Despite The Nudels of Nudeland being one of the strangest movies I’ve ever seen, it did expose me (pun intended) to naturist filmmaking. That’s right, naturist filmmaking. That translates to a movie performed by actors who are entirely in the buff, embracing nudism and using it to tell a story as well as to enlighten viewers on this chosen lifestyle. Distracting? Sure. A bit awkward? You betcha. Heavy-handed in its persuasion that it teeters on nudist propaganda? Uh-huh. But, it’s also wholesome in a campy, new-age way. Picture a movie made by John Waters that has also been steeping in kombucha.
Writer/director Tim Chizmar plays himself, a jolly jokester who feels left out from his own society because he feels more comfortable parading around in the nude. While his friends try to understand, his girlfriend (Adrienne Pearson) refuses and dumps him. While in a discouraged slump, Chizmar is caught by police officer D. Mann (Al Burke) and “deported” to Nudeland, a secluded island populated by nudists under the administration of prime minister Pierre Mustache (Stéphane Deschênes, who some may recognize from Kenny vs. Spenny as the naturalist who assisted Spencer Rice in the “Who Can Stay Naked the Longest” competition). D. Mann also deports Lucz Padilla (Juliana Acosta), a woman who feels burdened by an outfit; creating ironic issues considering she designs butt labels for pants.
The Nudels of Nudeland premise is outrageous, and it’s unfortunate Chizmar hasn’t provided much of a script or story to accompany it. It’s structured more like sketch comedy using the skeleton of a rom-com’s plot. There’s a few running gags (such as a fully-clothed “reverse streaker” who is annoying everyone), but they don’t contribute very much to an overall narrative. The closest resemblance to an arc would be the romance that blooms between Tim and Lucz, which is genuinely kind. They fall quick and hard for each other, but the dialogue is really sweet. When The Nudels of Nudeland stopped in its tracks to be an advertisement for ClothesFree International, it became clear how much Chizmar was padding his movie. Had the filmmaker repackaged this indie into a series of short films, I think this project would’ve found steadier legs and its desired cult following.
I can’t recommend The Nudels of Nudeland to the average movie goer, but it shouldn’t be laughed off the screen either. I think Chizmar, his cast, and his production show admirable confidence with this movie, and I would hate for outsider cynicism to chortle at them. This is for a specific crowd of movie goers who are avidly trying to lift every nook and cranny to find movies that are unlike anything they’ve seen before. The Nudels of Nudeland certainly belongs in that category.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie