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Alan Tudyk’s Touch of “Evil”

Alan Tudyk’s Touch of “Evil” (photo)

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Long-limbed and deadpan, Alan Tudyk has pulled off the neat trick of making an impression in broad, goofy comedy parts (“Dodgeball,” “Death at a Funeral”) and shining in the confines of genre material (most notably the Joss Whedon’s “Serenity” and “Dollhouse”). This year at Sundance, he gets to combine the two with his work in director Eli Craig’s “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil,” playing Tucker, a good ol’ boy whose trip to a new vacation home in the woods with his friend Dale (Tyler Labine of “Reaper”) runs afoul of a group of camping college kids who think Tucker and Dale are homicidal hillbillies right out of a B-grade horror film and (literally) kill themselves trying to prove it. Tudyk sat down in Park City to talk about the energy of midnight screenings, researching low-rent horror films and how comedy can hurt.

How was your screening last night?

Well, showing at a midnight screening, you get done at two. And you go out for a beer, and it’s usually 4am after your second beer. [laughs]

But the midnight premiere itself — how does it feel to be inside that energy?

It was really cool, especially with this movie. We shot it very fast in 25 days with a lot of night shoots in there as well, and we were in Canada, in Alberta in the wintertime, so the nights were only about five hours long and we had to really move fast. So a lot of it was a blur. We’d kind of end the day and Tyler and I would get together and go, “I don’t know what we just did. Well, there was that one thing. I guess that was funny. Oh, I didn’t get to do those things. Ah, well, I don’t know what we have… hope it’s good.” And now to have been shown [at Sundance], [it’s] such a perfect spot for this movie because it’s a fun movie. It doesn’t take itself too seriously; it’s a comedy, but it’s got all this gory horror kind of stuff in it as well. I was proud of all the work we did, because it was really a collaborative movie, but also I was really proud of Eli [Craig, director], because if it wasn’t for Eli, none of this would happen. Not just ’cause he wrote it with Morgan [Jurgenson], but he had to push to get this movie made. It was him. He strapped it to his back and just went to town. He was still editing two days ago, putting the music together. Honestly, to see [it] up there, in the movie theater with all those people laughing — it was great.

01242010_Tucker&Dale1.jpgAnd that was your first chance to see the finished product?

Yes, yes, definitely.

That has to be weird, as you’re not sure if the jokes are going to play because you’ve seen them a hundred times before.

Well, I hadn’t seen them a hundred times before. Tyler and I had seen the movie once in a very early, early version of it, where the sound edit wasn’t done. It was still very much in flux as far as what was in and what was out, and to Eli’s credit, he [said], “I’m open to notes. What do you guys want?” And then listened to us for the rest of the night. [laughs] “No, no, no, you know what you need to do? You remember there’s like the third take on that scene…” We did some looping so [we] saw a little bit of a couple scenes, but definitely not the finished product, so this is basically the second time I’ve seen the movie.

Last night, Mr. Craig referred to your presence in the film as “a gift from God.” Is that a little awkward?

[Laughs] It was a really collaborative process, and a lot of times with writers and directors, they get very precious about their words. There’s a lack of time to direct somebody the way you saw it when you wrote it in your head, but when you give it over to an actor or actors and then also set designers, everything just starts to change and it takes [on] a life of its own. There are directors who hold on to the reins and try to really control it and keep it as close to what was in their mind as possible…

01242010_Tucker&Dale2.jpgAnd choke the life out of it.

And can absolutely choke the life out of it. Then there are people like Eli, who really embraces who he has working with him and battle the elements with them together. So a lot of what is in the movie, we came up with together. It was his script, but it might have just been the difference of [my saying], “Look, we spend two pages setting up a joke and we never pay it off. Why don’t we pay it off? And I have three ideas of how to do this.” [laughs] And he’d be like, “Oh, yeah? Okay, cool. Great.”

How swiftly after meeting Tyler Labine did you get a sense that this was going to be good comedy mojo?

Yeah, he’s awesome. He’s nothing like the character — he’s very quick-witted and a really smart guy and he’s playing one of the dumbest characters I’ve ever seen in a movie. [Dale’s] really stupid. Tyler’s funny, so we got along really well. Right in the beginning, he said, “Hey, do you want to get together and work on a script?” Nobody’s ever… I’ve never had that, where it’s just another actor and there isn’t a director forcing you to sit down to work on a script together. [Tyler asked], “Hey, want to come and like work on backstory?” It’s like, hell yeah. Anybody who wants to work, I’m really happy to work with, and it was lucky we were on the same page.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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