Synopsis: A painter struggling for inspiration finds an unexpected muse after he accepts a teaching position in a small town and becomes the caregiver to Eddie, a seemingly docile art student with a rare sleepwalking condition.
Stars: Thure Lindhardt, Dylan Smith, Georgina Reilly, Alain Goulem, Stephen McHattie, Paul Braunstein
Director: Boris Rodriguez
Running Length: 90 minutes
TMMM Score: (6/10)
Review: On the way out of the screening of Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival I overheard a member of a motley crew of teens say “What did we just see?” Now I’m certain this group was enticed into the late night screening by the wacky title and probably thought they were lining up for a more mainstream horror film experience, but I find myself echoing the sentiment as it applies to this strange mix of horror and comedy.
What we have here is essentially another retelling of the plot from Little Shop of Horrors but transplanted from the gutters of Skid Row to the icy barrenness of a small Canadian town. Not long after arriving to teach art, artistically blocked painter Lars (the nicely offbeat Lindhardt) finds himself watching over mute man-child Eddie (Smith, excellent) who has some problems adjusting to his new living situation. The more stressed Eddie is, the more he tends to sleepwalk…and munch of some of the local wildlife.
At first terrified, Lars eventually becomes more and more inspired in his art using the blood and guts from Eddie’s kills to get his creative juices flowing. He begins to sell more paintings, providing money for the local art school and attracting the attention of a pretty young colleague (Reilly). What happens, though, when Eddie gets more comfortable living with Lars and stops sleepwalking/eating…and what will become of some pesky neighbors and their yapping dog?
Director/screenwriter Rodriguez has packed his black comedy with a nice amount of small-town yuks and enough blood to satiate those hungry for some gore but not ready for Evil Dead-style violence. Don’t get me wrong, there are some very graphic scenes here but it’s all so highly tongue and cheek that many laughs don’t land exactly where they should.
For a 90 minute journey into the tricky waters of bizarre horror comedy, Eddie mostly fits the bill as it lumbers along like the title character. Lindhardt and Smith are very game leads with Smith taking every advantage of his dialogue-free role to convey much without saying anything. If you have a taste and tolerance for this type of material, Eddie will be a nice film to absorb into your stable of films but all others should make sure they know what they’re getting into.