Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

As we all sit here at Reject HQ, gathered around an absurdly long, but incredibly imposing, table discussing what to do with the nuclear missiles we just “creatively appropriated” from a breakaway Russian republic, it occurs to us that 2011 was a great year to be bad. For every boring, dopey, goody-good hero that popped up on the silver screen, there was a brilliant, super cool, woefully misunderstood villain doing everything he/she/it could to thwart the zero hero at every turn. So when Supreme Commander #1, better known to the world (and those pesky Avengers so they’ll stop blasting our lair) as Neil Miller, issued an official order (delivered by a specially-trained, fire-breathing, gun-toting alligator who lives in the moat) to construct a supersonic death ray…that assignment went to Kate “Femme Fatale” Erbland. But then I got asked to do this list of the 20 Best Villains of 2011, a decided promotion from my usual position as sinister cocktail-fetcher and cleaner of the diabolical gutters.

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Horror-comedies are a mixed bag. Often they’re not scary or violent enough to satisfy your horror boner, nor are they funny enough to tickle your funny bone(r). When they work well, you get an Evil Dead II or a Dead and Breakfast. When they fail you get…I don’t know, who remembers shitty horror-comedies? Tucker & Dale vs. Evil follows two lovable, well meaning rednecks through a series of misunderstandings that result in a group of vacationing college kids being convinced the duo are out to murder them. Like any educated group, the kids decide the best thing to do is to take the war to the hillbillies and try to kill them and rescue their “kidnapped” friend. Things go comically and fatally awry to great effect.

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This Week in DVD

It’s the last DVD release week of November, and judging by the stellar releases out today it’s fair to say Christmas has come early. There are several titles, big and small, deserving of a purchase or at least a rent, and they’re pretty widespread genre-wise too. Some of the week’s offerings include Tucker & Dale vs Evil, Our Idiot Brother, Friends with Benefits, 30 Minutes or Less and more. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Another Earth The unfortunately named Rhoda (Brit Marling) is a bright high-school graduate with a limitless future, but on the night a new planet is discovered in the night sky above she celebrates a bit too hard and smashes her car into a family of three. A few years later, Rhoda is released from prison and makes an attempt at an apology to the man (William Mapother) she injured and whose wife and child she killed. Communication with the new planet has also revealed that it is a mirror image of our own as far as geography and population, but that different choices there may have given way to different events. Marling co-wrote this intriguing and often mesmerizing sc-fi/drama with director Mike Cahill, and while the logic and explanation behind the science fiction aspects are woefully lacking the drama, character work and “what if?” scenarios are excellent. As she does in the somewhat superior Sound of My Voice Marling brings an ethereal and fragile presence to […]

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray we celebrate the post-Black Friday hangover with a very light week. If you didn’t buy The Matrix trilogy for $28 dollars today, you should do that. Then move on to more pertinent matters, including the support of great horror comedies that sat on the proverbial shelf far too long, R-rated comedies about bombs and Werner Herzog’s journey into the depths of human emossshun, courtesy of really old cave drawings. It’s going to be a pretty diverse week, so you might want to keep reading. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil The Pitch: “What are you going to say? I don’t know what happened officer, these college kids just showed up and started killing themselves all over my property.” Why Buy? A few years back, when this unfortunately shelved genre comedy broke onto the scene in the snowy streets of Park City, Utah, I was one of those critics who was brave enough to name it one of my Must See Movies of Sundance 2010. We would later go on to include it in our list of Must See Movies of SXSW 2010. And it might as well have made our list of Must See Movies of SXSW 2011, as it played there, too. This movie spent more than its share of time in festival circuit hell. And now that it’s on Blu-ray, it’s time for folks like me to remind you that it’s one of the funniest, most clever flicks I’ve seen in a long while. And if […]

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Drinking Games

It’s the week after Thanksgiving, there’s Christmas music playing non-stop on the radio and people are getting pepper-sprayed at Wal-Mart during Black Friday video game stampedes. This can only mean one thing… it’s time for a kick-ass hillbilly horror comedy to come out on DVD and Blu-ray. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil had a fun little jaunt through limited release this fall, along with some premium-priced On Demand options. Now, everybody’s favorite West Virginia rednecks can come to your DVD or Blu-ray player and fight the evil that is college kids camping in the woods. And like our heroes Tucker and Dale, it’s best enjoyed with a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon (in a non-ironic way), or better yet: simple generic beer!

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After a painfully long time sitting around, waiting for the right distributor to come along, playing the festival circuit (I’m pretty sure it played South by Southwest two years in a row), the excellent genre comedy Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is finally available for viewing in your home right effing now. For those who don’t remember, this is the Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine led comedy about two rednecks who are mistaken for Deliverance-esque killers by some backwoods camping coeds. The coeds think that Tucker and Dale kidnapped their uber-hot friend (30 Rock‘s Katrina Bowden), so they go on the attack. From there, hilarity ensues. For more of a refresher, please consider my glowing Tucker & Dale review from Sundance 2010. If I can’t convince you to see this movie on VOD, I’ve failed as an advocate of fun cinema. For information about which VOD services Tucker & Dale will be on, visit Magnolia Pictures’ website to see the list. I’ve also left a few great clips from the film after the jump. If you’d like to see this film in theaters, it opens limited on September 30.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Friends With Benefits director Will Gluck teaches us proper technique in the bedroom, Another Earth star William Mapother confronts what he’d do if he met himself, and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil director Eli Craig packs for Comic-Con with us. We can bring liquids on planes now, right? Listen Here: Download This Episode

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up that digs and digs and keeps on diggin’ until it finds the most interesting things from around the web. Tonight it’s pretty proud of its ability to find things that it thinks you’ll like. Do enjoy. Long after it was one of the most buzzed-about movies of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, even after packing promotional screenings at SXSW months later, Eli Craig’s horror comedy Tucker & Dale vs. Evil had no distributor. Whatever the reason, no one wanted to bring these two bumbling hillbillies to the dance. Well now that’s all history, as Magnolia Pictures has acquired it. According to their press release, they will release it into theaters on September 30, with a VOD release on August 26. Personally, I can’t wait to see it again.

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After taking the world by storm as 30 Rock‘s airy, often charming secretary Cerie and being named Esquire’s 2011 Sexiest Woman Alive, Katrina Bowden has set her sights on becoming fish food for the somewhat anticipated horror spectacle sequel Piranha 3DD. A press release confirmed this morning that Bowden will join the likes of Gary Busey, Danielle Panabaker and Matt Bush in the 3D killer fish film, which is due out on November 23. It won’t be Bowden’s first walk on the wild side of horror though, as she starred alongside Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine in Eli Craig’s excellent scary hillbilly comedy Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. For those who don’t remember, that’s the festival-traversing horror comedy we (and almost every other writer on the planet) have been raving about since it debuted at Sundance in 2010. It’s still yet to see a release, which makes me sad. But hopefully the rise of Bowden, who is featured prominently in the film, will help get it into theaters or at the very least, onto DVD. In the mean time, Bowden will likely be eaten by several angry fish.

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Another Hole In the Head Film Festival

Comic-Con is a fun event for film fans hoping to get their first peek at upcoming blockbusters and the stars behind them, but I’ve always been a lot more partial to film festivals. Why? Because film fests are all about actually watching films. (Yes, I know studios have recently started hosting screenings during Comic-Con but they still number in the single digits and they’re always future wide-release movies anyway.) Trailer previews and scenes are fun to watch at the Con, and while I won’t be attending this month I hope to get back again with the FSR crew next year. But a solid film festival trumps everything the Con has to offer by virtue of the number and variety of films available. The best fest, hands down, is Austin’s Fantastic Fest (which I’ll be eating, drinking, and breathing this September), but it’s not the only one worth watching…

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Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Are you tired of negative hillbilly stereotypes in horror films? I didn’t know I was. As a southern-born gent and lifelong film geek, whether I’ve wanted to or not, I’ve continued to possess a keen awareness of how the people of my region are represented in film.

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SXSW Film 2010

SXSW 2010 just won’t end. Sure, the final films screened Saturday night and the annual softball tournament took place yesterday, but work is still being done. Here at Reject HQ, we’re still watching screeners trying to find little gems that we might have missed during the week. Over at the HQ of the festival, they are still tallying up awards ballots. Today they announced the final round of Audience Awards for the 2010 edition of South by Southwest.

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Seeing as so many of our SXSW-attending readers found my little daily updates so useful last year, I’ve decided to bring them back for this year. So here it is, Today @ SXSW, my daily guide to what you should be seeing at the little festival affectionately known as South-by.

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