Eklund Editorials: Gus – Stegman is Dead (2017)

I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about it along the way. There will be spoilers.

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Bizarre assassins come together to unravel a dead man’s blackmail secrets and why he’s already dead on the set of his own porn film.

The summary isn’t exactly correct. Michael Eklund’s character Gus isn’t an assassin, he’s an (ex) thief, with a wife and an adorable daughter. Stegman is Dead is a comedic crime thriller that has numerous faults and just as many funny, interesting moments. The plot isn’t linear, it travels around and up and over itself, sometimes revealing a little secret or re-examining a fact we already knew.

This low budget film was shot in Winnipeg during one of the many seasons in Canada known as winter. One interesting part to me is how the film dealt with the Canadian outdoor scenes while still maintaining the visual look of a crime thriller. You know how movies of this genre and genres of its ilk (action, thriller, spy, heist) have guys in suits swanning their way into buildings with fanfare and guns blazing? Usually they’re set in places like Vegas, Los Angeles etc., where coats are just an illusion. Well, Ekland’s Gus wears a heavy winter coat outside that he tucks into the trunk of his car before he goes in. He wears a suit underneath and BOOM! problem solved and we still get to see an Eklund in a suit.

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Gus in winter.

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Eklund Editorials: Bobby – The Divide (2011)

I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about it along the way. There will be spoilers.

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Survivors of a nuclear attack are grouped together for days in the basement of their apartment building, where fear and dwindling supplies wear away at their dynamic.

This movie is not for kids and not for a lot of adults. It’s dirty, disgusting in parts (there are moments of sexual assault) and will stick with you for days after you finish watching it. That said, I love apocalyptic movies and movies dealing with the idea of the effects of nuclear war. This one does a good job filling that genre. If you’ve seen the movie Threads this movie has some of those gut-wrenching moments that you reflect on some time after. (Threads trailer) The only difference is this movie doesn’t have the documentary feel that Threads does, replacing it with a slow-burn thriller beginning with the nuclear bomb detonating.

The movie centers around the slow deterioration of a group of nine people trying to survive inside a bomb shelter in the basement of their apartment building. Let me be clear though, this isn’t the Walking Dead, that show seems downright clean compared to this movie. The Walking Dead has hope, the Divide takes that away with the kidnapping of the only child in the group early on.

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Eklund Editorials: Johnny Moon – Mr. Right (2015)

I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about it along the way. There will be spoilers.

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A girl falls for the “perfect” guy, who happens to have a very fatal flaw: he’s a hitman on the run from the crime cartels who employ him.

I dislike romantic comedies. The problem (or upside) to spreadsheets is the need for completion of that spreadsheet. I can’t avoid the few rom-coms that Michael Eklund has been in and this is one of them… kind of. Mr. Right is a hitman-goes-good rom com (HomRomCom, Hom for homicide I freaking love this term) and it is damn good stuff, Eklund only has a supporting role as a baddie named Johnny Moon and I’ll admit I wasn’t sad to see Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick gracing the screen instead. What can I say, they are both adorable and very talented.

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Eklund with Max Landis at TIFF Mr. Right premiere

The Screenplay for Mr. Right is written by Max Landis, that name of course is important because it’s Mr. Landis that was the force behind Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Max and Michael worked together on this film and then Max asked Michael back to play Martin in 2016.

In the film, Michael Eklund plays Johnny Moon, a “local thug” who is brought in by the younger mob family brother named Von to hire Francis (Sam Rockwell) to kill his older brother Richard. However, Francis has started killing the people who hire him instead of his marks, which means that Von and Johnny need to hire Francis on behalf of Richard so Francis will kill the man who hired him.

Clear as mud?

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Eklund Editorials: Ed Brewer – Supernatural

I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about as much of it as I can along the way. There will be spoilers.

Season 4, episode 5: It’s Halloween time and the Winchesters face-off against a shapeshifter with a penchant for impersonating classic movie monsters like Dracula, the Wolfman, and the Mummy.

This one was a rewatch! I adore Supernatural, and this episode from season 4 with its classic monster movie storyline, shot entirely in black and white stands out in my mind. It’s pretty stereotypical Supernatural fare with Dean hitting on women, Sam complaining about it and a mistaken enemy. I remember liking Ed too, I just didn’t realize that Ed Brewer was Michael Eklund. This is an interesting episode since up until this point I’ve been reviewing shows where he plays strong characters, resolute in their goals, whether that’s getting the girl, achieving motion in pictures or taking control of the local drug game.

Ed Brewer is none of those things, hell he doesn’t even have a goatee! He’s nervous (and overcompensating because of it), twitchy, dorky sounding Ed who drinks huge steins of beer and plays a pipe organ in his underwear… well, it’s a Casio keyboard built into a pipe organ… he plays in his underwear.

He’s having none of that fake bravado nonsense when Sam tries to pull his ear off thinking he’s a shapeshifter and Michael does a great job acting terrified.

Thanks to his display at the Oktoberfest the Winchesters don’t even take him seriously at first because, let’s be honest, would you? Part of the character is the fact that he’s become the town joke and that Sheriff doesn’t take him serious when he says he saw a movie-style Bella Lugosi type Dracula kill a girl.

Sam: Can you describe her assailant?
Ed Brewer: Oh, he was a vampire.
Dean: Okay, right. And by that you mean…
Ed:
A vampire.
Dean: So…he looked like–
Ed: He looked like a vampire. You know with the fangs and the slicked back hair and the fancy cape and the little medallion thing on the ribbon.
Dean: You mean like a Dracula?

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Eklund Editorials: Eadweard (2015)

I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about as much of it as I can along the way. There will be spoilers.

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A psychological drama centered around world-famous turn-of-the-century photographer, Eadweard Muybridge who photographed nude and deformed subjects, became the godfather of cinema, murdered his wife’s lover, and was the last American to receive the justifiable homicide verdict.

Do you know who Eadweard Muybridge is?

I didn’t. Turns out he’s the godfather of cinema, a world famous photographer and the last person to ever be told his murder was completely justified because of jealous rage by the courts. His invention the Zoopraxiscope and his encyclopedia of motion inspired Thomas Edison to create a device to allow the multiple camera setup Muybridge used to be performed by just one camera. He’s got a life made for film, yet I’ve never heard of this movie before. Maybe it’s because it’s Canadian or because it’s about a guy that I had never heard of and wasn’t marketed appropriately. Regardless of the reasons, if you haven’t seen this movie you need to.

Michael stars in the title role, and yes, he grew that epic beard his character is wearing and endured having it bleached out. Here in an interview in which Michael talks about the physical transformation:

The interviews are all like this, Michael loving on the movie and saying he couldn’t see anyone else in that role and that’s one reason he had to go after it. It’s also a helluva lot lighter than the Call which I reviewed previously and this is the first movie he did after the Call.

We go from serial killer Michael Foster to photographer Eadweard Muybridge, and he is a guy who loves his work, so much in fact that he ignores his wife entirely for it. She looks for love and comfort elsewhere (and potentially has a baby from that love and comfort.) It’s this affair that will drive him into jealous rage and lead to a acquittal for murder with justifiable cause. Even with all of this, putting motion into pictures and creating an encyclopedia of movement consumes his every waking moment.

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Eklund Editorials: Zane Morgan – Bates Motel

I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about as much of it as I can along the way. There will be spoilers.

One of the fun things about watching everything a character actor does is the variety of projects they tend to accumulate. Now, I can’t watch all of every TV show, that would take the rest of my life, but I will provide a very brief synopsis of the story line Eklund is coming into when he plays a one-off or multiple episode guest character. If you haven’t seen the show check it out and if you have please let me know if I’ve misread the rest of the series.

I love the movie Psycho and the story surrounding Ed Gein, the real life inspiration for Psycho and Leatherface. So, it’s surprising that I haven’t seen Bates Motel. This project was the perfect inspiration to dip my toe into the waters and check into the motel for a short spell.

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Season 2, episodes 2-10. For eight episodes we are introduced to a new antagonist entangled in the drug business in White Pine Bay. Taking over for Gil Turner (deceased), therefore becoming Dylan and Remo’s boss in the marijuana operation and driving a Kojak style car, we have Zane Morgan. *Promotional materials for this season also called him Zane Carpenter, but the character refers to himself as Zane Morgan.

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Eklund Editorials: The Call (2013)

I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about as much of it as I can along the way. There will be spoilers.

The important question is: where to start?

Naturally, when faced with 130+ TV shows and movies to watch, it’s only natural to pick the Canadian made serial killer film featuring Halle Berry as a troubled 911 dispatch operator, right? My first Michael Eklund filmography pick was The Call.”

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When a veteran 911 operator takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl who has just been abducted, she realizes that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girl’s life.

The Call is Michael Eklund’s first “big time” Hollywood film. It was nominated for 11 awards and he won a Leo Award for it in 2014 for Best Supporting Performance by a Male in a Motion Picture.

Directed by: Brad Anderson
Story by: Richard D’Ovidio, Nicole D’Ovidio & Jon Bokenkamp
Available on: Canadian Netflix and Youtube

I have a few rules when it comes to watching everything an actor has done and one of them is to always watch the serial killer movie first if there is one. I think you can tell a lot about an actor by how they handle complex roles like serial killers. I started looking into the movie and when I read a quote from Eklund on playing his character Michael Foster in The Call, it cemented my resolve to watch it first.

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