Originally planned as a short film but expanded into a feature-length horror / splatter film, Tuddal is yet another story about young urban people who are brutally killed in the woods. This zero budget indie offers some innovative and gruesome ways to die.
Truly independent movies arebecoming more and more common as filming and distribution can now be done by amateurs outside big systems. Affordable cameras, home computers and internet tools liberate creativity wherever it’s found, to the extent that movies can now be made on a budget of practically nothing. For the Norwegian horror Tuddal, money spent on gas to and fro the shooting location was the biggest expense. Tuddal, which is the name of an actual area in Telemark in Norway and meaning the Tud valley, was devised, shot and acted out by a group of friends and is one of a small handful of super-low budget films made up here.
The story is rather traditional, or should we say classic; a group of young urban friends wins a weekend at a cabin in the woods, and as they travel there by car, they expect a couple of days of partying, drinking and maybe something more. But they have not stayed there for long before one of the guys disseappear, and other weird things start to happen. Soon they are chopped down one by one…
We’ve seen it a thousand times before, so it’s not the story that is interesting, but the killings. Much energy and creativity can be invested in colourful murders. Tuddal is a traditional “brutal killings at a cabin in the woods” film and although it takes a while for the mayhem to commence, at least two killings make up for it. You’ll never hire a plumber in a stringvest again after seeing this film! Other bloody scenes are not quite as graphic and explicit as one would want from a recent splatter film, but a rather funny and two-edged killer makes up for that. He must be one sick bastard, especially with that accent!
As is customary for zero budget films, there are occasional problems with light and sound but technical perfection is not the point. While editing and scenery is nice to look at, it’s the acting that stands out. It’s not Amanda material (the Amanda award is Norway’s Oscar) but all actors maintain a natural and almost improvised style, which you hardly ever see in professional films but which is very pleasant to see. It makes you believe the guys and girls in the film could be your own buddies. The actors also seem to enjoy their roles, knowing that they are out for a fun few days, and that always adds to the experience. The film is a bit slow in the beginning, but once the party reaches the cabin, it gets gory and interesting. There is no nudity for those who demand that in a horror exploitation, but there is one cleavage shot.
Tuddal lies somewhere between Dark Woods (Villmark) and the torture porn of the Saw series, spiced up by bits of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Toolbox Murders. It’s an enjoyable and solid film made by talented people, considering it’s an elaborate home movie rather than a fully fledged film production.
Directors: Kjetil Kolbjørnsrud and David Solbjørg