Released two months ago amid no flurry of any sort, “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” is a fine example of young talent — in this case, director/co-writer Eli Craig — finding yet one more way to freshen up a seemingly exhausted genre. The form in this case is “city folks (frequently college kids) are terrorized and/or brutally murdered by inbred, slack-jawed yokels, but what did these morons expect, driving out to the middle of nowhere?” “Deliverance” and “Straw Dogs” are the upscale end of a continuum that moves downward to “I Spit on Your Grave” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
The difference this time is that four minutes in, we switch from the collegians' point of view to that of Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine), the yokels. T & D turn out to be sweet, harmless guys, but every time they try to make the kids aware of this, circumstances make them seem even more threatening. And every time one of the kids suffers a bloody death through his own klutziness, the others blame T & D and escalate their attacks on the hapless duo.
The new video release is a decent transfer, with the usual extras: a commentary track with Craig, Labine and Tudyk; a 12-minute making-of; some trailers and outtakes; and a 17-minute compilation of shots, telling the story strictly from the college kids' perspective. There's also a five-minute promotional short, almost every moment of which was recycled in the making-of film: utterly redundant.
“Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” (Magnolia Home Entertainment, Blu-ray, $29.98; DVD, $26.98)
ANDY KLEIN is the film critic for Marquee. He can also be heard on “FilmWeek” on KPCC-FM (89.3).Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times