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The release of TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL has been a long
time coming, but the horror/comedy that cracked up audiences and won rave
reviews (including ours)
at festivals over the last couple of years is finally hitting theaters starting
tomorrow, September 30 from Magnolia Pictures’ Magnet Releasing arm. Fango
caught up with Tucker and Dale themselves, actors Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine,
to chat about the film.
Tucker and Dale are just a couple of likable yokels headed
for a vacation at Tucker’s new fixer-upper of a cabin deep in a forest. On the
way, they run into a bunch of cleancut college kids headed for the same area,
and there the misunderstandings and bloodshed begin, as director/co-writer Eli
Craig inverts every cliché of the killers-in-the-woods genre. Find out where
the movie will be playing here,
and read on for the stars’ take on this bloody sleeper…
FANGORIA: TUCKER & DALE is a few years old at this
TYLER LABINE: A couple. Let’s not get carried away here [laughs]!
FANG: The film blends genres so well—it’s a nice hybrid of
horror and comedy. Was it what you thought it would be once you got into
LABINE: It ended up being what I’d always hoped it would be.
When I met with Eli and read the script, I was blown away. It was knock-you-on-your-ass
funny and clever, and I really wanted to do something like this. I met with
Eli, and we were totally on the same page.
When we got there and started shooting, conditions were [laughs]
rough. No money, no time, pages were being pulled and budget was changing as we
were shooting. Alan and I had a few long car rides home where we were like,
“What the f**k are we doing?” We would have one take of things, and I would be
like, “Did I even do that right?”
One thing that was obvious was that Alan and I were having a
bit of a bromance. We had good chemistry and knew something good was going on
with Tucker and Dale. We didn’t shoot with the college kids; their stuff was
shot separately. When we finished it up, I thought we’d never see it again.
ALAN TUDYK: We had no idea. When we saw the cut, it was like
wow, all the hopes from when we started came rushing back.
LABINE: I was always excited to see this one.
TUDYK: With low-budget movies, you have to shoot so fast and
get so much in a day, that on the way home to the hotel we would be checking it
off. “What did we do today? There was some good stuff in that little bit…”
LABINE: “We can cut into this for your coverage…” We were
trying to piece together the movie.
TUDYK: We were trying to remember what we had done, because
it was so run-and-gun, it was tough to know.
LABINE: Which is a real testament to Eli Craig—just the fact
that he obviously knew what he was doing despite the fact that we would be
thinking, “What is going on?” Sometimes he would have the time to explain, and
other times he would be like, “Shut up. We got it.” He is a bit of a mad
FANG: The blood and gore was something new for both of you.
How did you deal with those elements?
LABINE: It honestly didn’t feel like that until later into
the shoot. We shot a lot of the stuff with the cabin, the fishing trip and all
TUDYK: For a good third of the movie, we are oblivious to
the fact that the kids are dying, until right around when we get ambushed and
we see death happen inches from our faces and get covered in blood. God it was
fun. I had this dummy I had to drag around…
LABINE: Oh, and you had to drag it over my face, remember?
They were like, “More blood! More blood!”—just covering this torso with it.
Then they said, “All right, Tyler, get under it, and Alan, drag it right over
his face.” It was a lot of fun. Like playing.
TUDYK: It really was. Pretending to shake around like the
woodchipper was on while two jets squirted blood in your face.
LABINE: We just had to make the action happen with those
dummies. We weren’t dealing with any resistance. When he fell in the pit on top
of me, we’d set the whole rig up where he was hanging over my face. They had us
in that pit for a long time, and they’d raise him up and lower him down. Once
in a while Katrina [Bowden] would get in and join the pit. Everything was
freezing cold and we were in the pit for four hours and they kept calling for
more blood. It was fun.
TUDYK: Lying in a bloody pit for four hours while a guy
bleeds all over you. That’s fun!
LABINE: They were like, “Can you bleed into his mouth?”
FANG: Did you watch anything to prep for this?
TUDYK: I looked at a lot of [other movies] and realized it
wasn’t my job to do that, other than to understand the genre more and maybe
find things to exploit. It was really the college kids’ point of view of these
crazed hillbillies. For us it was just good ol’ boys. Watching a fishing show
would be better research for my character. I’d watch the fifth rape in some
awful movie that had incest and the mother is sleeping with her kids and
there’s a pipe between a girl’s legs and…
LABINE: I don’t remember the name. It was just something
made to gross people out. Stuff didn’t even make sense. It was a girl getting
raped on a tree while her head gets cut off and she’s slowly dying. Stuff that
was just bad.
TUDYK: Wait. Our movie deals with hillbillies who rape a
girl in the woods, so it isn’t that far removed…
LABINE: Ours is funny rape. It is funny, tasteful rape [laughs].
TUDYK: Our rape has a payoff at the end that’s hysterical
LABINE: And one of the best lines in the film…
TUDYK: The main thing with Eli approaching this type of
movie was how the humor was going to work and how we were going to deal with
the deaths. We didn’t want it to be a SCARY MOVIE type of thing, winking at the
camera and sending it up. The humor comes from the reality of the situation.
You have someone dealing with these insane events, like people jumping into
woodchippers and dying all over the place, and trying to wrap his head around
it and losing his mind.
LABINE: It was a really fun tone to play with. I can’t
imagine any other way to deal with it. It was a tricky line to walk, but it was
really fun. That elevated sense of danger the whole time. We’re being terrorized
by these college kids. If it was done poorly, the whole thing would be just a
bit. If our characters became one-note right off the bat, it wouldn’t work.
FANG: Tell me about your interests in the genre. You have
both worked in it a little in the past.
LABINE: I think Alan is more of a recognizable figure in
TUDYK: SERENITY is big with fans because it was such a
short-lived show, and the fans were instrumental in getting it made into a
movie. I was in I, ROBOT and the latest TRANSFORMERS, but SERENITY is what I am
best-known for in that community.
LABINE: I had someone ask me why I am drawn to sci-fi and
horror, and I was like, “Am I?” Then they started going through my shows, and
it was like, “DEAD LAST, yeah…CANADIAN ZOMBIE, yeah…INVASION…REAPER…” I guess I
am just drawn to this other world where you can get more creative and feel
freer. As far as horror goes, I did a movie called EVIL ALIEN CONQUERORS, about
aliens taking over the world and killing everybody. It’s where the most fun work
FANG: You mentioned reading FANGORIA when you were younger…
LABINE: When I was about 22, this great woman in Vancouver
opened a true independent bookstore called Biz Books for people in the
industry, and she had an awesome magazine selection up at the front. It was
full of these great subversive mags you normally only see under someone’s
mattress or whatever, and there was FANGORIA. I have always loved the art on
your covers, and that logo! I really got into it.
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