Movies vs. Real Life: Tucker & Dale

On this week’s episode we discussed the horror-comedy Tucker & Dale vs Evil. And you know how much we love our “nonsense” stories on the show. So here’s a little of both for you. Now, we in The Basement realize that movie deaths played as comedy are far from funny when it happens in real life. With that said, let’s examine eight real-life deaths that happened in a similar vein compared to those that occur in the movie.



In the movie: We saw two death-by-spear incidents. The first happens when Mitch
accidentally impales himself on a broken tree branch running from Tucker. The second (lazy move, filmmakers?) happens when Todd rushes at Dale with a spear, falls into the “crapper hole,” and impales himself on said spear.


In real life: A track and field event in Germany was halted by tragedy in 2012 when 75-year-old referee Dieter Strack was accidentally struck by a javelin thrown by a 15-year-old competitor. As he was measuring the distance of a previous throw, Strack was speared through the throat. After losing copious amounts of blood due to a severed carotid artery, yet still being revived at the scene, he was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Wood Chipper

In the movie: During the ambush when Todd ends up impaling himself in the “crapper hole” Mike tries to tackle Tucker while he’s using an industrial wood chipper. Tucker turns from the machine just as Mike jumps… right into the grinder of death.


In real life: In 2014 a horrific accident involving a wood chipper occurred in a quiet Miami neighborhood. Landscaper Hernan Gutierrez was shredding branches when he ended up getting pulled into the chipper while it was in operation. “The man was dead when rescue workers arrived, and Davie Police had to delicately clean the scene and collect the victim’s remains.”

Nails To the Head

In the movie: The sheriff arrives at the cabin to find Tucker and Dale covered in blood, dragging the remainder of Mike’s body through the dirt. After hearing that another woman is inside the cabin, sheriff and the boys head inside, where the sheriff to leans against an unstable beam, resulting in a partial collapse of the ceiling, revealing the sheriff has taken a board full of nails to the side of the head.


In real life: In 2008 two children on a canoeing trip discovered a decomposing body bound in electrical wire and wrapped in a rug found floating in the Georges River in southern Sydney, Australia. It was later identified as Chen Liu. Having been ruled a murder, it was discovered that Mr. Liu had been shot with a high-powered nail gun repeatedly in the head. Medical examiners extracted 30 three-and-a-half inch nails from his skull.

30. Fucking. Nails.

Self-Inflicted Gunshot

In the movie: After the sheriff drops dead near the remaining college kids, Chuck grabs the gun from his holster, points it at Tucker and Dale, only to discover it’s not working. He waves it around, eventually pointing it directly at his head, when the safety is switched off and the gun discharges… right in his face.


In real life: A story from the Skagit Valley Herald reports on the accidental self-inflicted shooting death of a 43-year-old man while taking a selfie with his girlfriend. The police report states that the unnamed man and his girlfriend were taking pictures of themselves with the gun when it went off, fatally wounding the gentleman in the face.

Weed Wacker

In the movie: During another ambush gone severely wrong, Jason comes storming into the cabin, lawn trimmer going full blast and at face-level, missing his intended target, and shredding Naomi’s face to nothing but haggard remains of flesh and ooze.


In real life: In the utmost of tragic accidents, a Japanese man killed his 3-year-old daughter while using a brush cutter in 2013. Unaware that his daughter was following him, Hiroto Haneda turned around and the toddler walked right into the spinning blade. She sustained a laceration to her throat and later died at the hospital.

Set On Fire

In the movie: Jason is accidentally set on fire by Chad in the cabin after shredding Naomi’s face with the trimmer. In an attempt to help douse the flames, Chloe tosses what she assumes is water on him. It turns out the moonshine she mistook for water was highly flammable and set Jason’s body ablaze.


In real life: On October 2, 1973, Evelyn Wagler of Dorchester, MA was on her way back to her car after running out of gas when she was accosted by a group of teenagers. They forced Ms. Wagler to douse herself in the gasoline she had just purchased, and proceeded to set her on fire. She died four hours later in the hospital.


In the movie: With Jason’s burning body running around the cabin like a… man on fire… he sets fire to the STACK of full gas cans sitting in the corner, resulting in Tucker’s new cabin going up in a mushroom cloud. Fortunately, Tucker, Dale, and Allison make it out just in time. Chloe does not.

In real life: In another selfie-gone-wrong incident, two Russian soldiers posing with a live hand grenade were killed when the grenade unexpectedly (hello?) went off.


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