It’s hard to believe that it’s been an entire decade since Tucker & Dale vs. Evil first debuted at Sundance, but in the ten subsequent years, it’s safe to say that this film has gained the rank of cult classic.
Between its complete subversion of tropes, strong characters, creative/bloody kills, and brilliant sense of humor, this movie will definitely be fondly remembered for decades to come! So in honor of its 10th anniversary today, we thought it would be fun to look at 10 fun facts about Tucker & Dale vs. Evil:
1. One of the movie’s strongest themes deals with stereotypes and how we perceive others. Co-writer/director Eli Craig even jokingly referred to it as a docudrama, because growing up, he and his father would go to cabins and enjoy fishing and other “backwoods” activities.
As Craig watched many horror classics like The Hills Have Eyes, Wrong Turn, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, he noticed that the backwoods people were always monstrous and villainous. So he wanted to portray them as ordinary people and even subvert their usual fear-inducing cliché.
2. When co-writers Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson were brainstorming ideas, they came up two scenes, long before they had characters, or even much of a plot. These two scenes were one of the rednecks wielding a chainsaw while being chased by bees, and the other was of course the iconic wood chipper scene.
3. Before shooting began, Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine spent time rehearsing, as well as just hanging out and bonding with each other. This made their chemistry on set all that much better. And they even reunited in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency several years later.
4. The design for Tucker and Dale’s cabin was based on both Evil Dead and Wrong Turn. Eli Craig showed production designer John Blackie pictures of both and asked he could make a hybrid of them.
5. In keeping with the theme of subverting tropes, Craig wanted the leading man to be the more heavyset, scruffy character, because they’re usually relegated to sidekick status. Because of this, he made the Dale the main character, and cast Tyler Labine based on his work on the TV series Invasion.
6. According to star Katrina Bowden, Eli Craig’s experience as an actor really helped with directing, because he truly understood the actors’ mindset, and was thus better able to direct them. This is all the more impressive, considering this was his feature directorial debut.
7. Following its debut at Sundance, the film really struggled to find distribution. According to Eli Craig, this was because it wasn’t quite indie or mainstream enough to fit in either category. Likewise, it’s also much too bloody to fit in with comedy, and much too hilarious to fit in with horror.
8. Sadly, its struggles continued at the box office, as Tucker & Dale vs. Evil didn’t even make back it’s $5 million production budget. This was despite receiving excellent reviews. It was highly acclaimed by Roger Ebert himself, who was usually very harsh on horror (especially slashers).
9. On the DVD, there is a bonus feature that allows you to watch the film from the college students’ point of view, complete with Tucker and Dale as complete psychopaths. It plays out much closer to a typical slasher film.
10. There has been talk about a sequel for years, but sadly this has never come to fruition. According to a 2017 interview with Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine, there was a scrip written but it wasn’t deemed “good enough” so it was shelved indefinitely.
They’ve both said they’d love to return to these characters, but only if the script was as good, if not better than the original.
Given how awesome this movie is, it’s unlikely we’ll ever get a sequel that could live up to it, and perhaps it’s for the better if they never make it.
What do you like most about Tucker & Dale vs. Evil?! Let us know in the comments below! And for more reviews, rankings, and other fun horror content, follow Halloween Year-Round on Facebook and Twitter!