Drinking contaminated water will ruin anybody’s day. But when a group of Satanists partake of the poisoned beverage the results are all the more bizarre. Instead of the usual side effects such as stomach aches or Erin Brockovich showing up, they start to believe that a little boy they have in their basement is in fact an all powerful demon. Much to the dismay of their leader, Abbot Boyd, the demon is sick and losing power quickly. But nothing restores energy like good old-fashioned baby souls. Toddlers don’t quite pack the required punch so the cult lures pregnant women to their residence through the classified ads by offering free baby merchandise. Figures I can’t sell my car there but at least ads still serve a purpose for psychopathic killers. Meanwhile the local gas station manager decides that he’s had enough of these antics after meeting one of the expecting couples on the way to their doom. So armed and with his mentally challenged son, he heads out to do a little rescue mission. Will he be successful or will he be too late?
Eating the Sun on a purely story level is a pretty intriguing concept. The title whether intentional or not, to me at least, is a play on words and a pretty good joke. I constantly found myself comparing the story to the feel of the opening and ending sequences of Clive Barker’s Lord of Illusions. Abbot Boyd doesn’t have the charisma or power of Nix from that story as he is constantly fighting to keep his power over the cult. The story does move quickly but we really never get too much of a feel for any one character because it constantly jumps between story lines from the pregnant women, to an uprising in the cult, to following the would be heroes about to invade the compound. Handling several story lines can be difficult and the characters here suffer for it. From the start to the finish the most sympathetic character is Boyd. All the women locked in the basement are so annoying and sometimes downright stupid you just don’t care what happens to them. One is particularly grating and you wait for the moment that she gets what’s coming to her. Intentional or not Boyd comes across as the most real character. Yes his overall plans are completely irreprehensible but for having to deal with such morons you just feel sorry for him. The cult members are completely overblown redneck stereotypes that are also homosexuals. There really is no reason for this and it is done solely for either shock or comedy value. A particularly revolting scene is a long dance scene with one of the cult members giving his rendition of Dancing Queen. It is quite unsettling and I just felt so sorry for the guy having to perform it.
The direction by Ciro Balbo here is adequate. The camera work for an independent feature is actually quite good. Framing of shots is good in most cases and the camera moves well without being shaky and nauseating. Balbo is thoroughly obsessed with teeth and the cult members being rednecks have to have really bad fake mangled teeth. While some may find this funny, I found it to be quite distracting especially when it affected the actors ability to talk intelligibly. Now I am assuming I saw an unfinished cut of the film so I can’t talk on everything. There were several shots of characters with overdubbed dialogue which can be done quite entertainingly like fake shemping in the Evil Dead films. But here we had a pregnant female’s body from the neck to the waist with a male’s voice (doing a really bad woman’s voice) providing the audio. There are also special effects shots that were equally hysterical such as a pumpkin (I think) doubling for a head so it can be bashed to bits. While these were fun to watch and had me laughing quite hard, the problem was I could never truly tell what type of tone Balbo was going for. There are definitely parts that are funny but it really looks like they were going for a serious tone in other parts. So the film tends to be quite choppy and never really quite flows. It would have been much better served to have the whole film played for laughs and to go for a comedic gore fest. The acting also suffers due to this. Some players try really hard to provide serious drama while others tend to ham it up a bit. The film does present a fair share of blood and gore. It’s not as excessive as I would have expected it to be and I think that would have actually helped the film a bit. Most of it is laughable and entertaining but again I don’t know if that was due to unfinished parts or not. A balloon on a stick doubling for a head is hysterical as it isn’t even the right color.
I know I look like I am all over the place on this film. That’s because I really am not sure just how to feel about it. It all really depends on just what the filmmakers were intending and your mood when watching it. If they wanted to make a comedy then they succeeded somewhat but it still needs some follow through. If this was supposed to be more of a straight film then it falters badly. I can tell you watching it with a friend, we were laughing our asses off and constantly rewinding things to see them again (the fart scene is classic). If you’re looking for a good film, look elsewhere. If you want to watch something in the it’s so bad it’s good category pick this one up. It’s perfect for a Saturday night with a group of friends and a couple cases of beer. And be sure to stick around for the song over the end credits which is a hoot. As a serious film 2 out of 10, as a comedy 7 out of 10.