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Stream to Scream: “EDDIE: THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL”

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As many fright fans already know, FANGORIA offers a great selection of gruesome movies, old and new, for free at our Hulu Collection. To give you a better idea of what’s available, FANGORIA is taking in-depth looks at some of the channel’s terrifying titles with Stream to Scream. Today: Boris Rodriguez’s EDDIE: THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL!

Any artist can tell you that the creative process is a tricky one. A painter, musician, writer, or filmmaker can never truly control what their muse is or when it will arrive to take them. If inspiration fails to strike, they can find themselves deep in an indefinite dry spell. There are many films that explore the tortured world of the struggling artist, but none of them have ever injected accidental cannibalism into the mix. Enter EDDIE: THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL.

Though named after one of the film’s main characters, the plot of this Canadian/Danish co-production really centers around Lars (Thure Lindhart), a frustrated and once famous painter who moves into a rural Canadian town to take a teaching position at a local art school. Lars arrives to find that the school is in desperate need of funding, and one of the ways they secure it is by allowing the adult nephew of a generous patron, a kind mute by the name of Eddie (Dylan Scott Smith) to sit in on classes. When Eddie’s aunt dies, the school’s principal Harry (Alain Goulem) is in desperate need of someone to take care of Eddie so her estate will be willed to the school, and thusly, Lars is takes him in.

It doesn’t take long for things to turn weird. One night, Lars awakens to find Eddie wandering outside in his underwear, blood all over his mouth. He stumbles upon a mutilated rabbit moments later. Lars learns that Eddie’s condition is the result of a childhood trauma, but before he manages to take precautions, Eddie has another episode, and this one leaves Lars with a human body to dispose of.

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The plot thickens when Lars finds himself inspired to paint by the scenes of carnage, and is soon selling his paintings to help raise money for the school, much to delight of Harry and fellow professor Lesley (Georgina Riley), with whom he falls in love. Lars finds himself instigating Eddie’s nocturnal hunger to fuel his painting, and when Eddie’s episodes eventually cease (due to his growing comfort in regards to his new living situation), he must take drastic action in order to keep putting paint to canvas.

As the preceding premise (and the title alone) would have you guess, the film is loaded with black humor and gore. Eddie’s attacks are shot tastefully (to use the term loosely) with the camera often shifting focus on Lars’ grossed-out reactions during the maimings, and lingering on the blood and body parts in the aftermath. Conversely, Lars’ post-murder painting sessions are shot with a myriad of closeups and quick cuts of paint-covered hands and eyes possessed with a singular vision. This treats Eddie’s episodes more as the attacks of a wild animal, with Lars’ obsession marking him as the true madman.

The filmmakers take also advantage of the snowy wilderness as a setting, using wide shots of tree lines and darkened houses to punctuate the more intimately shot sequences of Lars making friends (and enemies) with the townsfolk. One gets the sense that we are truly alone with these characters, and thus the standard ethics and codes that we live by don’t apply here; murder is a perfectly acceptable muse, especially if it can pay for a new sculpture wing.

While most viewers will probably be able to see the film’s ending coming from a mile away, the eighty-plus minutes leading up to it are a bloody and absurd ride that are tailor-made for a streaming horror experience. And strangely enough, EDDIE: THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL is the perfect film to pull up for some friends on a Saturday night and watch with some beer and popcorn.

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About the author
Christopher La Vigna
Christopher La Vigna is a writer, filmmaker, and the newest batch of blood to be welcomed into the haunted halls of FANGORIA. He’s a graduate of Hunter College*, and can be found lurking around any movie theater or comic shop near his person. You can argue about movies with him on Twitter: @Chris_LaVigna
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