Some movies cannot be adequately explained or categorized, but demand to be experienced for the wholly unique creations they are. Such films don’t always work from a storytelling perspective, but their vision and quirkiness make for an enlightening and fun sit. Any attempt at a story deconstruction of these sojourns compromises the point of their existence.
Charles Davis’s personal opus, Eddie Glum, is one such movie. Personal is the operative word as Davis is the director, writer, editor, and star. His directing style, as presented here, is not that fancy, but the faux documentary style suits the story at hand. From a writing standpoint, the base set-up doesn’t scream originality: we follow the titular character living in a mid-size suburban home that he has rigged up as a temporary bunker, as the end of the world happens all around him, replete with zombie-like humans. Seeing it play out in this very idiosyncratic vision, though, is one of the most original cinematic experiences you are likely to have this year. The black and white cinematography, coupled with the eerie quiet of most scenes, gives off an unnerving atmosphere. Said silence creates a stark juxtaposition to some of the creepier sequences, allowing them to have more of an impact.
“Personal is the operative word…”
Adding to the formidable unease is the minimalist yet compelling score by Nelson Navarrete. It aptly highlights the descent into madness the audience is immersed in, and doesn’t hit a false note that whole time. Davis proves himself an intriguing screen presence, which is good, as he is in almost every scene. The two other actors, Morgan MacCarthy and Hope Stamper (each in multiple roles), are obviously enjoying the project and sell the insanity with verve and energy.
The slow build from the beginning gives way to something brisk, more intense, and then the movie unhinges itself entirely and morphs from enticing oddity to full-blown original greatness within the last ten minutes. There is quite the memorable sequence that traces Eddie’s gradually escalating insanity and anger. Of course, spoiling its catalyst would be unfair to both the viewing audience and the director’s vision. Rest assured, the ending is gonzo in all the right ways.
The thing is, I am just not sure how the movie got to the glorious low-fi visuals during the conclusion. The film does leave certain ideas ambiguous, which is all well and good. However, several bits just happen inexplicably with little rhyme or reason. On their own, these sequences work well, like when the postal worker delivers a package to Eddie’s dwelling and scampers away, but it adds nothing substantial, and that character is one of a tiny handful of humans still around. This begs the question how many others survived? Are they enduring similarly? The housebound movie never opens up the world to address this, which leave scenes such as that more confusing than was probably intended.
I know that I want to watch it again, in part, to catch the background details I missed. Then I want to show it to my friends because this is a movie you share and discuss afterward. Fans of experimental films or odd horror, who don’t mind a plothole or two, would be well advised to seek this title out.
Eddie Glum (2016) Directed by Charles Davis. Written by Charles Davis. Starring Charles Davis, Morgan MacCarthy, Hope Stamper.