What’s the biggest misunderstanding you’ve been involved in recently? Did you tell your spouse that you wanted a Whopper Jr. when they brought dinner home one evening only to be presented with a Whopper, only to laugh about how that’s just too much Whopper? Did the Russian agency misread your application and send you a dude and not a woman despite the fact that the online form isn’t clear and you thought you were marking your own gender and not the gender you were requesting and how dare they take the position that this is your fault? Are a bunch of college co-eds under the belief you’ve kidnapped and are going to murder their friend when in reality you and your friend rescued her and are trying to help?
That last one is the premise of Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil. Likely every bit as corny as it sounds, the movie stars Alan Tudyk (Wash from “Firefly”) as Tucker and Tyler Labine as Dale, two hillbilly types who have a very bad day. One night they spy a group of young people skinny dipping in the same bayou they’re fishing in. When one of the young ladies (Katrina Bowden) hurts herself they fish her out of the water and save her life. But her friends think they’ve kidnapped her and try to rescue her. But all their attempts end badly and the body count grows and grows, despite Tucker and Dale’s best intentions.
The one official release poster (there were some early promotional ones and such) is pretty simple. It just shows Tucker and Dale looking unintentionally menacing while wielding a chainsaw and an axe while a scantily clad Bowden is off to the side looking scared. There’s a hidden figure in the background and a beer hanging off the title by its plastic ring. It’s clearly tongue-in-cheek but might not actually go far enough in selling the comedy here, even with the “Evil just messed with the wrong hillbillies” copy at the top.
Around the time of its Sundance 2010 debut a production trailer of sorts was released that laid out the basic idea of the plot and the story. We see just what kind of antics the characters get in to and it certainly conveys the off-kilter sense of humor that the movie has.
The first official trailer was a red-band version that hit some of the same notes as the previous footage. We start off very much like a stereotypical horror movie, as a band of teens drives through the woods and goes skinny-dipping. When Tucker and Dale try to save one of the girls that fell in the water and was hurt things start to go wrong, though. Each kid who tries to “rescue” the girl from what they assume to be the evil clutches of the two guys winds up getting accidentally killed in some outrageous fashion, from shooting themselves in the head to accidentally jumping into a wood chipper. Tucker and Dale are just trying to help them, but all their actions are misinterpreted, leading a series of craziness that pokes holes in many of the horror genre’s standard plot points. It’s funny, it’s crazy and it’s obvious that Tudyk continues to rule just about anything he does.
An all ages version that was 99.5 similar to that red-band one was released a short time later.
The movie’s official website isn’t exactly a huge effort but does get the point across alright. The main attraction here is the trailer, which plays in the middle of the page. The Red Band Trailer is also available as a choice along the top menu bar along with a Photo Gallery, Press Kit and plenty of options to find Theaters and Buy Tickets.
Below the video player is a brief synopsis of the movie’s story and a list of the primary cast and crew.
The movie’s Facebook page has updates on the limited publicity and press the movie achieved along with photos, videos and more. That includes encouragement to watch the movie on VOD, use the “Demand It” feature to try and get it to your town and a GetGlue check-in app that shows who has or wants to see the movie.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
Nothing here. I don’t think I even saw any online advertising.
Media and Publicity
The movie, as mentioned above, had its coming out at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival where it received a lot of praise for its zany attitude and original story. But unfortunately it then languished for over a year and a half without a deal before Magnet Releasing finally picked it up for distribution and announced a VOD/theatrical release plan for the film.
It then had a small appearance at Comic-Con 2011, where some of the cast appeared and the red-band trailer mentioned above was shown.
Like I said when discussing the poster, I kind of think the ridiculousness isn’t pushed quite far enough in the campaign. The red band trailer comes close, as does some of the festival-related material. But most everything else seems to not push the boundaries and instead makes it seem like just a funny take on an actual horror movie instead of an out and out spoof and over-the-top comedy, which I think is what the movie actually is. There’s good stuff here but it all doesn’t come together in a full and complete way like I’d kind of hoped it would.