Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal: Film Review
A blocked artist finds inspiration in the activities of a nocturnal killer in Boris Rodriguez's horror comedy.
With both its premise and degree of cleverness pretty much summed up by its cult film-ready title, Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal tells the darkly comic tale of a creatively blocked painter finding inspiration thanks to the nefarious nighttime deeds of its title character. But while Boris Rodriguez’s film promises to be a satirical portrait of the rapacious art world, it winds up as little more than a mildly fun spatter pic that will be best enjoyed by undemanding patrons at midnight screenings.
After ten years of inactivity, formerly successful painter Lars (Thure Lindhardt, Keep the Lights On) takes a teaching job at a small college in a remote Canadian town. On the way, his car unfortunately runs into a deer; when he finds that the animal is not dead, Lars begins bashing his brain in with a large rock, only to be interrupted by a skeptical policeman (a deliciously droll Paul Braunstein).
Shortly into his new gig, Lars agrees to take in Eddie (Dylan Smith), a mute and apparently simple-minded student left homeless when his caregiver dies. He soon discovers that his new roommate has the unusual habit of heading out into the wintry night clad only in his briefs, killing and eating any unfortunate creature, such as a rabbit, that wanders into his path.
Initially horrified by the discovery, Lars suddenly finds his creative juices flowing again and produces a new painting. So naturally he’s inclined to encourage Eddie on his nocturnal missions, even covering his tracks after he kills an obnoxious neighbor. As the body count increases and the town’s already small population becomes even thinner, Lars becomes the toast of the town as his paintings shore up the college’s reputation.
Once the film’s satirical premise is established, repetition quickly sets in, as the escalating violent mayhem leads to inevitable complications involving Lars’ romantically interested colleague (Georgina Reilly) and the ever-suspicious cop.
Still, the film deserves points for originality, Lindhardt’s amusingly deadpan performance and Smith’s impressive physical presence as the hulking title character. The sight of the latter skulking through the winter landscape clad only in bloody tight-whities is not easily forgotten.
Opens: April 5 (Doppelganger Releasing)
Production: Quiet Revolution Pictures, Fridtjhof Film, Majika Pictures
Cast: Thure Lindhardt, Georgina Reilly, Dylan Smith, Alain Goulem, Stephen McHattie, Peter Michael Dillon, Simon Webb
Director/screenwriter: Boris Rodriguez
Producers: Michael A. Dobbin, Ronnie Fridthjof
Executive producers: Steve Moretti, Michael Solomon, Sven Schnell
Director of photography: Philippe Kress
Editor: Sara Bough
Production designer: Colleen Marchand
Costume designer: Sue Fijalkowska
Composer: David Burns
Not rated, 83 min.