The opening short film, THE S FROM HELL directed by Rodney Archer, is a creatively convoluted collage revealing the seemingly innocuous 1960s update of the Screen Gems logo into a stylized "S" with annoying Moog notes, as a deliberate diabolical intrusion primarily on television viewers subjected to it at the show's close. Good warm up for what was to follow.
Director Eli Craig's introduction was a solid set up for a wild rife in the backwoods of West "Virginny". The good ol' boys, Tucker and Dale are on their vacation heading for their "fixer upper" cabin in the woods. At the last gas station stop, their paths cross with a car load of college kids going camping and Dale's innocent intentions towards pretty, blond Alison are taken as "creepy". Turns out they are all vacationing near the same lake where the college kids go skinnydipping and Tucker and Dale are fishing. A simple misunderstanding goes grotesquely wrong and the mayhem kicks into high gear not letting up until the inevitable final stand off between "Good" and "Evil".
Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson co wrote a whip smart script with set ups that don't give everything away and punchlines that hit their mark. Kaiser's music score captures the settings and ranges across blue grass, guitar and violin instrumentals intersecting good nature moments with menacing build up into a horror film finale. The gore is in equal parts with black humor and as Kaiser notes, he tested the gore level by showing it to his grandmother, who laughed all through the film.
Other screenings on Saturday, January 25, midnight, SLC; Wednesday, January 27, 5:30 p.m. Park City; Thursday, January 28, midnight, Egyptian Theatre, midnight Park City; Saturday, January 30, 9:00 p.m. Egyptian Theatre, Park City.