliberateness destroys it. Why add a villain to a film that thrived without one? I don’t want to spoil it for you (because the writers already did that) but there’s a damsel in distress scene that looks like it was lifted straight from a Bugs Bunny cartoon, only without the likability or comic relief.

Overall, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil was a good movie that would have been great if it had just continued the haphazard flow that made it work so flawlessly in the first place. So watch the first hour and then turn it off, while you’re still happy. The only chuckle-worthy part you’ll be missing (Hint: Beyonce would demand a ring to be put on it) isn’t worth the torture.

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