Dir: Boris Rodriguez. Denmark-Canada. 2011. 83mins
There are times when the title says everything. Jaws? Yes – got it. Star Wars? Perfect. And the same can be said with the evocatively titled Eddie – The Sleepwalking Cannibal.
The film is pacily directed by Boris Rodriguez who manages a smart blend of horror and satire but also never overplays the genre elements.
Yes, it is quite simply about a guy called Eddie who happens to be a sleepwalking cannibal. But though it may sound like an out-and-out horror film (and certainly there are plenty of genre elements) it is actually a thoughtful and at times extremely funny film that is likely to be a regular on the festival circuit.
The film stars Thure Lindhardt as a well-known Danish artist Lars Olafssen who takes a job at a remote Canadian school to teach art when he starts experiencing artist’s block. As part of his deal, the Principal asks him to look after Eddie (Dylan Smith) a shambling and muscular mute who locals regard as a local idiot, but whose family committed plenty of money to the college.
Lars agrees to help, and grows fond of the lumbering Eddie. One night, though, he discovers Eddie sleepwalks and happens to kill and eat a rabbit. Bizarrely Lars finds artistic inspiration in the bloody corpse. But for him things get even better when the sleepwalking Eddie attacks, kills and starts eating a neighbour who abuses Lars…when Lars sees the bloody remains he is able to finish his first picture in years.
Realising that Eddie’s bloody nighttime activities are the only thing that helps him paint again, Lars starts to encourage him, and soon the bodies are falling around the small snowy town, with Lars also having to clear up the gore behind Eddie.
Thure Lindhardt and Dylan Smith make for an engaging oddball pairing, while spot-on performances by Paul Braunstein as Constable Verner and Stephen McHattie as Lars’s ambitious agent help keep the film amusing and entertaining. There’s also a nice performance by Georgina Riley as a fellow teacher who takes a shine to Lars.
The film is pacily directed by Boris Rodriguez who manages a smart blend of horror and satire but also never overplays the genre elements. Eddie – The Sleepwalking Cannibal is a quirky little movie that could also well intrigue distibs used to handling horror fare.
Production companies: Quiet Revolution Pictures, Fridthjof Film, Telefilm Canada, Danish Film Institute, Make A Move
International sales: Bavaria Film International, www.globalscreen.de
Producers: Michael Dobbin, Ronnie Fridthjof, Boris Rodriguez
Executive producers: Steve Moretti, Sven Schnell, Michael Solomon
Screenplay: Boris Rodriguez, Jonathan Rennells
Cinematography: Philippe Kress
Editor: Sara Bogh
Music: David Burns
Main cast: Thure Lindhardt, Dylan Smith, Georgina Reilly, Paul Braunstein, Stephen McHattie, Alain Goulem, Peter Michael Dillon