Coyotes Kill for Fun
In “Coyotes Kill for Fun,” the latest from Northwest Missouri indie filmmaker and SLIFF favorite Blake Eckard, a backwoods babysitter agrees to help an abused mother of two escape her lunatic boyfriend, but his psychotic brother is headed back to the area, and he has a fraught history with everyone involved. Filmed over three years in Missouri, Montana, and LA, “Coyotes” had a long gestation: Two-thirds was first shot back in March 2014, and a trio of cinematographers — Eckard, St. Louisan Cody Stokes, and American-indie legend Jon Jost — passed the baton behind the camera. Despite the prolonged production, “Coyotes” maintains a totally consistent — and utterly original — vision. The film features such Eckard regulars as Tyler Messner, Frank Mosley, Roxanne Rogers, and Arianne Martin. Gary Topp, co-founder of the distribution company Films We Like and a devoted supporter of Eckard’s work, writes of “Coyotes”: “I think it is his most accomplished to date; skilled, intriguing and provoking, with authentic performances and some phenomenal staging. It also has a palpable atmosphere of danger that hangs on; I recalled the original ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ But ‘Coyotes’ stands alone. (Blake’s) films can't be confused with anyone else's, and I can't believe he's still an untapped talent.” SLIFF also screens Eckard’s second film, 2006’s “Backroad Blues,” which makes its belated Missouri debut.