Tag Archives: comedy

Tucker & Dale vs Evil

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Tucker and Dale, two simple-minded but sweet textbook hillbillies from West Virginia, are headed to their vacation cabin in the woods. On the way there they meet a bunch of snooty college kids who suspect them to be murderers because of their lumberjack physique, and what was supposed to be a peaceful trip involving some good ol’ beer drinkin’ and fishin’ turns into a series of misunderstood situations with side-(and skull)-splitting consequences.

With a premise like this, what can really go wrong? After my standard initial doubts had worn off, which didn’t take longer than about 3 minutes, it became clear that my answer would be a resonating “nothing.” Tucker and Dale vs Evil takes the awesome cake in every aspect. It intelligently pokes fun at the backwoods horror trope and subverts all the stereotypes associated with it, the acting, with Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine in the lead roles, is excellent, the writing is extraordinary, and it includes funny references and homages to, among others, the “groovy” scene from Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness.

Comparisons are inevitable here, so we’ll get the most prevalent one out of the way right now: this picture makes Shaun of the Dead look mediocre at best, and I love the latter as much as the next person. But I don’t like measuring two great cinematic works against each other, so I’ll just say that you can think of Tucker and Dale vs Evil as the Canadian pendant to Shaun of the Dead, which, in my opinion, is a near perfect parody of the zombie genre, whereas I can’t imagine a more spot-on parodic dissection of the American horror/slasher genre than Tucker and Dale.

What I adore most about this film is the love and passion that so clearly went into making it. Director and co-writer Eli Craig had been trying to get it made for a couple of years before he succeeded, and accordingly, the final product glows from within in a way that you just can’t fake. It’s witty, it’s fun, it’s tirelessly entertaining, and to top it all off, it actually has one or two things of substance to say about hackneyed stereotypes. It’s a full-scale victory, and it deserves much more recognition than it got.

Do not watch the trailer before picking up the movie, though, as it takes the punch out of too many surprises. Just trust me, a voice on the Internet, and buy it. If it doesn’t elicit at least one wholehearted, from-the-stomach laugh out of you, you’re free to ask me for a refund and send me hate emails for the rest of my life.

Quando le donne avevano la coda (When Women Had Tails)

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Quando le donne avevano la coda (1970) is an oldschool softporn comedy (what a surprise) by the Italian director Pasquale Festa Campanile and stars the beautiful Senta Berger, Frank Wolff and Giuliano Gemma. (The spaghetti western fans among you remember the latter two.) Another, more famous participant is beyond doubt the Italian composer and conductor Ennio Morricone who is responsible for the soundtrack. But sadly, none of these people can contribute anything useful or rescuing to this boring and tediously unfunny story.

To be honest with you, the only reason I finished this movie was because of Senta Berger, and this not because of her acting but simply because of her appearance. In the end I just could have stared at a photograph of her and I would have been spared an immature backwood/neanderthal movie by a director who seized and lifted the subject of sexuality onto a prepubescent toilet humor level. I do not know how the original dialogues are constructed but the German dubbing is an effrontery and it is absolutely no wonder that Senta Berger refused to synchronize her own role as a protest. I absolutely do understand her but after reconsidering the premise of the movie I also wonder what Miss Berger was expecting as she should have been aware that she walks through the picture lightly clad and offers her body to a leader of a gang of imbeciles in order to prevent being eaten by them. Ulli, the leader, enjoys the sex and it doesn’t last long before the other members of the tribe find out about the new “game” and want to participate. What you experience next is probably the first almost-gang-rape-softporn scene in movie history.

Quando le donne avevano la coda isn’t worth the money and this says it all as my copy cost 2 euros. I wasn’t expecting much but even my low expectations were belied. I witnessed Germans who were funnier than this film and there is nothing less funny than Germans (sorry guys). Furthermore I really do not understand how this movie can be labelled softporn as there is more sex in nowadays’ children’s afternoon programme (which is nothing we should be proud of) than in this film. Do me a favour and save your money and time. Next!

Wrong

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Wrong (2012) is a movie written and directed by French musician, director, writer, cinematographer Quentin Dupieux better known as Mr. Oizo. I’ll be honest with you, I am neither a fan of Mr. Oizo, nor did I enjoy the predecessor movie Rubber. Therefor it is no wonder that I had absolutely no expectations when it came to Wrong and I only watched it because I was staying at a friend’s house and he decided to put the movie on screen. Thank god he did! Wrong is the weirdest but best non-horror movie I have seen in 2013 so far.

The plot is about reserved Dolph (Jack Plotnick) who on one particular morning realizes that his dog has disappeared. Later on he discovers that he and his dog became part of a conspiracy which leaves him the victim of a plan mysterious forces set in motion, ostensibly for his benefit (John DeFore).

If this wouldn’t be strange enough, Dolph lives in a reversed world. On the one hand unimportant circumstances become important. Random facts like a pizza logo showing a rabbit on a scooter are flogged to death until they become significant. On the other hand Dupieux leaves the audience without any explanation about important and crucial events in the plot and the viewer, just as Dolph, becomes reconciled to the so seemed nonsense.

Right at the beginning of the movie you may cast doubt on some events but believe me, this won’t last for long and you are sucked right into the movie.

I am not sure if this is a matter of fact or only a wrong perception due to the subconscious acceptance of the paranormal and surrealistic visual narration but the uptight absurdity is kind of replaced by “simple” nonsense humour with the appearance of Master Chang (William Fichtner) in the second half of the movie. Nonetheless the important element of creative absurdity, contrary to Dupieux’ Rubber, works really well.

Wrong is a grandiose profound and bizarre nonsense comedy (with a fantastic minimalistic soundtrack) which irritates the viewer where it can. The movie is everything but mainstream but if you are into weird independent stuff you should give this a try.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HXGl7IYviM]

TUB

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Hey guys, did you ever wonder what happens when your girlfriend isn’t in the mood for sex and the only way to release pressure is to fap in your bath tub? Director Bobby Miller has the answer: “Paul jerked off in the shower. Paul just impregnated his bath tub.” Yes you heard right, today’s short movie (+/-12 minutes) is about a bath tub and a man (who is already in a relationship with a real woman) becoming parents of an „alien-like“ child.

After I watched the TUB I came along Miller’s influences and I wasn’t, at any moment, surprised that he listed directors like David Cronenberg, Lynch, Terry Gilliam and co. because TUB can best be described as an expirimental drama combined with grotesque black humor and adorable body horror elements.

As an (independent) filmaker you always walk a thin line when it comes to experimental movies and in the end, this is exactly what I like about them. TUB, which world premiered at Sundance 2010, does not follow the typical “how do I make a billion dollar hollywod shit movie without having an idea of what I am doing here” rules based on shallowed social stereotypes. Miller takes risks and there are surely people who don’t like it but in the end it is a nice, well-made short which certainly will not change your life but maybe will make your day.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1H40oOp0pzY]
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