Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil Vs. Staci Layne Wilson - Exclusive Interviews

Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil Vs. Staci Layne Wilson - Exclusive Interviews
Eli Craig, Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine talk Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil
Updated: 09-21-2011


by Staci Layne Wilson
The comedy of errors begins when harmless hayseed Dale (Tyler Labine) takes a shine to a gorgeous young camper, and his best bud Tucker (Alan Tudyk) talks him into going up and talking to her. Only problem is, Dale in his nervousness adopts a maniacal giggle and forgets that he just happens to be holding a razor-sharp scythe. (All of this, of course, happens at a lonely country gas station, with the rednecks' rusty pickup truck parked nearby.) Allison (Katrina Bowden) and her friends are quickly convinced that they're being stalked as prey… they're not, but they do begin to die, one by one, in various and grisly ways.
Meanwhile, Tucker and Dale are convinced that these crazy kids have come to the woods to off themselves in some sort of a suicide pact. All they want is to be left in peace in their summer vacation home (i.e., rundown cabin in the sticks), but that is not to be as the college students fall into a wood-chipper, get impaled on handy branches, shoot, and otherwise accidentally maim or kill themselves.
The movie is incredibly gory and gruesome — and humorous, too!
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Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil Exclusive Interview - Alan Tudyk
QUESTION: As Tucker, you actually have one of the more physical roles of this film, wouldn't you agree?
Alan Tudyk: Yes. Yes I do. I mean, it is a physical role for sure.
Is it true you had to hang upside down for days to shoot that one scene?
Alan Tudyk: Oh god, that's right. It wasn't for days, it was for hours. It was a day. But for a good portion of it. It was tough, my head swelled up for a couple of days afterward and I had headaches. I couldn't think very straight for a while. It was wild. I was surprised. I thought it was supposed to help you. Don't yoga people hang upside down? I wasn't built for that.
You shouldn’t try the oxygen bar then.
Alan Tudyk: No? Oxygen would have been good. Just no hang upside down bar!
What you think when you first read this script? It had already been in development for awhile, and you kind of came on a little bit late, right?
Alan Tudyk: I read it… first of all, I didn't think it was going to work as I read it I was thinking, because it's misunderstanding for the kids they see the deaths, and they think it's us doing it every time. And then when we see them, it's something else and I was like he's (director Eli Craig) not going to be able to keep that level of misunderstanding of not knowing what's actually happening up and cops are going to have to be called at some point. And the cops were called. And then it moves the story along, and I really liked how it all went and when it was all done I was like wow! So when I talked to Eli, the main thing I wanted to know was how he was going to play the deaths. To the characters was a going to be like “whoops somebody died” or was it going to be people reacting as real as possible. To some pretty extreme circumstances that if somebody were to jump into the wood chipper. How would that affect you emotionally? Very real.
What do you draw from in your own private experience for some of these things, right?
Alan Tudyk: Luckily that's happened to me. It was a cousin. Not a favorite cousin. So, you know, it was similar.
What would you do with family, right? At least, that's what Leatherface always said. Now, prior to having done this film were you familiar with all the clichés like the Friday the 13th movies and Halloween and all of those?
Alan Tudyk: Now, I don't really watch a lot of horror movies. I get scared easy and I end up watching them like this [covers eyes] and I just feel foolish. Don't tell anybody I said that. My God, I did watch a lot of Hills Have Eyes type things and Wrong Turn, because that's what this movie is based on Wrong Turn, Wrong Turn 2, Hills Have Eyes.
Those are more brutal than Friday the 13th.
Alan Tudyk: Yeah. They're much more brutal. It's college kids who go to a cabin in the woods and they get eaten by hillbillies and raped and it's shocking. And awful lake houses in all these movies. There's a lot of very violent death and that's what we were spoofing. It was amazing [how well it turned out]. I was watching them and watching them. And I stopped at a certain point after Hills Have Eyes 2 and said I can't watch this crap anymore. It's hurting my brain and I realized that I shouldn't be watching it anyway. The college kids need to watch it. So I gave it all to those actors and said, “you need to watch this because this is what you are seeing the world as I'm seeing it as a vacation gone wrong.”
The 'vacation home' scene is so funny in the beginning of Tucker & Dale.
Alan Tudyk: Yeah. It's our vacation home and it's just a matter of perspective. And so maybe it would be more appropriate to watch fishing shows, then to watch horror movies basically.
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Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil Exclusive Interview - Eli Craig
QUESTION: Tell me a little bit about how you decided to make a combination horror/comedy movie? 
Eli Craig: I just felt like it was time to stick up for the hillbillies, you know. You know they've been just picked on as like the slashing backwoods killers, that if you're a college kid and you hike around in the middle of nowhere in Virginia, most likely one of these hillbillies is going to slashing to pieces and stitch your face onto his. And I come from a long line of hillbillies. I do, I mean I'm a half-hillbilly. Just my father’s half. So I just thought it was time to set the record straight. And I meanwhile, definitely. There are many hillbillies that are evil. I mean, maybe even most of them will kill you in the woods. Not all of them.
But you resisted the dueling banjos somehow.
Eli Craig: I kind of tried to fight the dueling banjos theme. I do have some dueling chainsaws, but I figured it was time for an update of that old thing and the reality is that rednecks are cool. So at least I think so.
I understand that you were a big fan Tyler Labine, before casting him. He's not really a household name, so how'd you first see his work?
Eli Craig: I was, I was. I watched a lot of the Reaper TV series and in fact I would say Tyler was cast from Reaper. And I just thought why is he not in the entire episode, because like in every show he would steal each scene. And so I thought it would just be fun to take a character actor like Tyler and make him be the lead and carry the weight of the show and even quiet him down sometimes because he's so quick and witty and just like you know what it's Alans turn to be quick and witty and your turn to be just kind of the lead.
Good job.
Eli Craig: Thank you. I appreciate that. Did you watch it?
I just saw it the other day, and I really enjoyed it although I think the guy in front of us passed out. But I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it would be another Scary Movie or Scream type comedy, you know, like winking at the audience.
Eli Craig: I tried to not do too much of that.
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Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil Exclusive Interview - Morgan Jurgenson
QUESTION: I saw the movie the other day, after having heard so much about it. I wasn't disappointed, even though I'd heard a lot of the buzz already. Which is unusual. How does it feel as the writer and producer of something like this, to go up to bat with so many expectations? 
Morgan Jurgenson: It's great the fans are really coming out for it and the Internet buzz has been astonishing. Every screening gets better and better, and it's a little crazy.
These horror spoofs are certainly nothing new, I mean there Scream and then a Scary Movie and stuff, but yours has just a little bit different sort of nuance to it. How did you set the tone through this? Was it in the writing or was it in the actual working days or in the editing room?
Morgan Jurgenson: In all of that, definitely all that. It definitely started with the writing and then we were lucky enough to find the cast that could deliver.
Tyler and Alan were amazing.
Morgan Jurgenson: Amazing, and all the others even down to the college kids. It's just like everyone got the tone and Eli and I had an advantage… writing the script that to write with the director. So he was able to keep that tone throughout the writing and throughout making a movie.
Someone told me he was funnier than you are. Would you agree?
Morgan Jurgenson: Depends what day of the week.
I'm curious to know at this cast that your two main protagonists, how did you find them? 
Morgan Jurgenson: Yeah. It all started out with independent filmmaking. You start looking at who you can get and what was great was that Eli had already set his eyes on Tyler and he had been a fan of Reaper. And I was too and of Invasion and other things that we had seen. So Tyler was always in our minds and then it became a possibility that we could get him. And so we locked him in and that was great. And then with Alan, Alan actually came in just a few days before production began, and it was just amazing. The chemistry they didn't know each other and they met a day before we started shooting and only had a couple hours to rehearse, and when they showed up the next day on set they were like best friends for years, and it really shows it shows in the movie. They are really talented actors and funny guys.
Now, when you're doing a horror film, obviously you want to please the fans of the genre. So , how do you decide where to draw the line or not to draw the line when it comes to the death scenes and still keep it funny?
Morgan Jurgenson: That is tough because first and foremost, it is really a comedy. It just happens to be set in this horror backdrop horror world. And so I don't know, you just kind of push it as far as you can without it going over the top.
Without saying who the victim is, what is your favorite death scene in the film?
Morgan Jurgenson: You know, it's a tossup. It was the gags that we came up with; first the wood chipper and the chainsaw scenes. And those were in the original pitch of the movie and those I think are my favorite still to this day.
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Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil Exclusive Interview - Tyler Labine
QUESTION: So I understand that Eli was a big fan of Reaper. So do you know if that opening scene on you, carrying the scythe, was kind of homage to that?
Tyler Labine: Oh, the sickle. No not at all. I don't think there was any intentional homage to that. No actually, I never even thought of that before. Thank you.
I look at these things very closely.
Tyler Labine: I learn new outside perspectives about this film every day. I swear to God.
Really? What's one of the more interesting revelations that you had about the film?
Tyler Labine: About the movie? 
Tyler Labine: Initially the movie plays like it's a horror comedy and then the real fans. The people who watch it and realize that it's just a comedy. It's really a comedy with Gore. And then I think, I realize that at the heart of it. It's like a bromance. It's like a romantic comedy, between me and Alan It's like these two guys they love the shit out of each other, and they don't know how to express it. They're good old boys. They don't quite know how to hug it out and say I love you man until they go through this horrible ordeal. And then they are able to break down some walls, and it's actually quite romantic and nice if you watch it with that perspective.
Yes, in between the splattered blood and entrails and wood chippers...
Tyler Labine: It's hard to see, but it's there.
What did you think when you first were approached for this project? Because I'm sure you get a lot of offers to do scary and funny movies, given your TV work.
Tyler Labine: I get some. I mean, yeah. It's funny because I get a lot of films coming my way that area and this sort of budgetary vein. You know "We're making like a 2 or 3 million dollar movie…" And I'm not saying those are bad, but you really have to wade through those and this one came to me. And I read it and I immediately thought it was hilarious. I always get scripts to my wife, because she's got a great sense of humor. And she came back and she said “Yeah, you idiot, this is hilarious, go”. And Eli happened to be in Vancouver, and I'm from Vancouver so we met, and it was definitely like a mutual understanding that I don't have a great long track record as a movie actor I'm still just sort of scratching the surface. And he had only directed an award-winning short and we were like well, if you take a chance on me, I'll take a chance on you. And it was this mutual trust exercise and he just won me over totally he was on the same as me. The script was great. I thought he just had a really great idea and I wanted to help him bring it to life.
Well, you did it.
Tyler Labine: Thank you.
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