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Coyote Cage

USA 2023
produced by
Jerry G. Angelo, Nysha Lynn Livingston (executive), Ben Ballweg (executive), Steffen Rübling (executive) for Red Desert Productions, RokitPig
directed by Michael Perez
starring Michael L. McNulty, Carlos Enrique Almirante, Aubrey Trujillo, Fernando Alvarez, Valentin Mexico, Pablo Correa, Marila Lombrozo, Amy Choi, Juliana Philippi, Mariah Padilla, James Cartwright, Nigel Vonas, Hud Gee, Marcelo Palacios, Guillermo A. Portillo III, Rob Estrada, Catherine Yanez, Jordan Olguin, Cisco Fernandez, Rachel Lovato, Claudia Baca-Moore, Wyatt Moore, Diego Martinez, Olivia Young, Sammy Almahdawi, Wes Hudson, Patrick McWethy, Gabriela Alicia Ortega
written by Devin O'Leary, music by Michael Teoli

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD!

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As far as coyotes go, Guero (Michael L. McNulty) is one of the better ones: Now sure, he works for the cartel, and sure he takes quite a bit of money, but also he really cares about the people he smuggles over the border, and personally guides them at their treck from Mexico to the USA. So all in his latest group - Maria (Aubrey Trujillo), her sister Dora (Juliana Philippi), young Fonso (Valentin Mexico), old Raul (Pablo Correa), Aurelia (Marila Lobrozo), her daughter Marisol (Amy Choi), and Alicia (Maria Padilla) - instinctively trust him, and don't even blame it on him when one of them, Alicia, is shot by a self-appointed US militia. And to Guero's credit, he sees to it that the other safely make it over the border despite them being shot at. Thing is, things go South once they've all reached the safehouse on US soil, who has only recently been taken over by cartel members Nomar (Carlos Enrique Almirante) and Javy (Fernando Alvarez), and they're quick to force Guero to return to Mexico at gunpoint while locking the refugees in and trying to force more money out of them, and by way of violence, too. Even then, Guero returns in an attempt to save them - an ill-fated attempt that gets even more ill-fated when hitman El Oso (James Cartwright) shows up, who's in the employ of the Cuban gouvernment and tasked with killing Raul, defect from the Cuban military ...

 

On one hand, this film shows a lot of heart as it shows the plight and motives of several illegal immigrants, a group all too often only adressed as a faceless group of lawbreakers in political discourse, and even dares to portray a coyote as a (however borderline) humanitarian rather than a criminal enrichening oneself on the plight of those in need. But all that said, Coyote Cage is first and foremost not a political film but a thriller, and a pretty tense one at that, as once the main story is set into motion and the suspense is all wound up it never lets go, thanks to a fast-paced approach to the story at hand, a direction that has all the action and violence in all the right places, and a solid and relatable key cast, all of which make up one cool piece of genre cinema.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

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special appearances by
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directed by
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written by
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produced by
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now streaming at

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