4 Stars
Year Released: 2000
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 29 minutes
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Eddie is a hopelessly bad wrestler on his high school’s team who seems destined to serve as everyone’s whipping boy. To top things off, he also has a glass eye. And you thought you had it bad in high school. However, just when things seem at their worst and Eddie is taking a terrible beating at the hands of a rival school’s wrestler, everything changes. After a particularly rough throw, Eddie’s glass eye pops out of his head and rolls across the gym floor as the crowd grows deathly silent. As his opponent looks on stupefied, Eddie’s coach yells at his pupil (no pun intended) to pin the hapless boy. Eddie does as he is told and an instant legend is made. Of all the movies in the big box that Film Threat sent me to review, “Eyeball Eddie” was probably the last one I wanted to watch. The thought of anything to do with eyes and damage to them is enough to make me squirm in my seat. Apparently, I’m not alone in this phobia.

Taking advantage of his disadvantage, Eddie proceeds to have his glass eye pop out in every match from here out. Soon the formally socially awkward Eddie finds himself hanging out with the cool kids and even getting the attention of girls. But, is it for the right reasons? What follows from here plays out a bit like a John Hughes script, except John Hughes on a good day. Like when he wrote “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” rather than the ill fated day when “Baby’s Day Out” first reared its ugly head.

“Eyeball Eddie” has a bit of everything. Humor, squeamishness, drama, teen angst- they’re all there, but none overdone. Especially striking is the performance of the great character actor, M. Emmet Walsh, in the role of Eddie’s coach. Take his advice at the movie’s start to the floundering Eddie as they watch the team captain bully another teammate, “I’m not asking you to be like him, just a little less like you.” This is great writing and prime Walsh.

Made as a project in USC’s film school, “Eyeball Eddie” is an incredibly impressive effort from a talented group of young filmmakers.

Posted on March 28, 2004 in Reviews by

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