Starring Eamonn Morrissey (lately of Fair City ) and Stephen Brennan, Eat the Peach is an Irish film that is based upon a real-life tale from the Midlands, and Athlone Film Club is delighted to be able to show it to Athlone audiences during Luan Fest. Eat the Peach will be shown in the Dean Crowe Theatre at 8pm on Wednesday August 14 and admission is free.
Unravelling in wide, ashen-brown Irish plains, the story starts with the main character, Vinnie (Stephen Brennan ), losing his job in a local computer factory run by Japanese owners. Unemployed and forlorn, Vinnie hangs out aimlessly with his brother-in-law Arthur (Eamon Morrissey ) until he’s struck with a vision: a VCR left behind in a bar by one of the Japanese businessmen is playing the 1964 movie Roustabout, in which Elvis Presley’s daredevil drives his motorcycle up the Wall of Death: a wooden cylinder enabling the driver to make horizontal loops as if he was suspended in mid-air.
From now on, Vinnie’s life is devoted to erecting a Wall of Death all his own. He manages to pull those dear to him into the folly: the amiable Arthur follows immediately, while Vinnie's wife Nora (Catherine Byrne ) needs some coaxing. Vinnie envisions the Wall as a possible carnival sensation and in order to get the necessary funds he starts smuggling whiskey to Northern Ireland, using a variety of covers that provide much of the movie’s humour. With some advertising help provided by Boots (Niall Toibin ), a local faux-American who fancies himself a big-time Yankee operator, the Wall gets finished, but (to put it mildly and in a spoiler-free manner ) fails to bestow a lasting well-being onto its architect.
What propels the movie forward (or rather spins it around ) is Vinnie’s quiet drive and Arthur’s steady support. It’s thanks to these qualities that the Wall of Death slowly rises. The film is full of tiny touches and throwaway lines that make one laugh without sounding like intentional comedy (“I now declare this Wall of Death open for business,” says the priest in all sincerity just as he’s about to sprinkle some holy water onto the construction ).