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Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal

Director Boris Rodriguez's debut feature, Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal, is a delicious blend of horror and black comedy.  Produced by companies in both Canada and Denmark, the film takes itself seriously enough to maintain a memorable story without becoming a parody of the genre.  A fine performance by the lead actor and outrageous imagery ensures that Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal will become a cult classic.

Famous Danish artist Lars Olafssen (Thure Lindhardt, Keep The Lights On) is in the midst of a career slump.  Having not painted in a decade, Lars relocates to small town Canada to take a job as a teacher at the Koda Lake Art School.  Upon arrival, Lars is informed that one of his students is a challenged mute by the name of Eddie (Dylan Smith, 300).  When Eddie's Aunt suddenly passes, Lars agrees to care for Eddie not only to save Eddie from being institutionalized, but also to impress fellow teacher Lesley (Georgina Reilly, Pontypool).  Soon, Lars learns of Eddie's sad past and discovers that the gentle giant is prone to transforming into a sleepwalking cannibal during periods of depression.  Inspired by the brutal violence and death, Lars paints his greatest works of art.  How far is Lars willing to let Eddie go to justify his professional success?

Rodriguez impresses by incorporating a great deal of emotional depth into his characters.  Viewers feel bad for Eddie being taken advantage of while also rooting for Lars even as his morals continually decline.  Lindhardt is one of those rare actors capable of pouring himself completely into a role and making it feel genuine.  Seriously, keep at eye on him in the future.  Timing and pace of the story is remarkable and when combined with the efforts of the talented cast, the film never exudes that campy feeling.  Visually, Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal contains the sort of grotesque, comical carnage that horror fans devour.  The soundtrack, consisting mainly of opera music, provides an interesting backdrop as the film cuts between scenes of Eddie out of control and Lars lost in his latest painting.  As part of a running gag, a fictitious radio DJ provides insight about the tracks throughout the film.

Outside of a trailer and the short film "Perfect" Rodriguez made in 2003, the only other extra is a short feature about the making of the movie.  We get some insightful interviews with the cast and crew particularly Dylan Smith who studied silent films to convey emotions as the mute Eddie.  Special effect buffs will also enjoy a few clips on how some of the bloody entrails were manufactured.  The paper sleeve under the plastic on the Blu-Ray packaging can be reversed into an alternate cover that is a delightful homage to the past.  Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal demonstrates that making an original scary movie is still possible in the age of repeats and reboots.  Horror fans looking for an intelligent dark comedy should look no further.

Cody Endres
Review by Cody Endres
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