Today is a guest post by the always lovely Tyson over at Head in a Vice. If you haven’t already, I highly suggest you head over and check out his site as he always does fabulous work AND has a couple of really sweet projects running (such as Desert Island Films and IMDB Top 250 Films Reviewed). Thanks again for this Tyson!! YOU ROCK!!! 🙂
Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal is a Canadian-Danish co-production about an artist called Lars (Thure Lindhardt), who takes up teaching art in a small Canadian town. On his way to his new job, driving through the Canadian back roads Lars drives into a deer in the middle of the road (bloody jaywalkers!). Though the animal manages to survive the accident, it remains unable to move and Lars humanely decides to put it out of its misery. He finds himself a rock and proceeds to try and smash its head in.
In doing this, it’s almost as if something inside of him stirs, and he realises that this brutality is giving him inspiration. It appears as though violence stimulates Lars’ brush, which is an important fact especially considering that the man hasn’t made any new work in years, much to his art dealer Ronny’s (Stephen McHattie) dismay.
Once he gets to his job, he finds that one of his pupils is Eddie (Dylan Smith), who never speaks and appears to have learning difficulties. Lars ends up looking after Eddie and lets him stay at his house, as it turns out that the school is legally bound to look after him due to his Aunt funding the academy. Over time Lars discovers Eddies secret – that when he sleepwalks he eats things, namely animals and people. Although disgusted at first, Lars realises he can harness this and uses Eddie to continue to give him the inspiration for his painting. There were no real twists in the story from this point on, and it ends in a predictable fashion.
The film has a nice pace to it, and director Boris Rodriguez manages to mix together a decent blend of horror and satire but also never overplays the genre elements. Acting wise, although this is a very low-budget film, the majority give good performances. Lars is a likeable enough character that is really the ‘bad guy’ in the film, he just happens to find artistic inspiration so elusive that he’ll take it where he can get it, and that to him the ends justify the means. Eddie is just doing all that he knows really, and is used by Lars. Dylan Smith really is the stand out performer, although he never speaks he manages to be a likeable character that I felt sorry for, and he has some great subtle mannerisms, despite what he was capable of doing in his sleep! The love interest for Lars comes in the form of fellow teacher Leslie (Georgina Reilly), and again she plays her role well.
It is a weird, darkly comic tale that I saw marketed as a film in the same mould as Shaun of the Dead. Sadly, whilst Shaun was a brilliant film, combining humour, zombies and violence perfectly, Eddie never gets near the same heights. Whilst it doesn’t shy away from a little blood and violence, to animals and humans, the humour was never really present. I’ve read reviews which describe this as ‘terrifically funny‘ and ‘the best horror-comedy in years‘. Part of me wonders if they were indeed reviewed by someone involved with the making of the film, as with all due respect this is not a film which should be getting 10/10 ratings like it has at a couple of places. Either that or I’m just being cynical, and it’s just me that doesn’t ‘get‘ it.
In conclusion, sometimes a movie title shows us exactly what we are getting, and no film can do that more than Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal. It’s a film about a cannibal named Eddie, who eats living things when he sleepwalks. If that doesn’t sound like something you want to see then there is nothing I (or anyone way more important than me!) can say about it that will change your mind. As the saying goes, ‘it does exactly what it says on the tin‘, and in fairness it’s really not a bad film and a refreshing change from anything else I’ve seen for a while. It knows it’s a low-budget B-movie, and it never strays far away from this path. I guess if it had a more serious tone and offered up a bit more blood and gore, or alternatively ramped up the comedy I would recommend it a lot more. As it is, Eddie is a harmless little film that whilst I wouldn’t recommend you go out of your way to catch, if you see it cheap or on TV then it may give you a chuckle or two.