Directed by Trevor Juenger
I wasn’t originally intending to do back to back reviews that starred Bill Oberst Jr., but a few days back Bill was nice enough to provide me with a screener link for Coyote, so I figured why not? I’m not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth. Where the hell did that phrase come from? It makes no sense to me. Anyway, let’s get into the review.
Bill Oberst Jr. plays Bill, a struggling writer who just can’t seem to get more than a line or two written at any one attempt. During the day he’s the quiet type who works for a moving company with the ultra racist Joe. At night he’s a man who is losing his grip on sanity due to his writer’s block and his refusal to sleep because of the disturbing nightmares he has.
His calm, quiet demeanor during the day quickly fades as even the sun cannot quiet the insanity bubbling up inside him. This soon leads to people around him suffering and dying, and treating us to some of the craziest imagery I’ve seen in some time. It gets to the point where you aren’t completely sure what is real and what isn’t, and it gives you a real sense of the inner workings of this particular lunatic.
I know I’m not the only one who said this, but it bears repeating because I feel the same way; there are definitely elements of the camera work and imagery that smacks of Cronenberg. More than once my mind flashed to movies like Naked Lunch and Videodrome, and I say that in a good way. Particularly the scene where Bill is looking in a mirror and sees a large mantis head where his head should be. And you haven’t lived until you see Oberst Jr. finger a vagina that suddenly appears in a video camera lens, or his getting a knife erection in his pants. Yes, it’s exactly how it sounds.
The supporting cast was good for the most part, and not to downplay their performances or anything, but Oberst Jr. was the show-stealer in this. His performance as an all-out sleep-deprived nutcase was done with a dedication seldom seen in low-budget horror. The role was very physical and dirty, but I can imagine he did it with a smile on his face. It was a faaarrr cry from his calm, reserved role as Abraham Lincoln, that’s for sure.
The music fit in almost perfectly with the movie, the camera work fit in very well with the events of Coyote, and it seemed sometimes that the camera was almost a character in itself. The dialogue made me laugh on several occasions, partly in shock with the racist ranting of the Joe character, and from great scenes like when Bill has an interview for a job, and his random ranting and talking to himself and objects that shouldn’t normally talk back, but do for him.
Coyote might not appeal to those who can’t pay attention for long periods, or those who get confused easily because the level of psychosis involved with the Bill character can be difficult to follow, even with 100% attention given. But just keep in mind that he’s completely lost his marbles, and you’ll do ok. And if you are fans of Cronenberg as I am, you may appreciate the eye candy it delivers. Director Trevor Juenger has helped me retain what faith I have left in Indie horror, and you should give it a chance when it’s released. Rest in peace everyone.
Macabre Rating: 4 out of 5 tombstones