90 min., dir. by Boris Rodriguez, with Thure Lindhardt, Dylan Smith, and Georgina Reilly
For me, a good movie is one that gets its point across no matter what packaged genre it comes in. Sure, you still need good acting, engrossing cinematography, and solid direction — but the point is, you can make the most inane story of all time work as just that: a fun comedy or scary horror film. However, when you make that film and inject it with a valid and worthwhile metaphor, you’ve got something special. Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal is just that: an uproariously hilarious comedy/horror that explores the driving desire to create art.
“Wunderkind”: that is how you would describe Lars Olofsson (Thure Lindhardt). At a young age, Lars was a celebrated painter who demanded big money for his work. In a prolonged dry spell, at the urging of his agent, Lars accepts a teaching job at a small arts school in Canada. When he arrives, he is informed that there may be a large, mute man in his class, Eddie (Dylan Smith). Eddie is the nephew of the school’s biggest patron, so they let him roam around and do what he wants. When Eddie’s aunt dies, Lars takes the worried man-child in, as there was a stipulation in his aunt’s will that said if Eddie becomes a ward of the state, the school gets none of the money she left behind.
It’s shaky at first, but Lars and Eddie get along well enough. Then Lars discovers something no one told him about Eddie. While Lars is concerned, he is hesitant to do anything, as the carnage Eddie creates in his slumber fuels Lars’s creative juices and he begins to paint his best work. Soon, Lars finds himself egging Eddie on so he can continue to paint while saving the school and impressing a young colleague.
Don’t look into Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal any more than the plot line allows. You’ll be rewarded with a tear-inducing laugh riot from all angles. Whether it’s the deadpan line deliveries, the outlandish blood spurting, the Bob-and-Ray-style radio inserts, or Eddie’s nocturnal sprinting, you won’t be let down. For those who like to dig, you will have everything I just mentioned as a glorious treat, wrapped around a dark exploration into the things people go through for their art. Blood, sweat, and tears isn’t a common phrase for no reason. Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal just takes it literally for entertainment’s sake.
Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal is to the Tribeca Film Festival this year what Trollhunter was last year. Most will think it’s just a fun little film that will entertain the midnight madness audiences. Just because a film is not dramatic and mind-bending doesn’t mean it’s not up to par as the best out there to be offered. So far, Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal is the best film I’ve seen the festival offer (I still have a lot to go). It’s the most complete film I’ve viewed, and on top of everything else, it’s wildly entertaining.
When 2013 is right around the corner, I doubt Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal will be number one on my list of films you must see, but for now it’s front and center. It’s the first film in a long time that actually had me falling out of my seat and clapping my hands in a fit of joyous laughter. Do I really need to say anything more than that?