Blood for Dust (2023) Movie Script

Motherfucker! Agh!
Stupid motherfucker!
Look, our boy
needs that money.
Did you try Prairie Mountain
or, uh, Central Bank
over there by Second Ave.?
Montana Federal.
Was the same thing.
Look, Amy, our house is more
than enough collateral,
even if we have
refinanced before.
Well, bankers
don't seem to think so.
He needs that money.
You'll find a way.
You always do.
We've been through this before.
This isn't any different.
Can you make it tonight?
Look, I'll try.
It'll help.
You know, it may not seem
like it, but it will help.
AED stands for "automated
external defibrillator."
It's an AED.
It's a medical device
we use when a person
is in cardiac arrest.
So, what happens
if you don't apply the goo?
Let's just say,
always apply the goo.
But you're trying
to sell us something
that we can all do
with our hands.
What do you call that?
Oh, the CPR.
Well, not even
the best-intentioned palms
can deliver a pulse
of life-saving electricity.
Cliff Ackerson.
Don Falstaff.
Thanks for being there
today, Don.
I know your schedule's
really busy.
It is. It is.
You been doing this long?
Uh, sales? STX?
Not as long as I'd like.
Bill Mueller
still the overlord there?
You know Bill?
Part of the herd.
Boulder Buffs.
All right.
Do any sales
in the Boise area?
Sure. Yeah, I'm...
all over Midwest,
Northwest, uh, Alberta,
all the way up to
Saskatchewan even.
Good companies
are buyin' up everywhere,
so hopefully here in Wyoming's
crown jewel as well.
And I used to work for E&P
a few years ago.
Swore you sold us
some hard drives.
Company called Meridian,
if I recall?
Uh, I don't really mess
with data storage.
Hard drives are a hard sell.
I'm pretty sure it was you.
Yeah, well...
that's the peddlin' job hazard.
You know, we all start
to look the same.
But sorry, you must have me
confused with someone else.
I don't get confused
very often.
Well, I'm sorry to catch you
on an off day, Don.
How'd it go?
It was, um...
It was okay.
Sorry about
missing last night.
Are you?
Sorry. I... I know
your schedule isn't your own.
Did it help?
Always does.
But if you'd been there...
I know.
I'm just trying to get us
into the black.
You know there are more
important things than that.
I know.
But the companies that we owe
don't care about family.
They don't.
But I do.
I'll be there next time.
I promise.
I don't need you
to promise.
I just want you to try.
Guide all here today,
children and parent alike.
Teach them to not waver
and remain ever faithful
to Your love.
Spread over them
Your protecting mantle
when danger, illness,
or temptation threatens them.
Keep all firm
when they are about to stray
from the path of virtue.
And if they should fall,
reconcile them
with Your divine son
and restore them to grace.
What exactly is the AED?
Well, this is something...
High-level stress conditions.
Is your manager here?
All right, I'll see ya.
Take care.
And, um... what's my take
on the Sun Vista sale?
That's it? Off the gross?
No. No, no. It's-- it's...
it's a fine sale.
Thank you, Pam.
No, I appreciate it.
Yep. Mm-hmm.
You too.
Always with your back
to the action.
Just focused on
what's important.
Fuck you are.
Aw, shit,
you must've made a sale,
or you'd still be in that
shit hotel eating in bed.
Glad you remember
how I celebrate.
Never understood
why you came here.
Food's crap.
Girls ain't much better.
Then why
are you here, Ricky?
'Cause I don't got to
take any of these girls
out to dinner prior.
Who you peddling for?
Circadian STX.
Out of Boise?
Mm-mm, Spokane.
guess they would be.
let me buy a fellow
good ol' boy a beer.
Toast to the man
whose numbers
always made me feel
better about my own.
Finally, I said, fuck it.
What am I doing?
Convincing poor widows
to buy a product
I wouldn't take
if it was given to me.
You know,
if there's money in it,
or money to be made off it,
I can believe in it.
But this company had me
and my team by the balls.
Receipt payout
after a four-week audit.
A bunch of middle managers
managing middle managers.
Ten times worse than
our time at Meridian.
So, I left
and never looked back.
Did you leave
or d'you get fired?
Uh, you know they both
result in the same thing.
What does, uh...
STX sell anyway?
Automated external
- Heart zappers.
- Fuck.
Selling the possibility
of escaping a death
that may never come.
That's a hard sell.
It is. It is.
Do you like it?
Does it matter?
What was your take today?
Not nearly as much
as I need.
Well, then...
it matters.
I know when
I'm being sold something.
New truck.
Shittin' 100-dollar bills
all night.
What're you sellin'?
Just a way to make money.
I just made money.
No. No, Cliff.
The last time
me and you partnered up,
it didn't end so well.
Wasn't our fault
Mark cracked.
None of us saw the cash
we should've.
Man fucked it all up
by doing what he did.
He took the blame.
Yeah, well, that ain't
no burden for a dead man.
Wasn't a burden,
it was a favor.
I know you two downed
a lot of beers back in the day,
but dead or not, when's taking
all our money a favor?
What's your product?
So, you're interested then?
Only if I know
what you're selling.
give me a call
when you want to find out.
I could use a man
don't mind breaking the rules.
The reason
I called you down here
is because I got
a phone call from
an ol' college buddy of mine
down at Dinsco.
Yeah. No, I... I met Don.
He spearheaded
a tough crowd down there.
Well, Don told me a few things
that's got me a little worried.
A perfect pitch
can't make the stubborn buy.
Ain't about no pitch, Cliff.
It's about your time
at Meridian.
And some money
that's still missing.
I didn't know
Don worked at Meridian.
He didn't.
But the people I call on
still do.
It's easy for them
to blame a salesman
who isn't there.
Meridian merged territories
so I felt like my skills--
Don't try to sell me on that.
Meridian didn't merge
no territories.
They walked in one morning
to find some accountant
with his brains blew
all over the fucking wall.
The same accountant
that oversaw the team
you sold with.
Did they tell you that
that accountant was responsible?
They did.
For some of it.
But what matters now is
you're still sellin' for me.
And you ain't told
a damn soul about it.
So, I'm supposed
to tell you
about a past coworker
who stole some money
and then decided
to swallow a bullet?
You never told me
you was working for them.
Left that
off your resume, Cliff.
What kind of
innocent man does that?
Oh, now I'm involved
because I didn't update
a piece of paper?
You're involved
because a CSO
of a Fortune 500
told me you and some others
were doin' things
you shouldn't have been doin'.
Listen, Bill.
I've been peddling
your hard-to-push products,
making less than a fucking
waitress for months.
I'm not on the phone.
I'm not a CSO.
I am a faithful salesman
for this company--
It ain't
about faith, Cliff.
That's bad business.
No business is good business.
You know that.
Careful what you say.
Advance my Sun Vista Airlines
commission plus 20 percent,
and you won't have to
find out what I know.
Increasing and falsifying
depreciation lengths
for defibs that you
haven't sold in years.
Half the commission
on the Sun Vista Airlines...
Bill? Bill?
You're done, Cliff.
It's me paying for
something that I don't need.
Look around.
You're a paper industry and
working in an evolving market.
I'll bring new technology,
a vast understanding
of the territory,
in the agricultural field.
Hell, your computer
hasn't been updated since--
Since you and I sold
that piece of shit to my dad.
You know why I kept it?
So folks that don't know
what we do around here
think it's an office.
Paper business?
Damn right I'm in it.
Every stack here
is a dollar made
or about to be made.
It's white paper for green.
No better business than that.
Which I will further
monetize and capitalize.
You know my background.
You know my sales record.
Hell, you know I even
worked cattle and pens.
You worked cattle
and pens?
Well, yeah.
You know why my hat
sits crown-side down?
You know what Bang's disease is?
You know the difference between
a roan and an appaloosa?
You know I can learn
cattle breeds quick.
Those are
fucking horses, Cliff.
Look, Gus.
I called you because
we go way back.
No, you called me
because someone found out
you had a hand
in the Meridian cookie jar.
We all had our hands
in that cookie jar.
I know why mine
was in there.
I'm guessing greed.
Don't high-road me.
I know what happened
to your son...
and I'm sorry.
I got out early and clean.
No, you were smart
enough to listen to me
and get out clean.
I didn't have to warn you then
and I shouldn't have
to remind you now.
You stepped out of a con
at a crooked company
into, what I remember,
it wasn't exactly
an above-the-board
family business.
Now, that's gotta be worth
something right now.
Look, all I need
is something that pays.
I am beggin'.
I don't need a salesman.
I wanted to offer you
my years of experience
as well as my Rolodex
to continue the growth
over at your company and...
Mm-hmm. Okay.
Nah... You don't even know
what I'm offering yet.
Well, I appreciate your time.
I'm calling from Spokane.
Nah, I think we spoke
about a year ago.
Well, no. Actually, the reason
I'm calling today is, uh,
to see if you guys needed
any salesmen over there.
Yeah, I understand.
All right. Well, Jim,
it was nice talking to you.
Shoots .44 Magnums
and Specials.
Only carries six,
but you only need one
to drop whatever it is
you're aiming at.
What are
your clients aiming at?
they don't like.
Beretta M92F,
15-round mag,
seen on the hip
of every GI since '89.
GLOCK 20, short recoil,
double action,
Plain Jane,
but just as reliable.
Classic Bulldog .44 Special.
No frills, snub-nosed,
preferred by
just about everybody,
including the Son of Sam.
That fun fact
sell a lot of those?
Oh, you'd be surprised.
You spin it to the boy
who wants to kill, then yes.
You spin it to the gal
who wants to stop the boy
from killing,
then also yes.
I'm afraid to ask
if any of this is legal.
Then don't ask.
This isn't your first rodeo.
Deer. Pheasant.
Odd coyote or two.
Barrel's usually longer
and the target's moving.
I didn't think you'd call me.
Neither did I.
How'd you meet these clients?
I was running guns
to ex-cons on the Hi-Line.
Highway 2 from Whitefish
out to Wolf Point
where you can crisscross the
border with fucking bells on,
ain't no one gonna stop you.
And I met this certain crowd
that started buying
a shit ton of metal.
Six-shooters, shells,
automatics, semis,
you name it.
Anyway... they kept expanding
and I kept selling.
We got to talking, decided
to merge our ventures.
Whenever I cross county lines
or the border for a client,
rival or not,
I drop a little merchandise off
for 'em.
You're an arms dealer
who sells drugs, Ricky.
I sell products
that sell themselves.
That's one way to put it.
What do you need me for?
I'm a good ol' boy
in a nice truck
that doesn't get pulled over
by highway patrol
or piss off any
of the cartels or MCs
that route through
the Truck Stop State.
I need another one.
I'm not a drug runner.
You do the same
as one every day of the week,
just different product
in your trunk.
What I sold was legal.
Yeah, sure as shit was.
Now you're here.
Gettin' caught.
How much?
I'll make a call.
Expected you earlier.
Well, you know how it is.
you always say that,
I never do.
This him?
Yeah. Uh, Louis, John,
meet Cliff.
Are you fucking kidding me?
You know I don't kid
when it comes to money.
He'd show up
at Ruby's, knock on the door,
and they'd know
the fucking DEA was there.
Or he was just some schlub
peddling aluminum siding.
Well, Ruby knows that the,
uh, Feds don't put their narcs
in Haggar slacks.
And I've peddled
aluminum siding.
You never show up
You travel I-90?
All the time.
How often?
Dozen times. Maybe more.
In the past year?
Past week.
Listen, John,
Cliff's, uh, he's--
I'm used to
a route and a routine.
I know every motel owner,
burger flipper,
and waitress
from here to Baker.
Nobody's ever asked
or wanted to know
what was in my trunk.
And if they did,
all they'd find
is a bunch of heart zappers
in boxes.
He's the perfect cover.
A middle-aged schlub
driving a shitty Bonneville.
It doesn't fucking matter
what kind of car you drive.
The only thing that matters
is that you are a man
no one would expect.
Did you expect me tonight?
The balls on this guy.
What do you think?
I'll put my take on it.
Anything goes wrong,
it's yours.
Oh, shit.
All right.
Ricky, you ride with him.
Make sure the siding salesman
just doesn't get up to anything.
Yeah. Well, I can't.
I'm driving up to Kalispell.
Send Antonio.
The thing is, uh,
Antonio wouldn't be seen drivin'
with Northern Exposure
over here.
Slim. Send Slim.
Skin color
matches the profession.
All right.
Give me your keys.
What you're carrying,
it isn't yours.
It's ours.
And we don't like anybody
that takes what's ours.
Anybody who takes what's ours,
we find anything
remotely close to them,
and we take it back.
Now I'm gonna say this once,
and only once.
You fuck with us,
and you and everything
you are connected to will die.
You got me?
You don't have to acknowledge.
You don't have to say you agree.
You don't have to nod your head.
'Cause the second I tell
Antonio here to let you up,
you are in agreement,
and you and I, we are in a deal.
Car'll be ready tomorrow.
Isn't Dickinson
Jim's territory?
It's just overflow.
Jim needs some help, and so
if anything comes of it,
then we'll split commissions.
Are you
going through Grass Range?
Probably I-90 through Billings.
You should call her.
My sales schedule's
really tough.
So, I just... I don't know
if there's gonna be time.
Well, you haven't seen
the boys in a while.
You know,
it's been rough for them.
It's been rough for us.
But you know we have
each other to get through it.
She doesn't.
Ruby's happens tomorrow.
Slim knows
where you need to be.
You drop it off,
you bring it back.
That's all there is to it.
Okay. Um...
We'll be safe.
I don't give
a fuck about your safety.
You bring the bricks to Ruby's,
you get the money,
everyone will be happy.
For the unexpected.
How often
does the unexpected happen?
Didn't take you
for a country fan.
I'm not.
- Thank you.
- Mm-hm.
Can I get some ketchup,
Next rest stop,
pull over.
There's a gas station
just a couple miles up the road.
Next rest stop.
Not before.
All right, well,
I'm gonna go take a piss.
Who is that?
Don't know.
It's been on us since lunch.
Where's your gun?
In the glove box.
Just be friendly.
And don't lean forward.
You have a light?
Uh, no. Sorry,
I don't-- I don't smoke.
He's got a light.
Most appreciated.
Wh-- where you
coming from? Bozeman?
Close. Three Forks.
Yeah. No, I, uh...
I know it well.
Lewis and Clark Inn.
Got great cinnamon rolls.
That so? Okay. Cool.
Thanks, fellas.
Yeah, sure thing.
Keep it
where you can reach it.
Don't you think
that's a little exposed?
Ford Bronco, I think.
Or a Blazer. Brown.
Mid-'80s, maybe.
I don't think so.
Just a kid sucking a Winston.
Asked us for a light.
If he was gonna hit us,
he would've done it
then and there.
Because that's when
I would've done it.
Where are my keys?
Uh, the keys?
I was gonna take the car.
Car stays.
I'm going
to meet someone.
No one's stopping you.
Come on, keep going.
What are you doing?
Jump over.
I'm shooting them.
Get back up. There you go.
You boys have gotten big.
Hey, Simon.
How's it going, buddy?
Good to see ya.
Get over there. I won't
take you from your game.
Right there.
See that?
How you doin', Kyle?
I'm fine.
You still playin' hockey?
Hey, boys.
Why don't you go outside
and play?
I kept hoping
that you'd stop.
That I'd be on shift,
and you'd walk
through the doors,
we'd pick up
where we left off.
Just a quick trip to come visit
our godsons,
and check up on you.
See how you're doin'.
The same feeling
I got when you called.
That it was about us.
That you remembered
what we had.
I never forgot
what we had.
Forgetting is
different than hiding.
One's innocent
and the other's a deception.
Well, you had a lot more
to hide than just us.
Mark got involved
with Meridian
because we needed money.
So did you.
He was helping his friend
and his family.
Amy sent us money.
Did you know that?
Rebecca, come on.
We both knew
it was a mistake.
But I loved you.
You didn't even say goodbye.
Does she know you're here?
Yeah. She does.
Keeping her in the dark
is what you do best.
Tell Amy that I'm okay.
So are the kids.
That she should save her money
for her own family.
Come on, Simon.
What're you doing?
I'm glad she's doing okay.
Yeah. Um, me too.
Are you in Dickinson?
No. Um, I'm headed there now.
Travel safe,
and call me when you get there.
- I love you.
- Yeah. All right.
I love you too.
Where's Ricky?
He couldn't make it.
Fuck, brother.
What the fuck, Ricky?
Fuck, Cliff!
Fuck, how's that for
a fucking score, man?
Fuck! Fuck! Shit!
Whoo! Fuck!
What the fuck?
You don't look so good.
Where were you? Huh?
How the fuck did you get there?
All right,
don't worry about it.
You needed me.
So everyone was lookin' at me,
so they weren't payin' attention
to what you were doing, right?
Man, you act like it's you
who's done me a favor.
If it weren't for me, you'd be
in that fucking strip joint,
eating a burger alone.
Quit your moanin'.
You presented a solution
to my problem.
Of what? Huh?
Fucking over your partner?
I needed you...
so I could be halfway
across the state
selling ammo
to the same cartel
they're gonna think
killed Slim.
You happy?
So what? This is
part of some fucking plan?
One part, yeah.
You gotta be
fucking kidding me.
Wait right here.
You plan on
killing me next? Huh?
He was a tweaker who would've
snorted all that by sundown.
I did him a favor.
He kept good tabs on you,
Why not tell me
from the start?
Ah, 'cause you can
only sell a lie
about something
you've done, Cliff.
Not something
you're about to do.
Yeah, well, you sold
that lie pretty fucking well.
I didn't sell shit.
I just put you in the room.
Let me in
on the full sale,
or I'm walking
with that duffel bag.
Hey, easy. Easy.
I'm sure your gun is right
where Slim told you to put it.
As far as hombres go,
Slim wasn't one of the worst,
but fact of the matter is,
you don't keep your gun
under your front seat.
You keep it on you.
Wouldn't it be easier
if my back was turned?
I don't care
which way you're facing.
You tell me
what you have in mind...
and I'll tell you whether or not
I want to be a part of it.
Yeah. Well, if puking
your guts out
for the last hour and a half
is calming,
then yeah, I'm pretty
fucking calm.
I'm not sure of anything.
All I know is
there was shaved heads
and Slim yelled something
like that before I ran.
Yeah, well,
it didn't feel right.
Like fucking clockwork.
You see this shit?
Television marketing.
It's gonna make men like you
a thing of the past, huh?
You think what you're doing
doesn't have an expiration date?
Course it does.
Why do you think I'm doing this?
Get out, get out big.
Well, anyway,
let's see if two good ol' boys
made the nine o'clock.
You've reached Cliff...
...- Amy...
- ...and Daniel.
We're away--
Hey. Slim's too.
Grab everything he had.
Yeah, it's Ricky.
Same place.
Tomorrow at eight.
Bring enough for the...
for the whole sale.
Where to?
Easier if I drive.
Where to?
Left out of the lot.
What you want,
a fucking address?
It's a house here in Billings.
A place where
we'll have the upper hand.
These all look empty.
Not according to
the building department.
Gotta seem occupied
or about to be
to launder off
the American dream.
Buy a house in cash.
Instant equity.
Cash-out loan from your banker
who cares more about numbers
than he does the home
you're supposedly buying,
and bam, you're clean.
Build a bunch
like my client here
and wash, rinse, repeat.
Leaving your clients
more money for guns and drugs.
Oh, not always about
where the money comes from
but where it goes.
Is this one yours?
Not yet.
What you did
to that kid... and Slim.
How do I know you're not
gonna do that to me?
Well, you should be
thanking me that kid's gone.
He was the only other one
except for me
that knew about Mark's wife.
I knew you two were buds,
but I didn't know
you were banging her.
That was a long time ago.
If that's the way
you want to play it.
You know...
I'll never know why that
son of a bitch Mark joined us.
He joined us...
because I asked him to.
Let me get this straight.
That man killed himself
because of something
you told him to do,
and you were fucking his wife?
Fuck. That's cold.
Yeah, shit. Well...
he was a godsend at first.
And then...
And then you invited
too many people on
and you made the scheme too big.
'course I made it big.
Making it big makes us money.
It made Mark take the fall.
And I'm thankful for that.
And you should be too.
Every scheme needs a scapegoat
doesn't know he is one.
It's always best if it's the man
closest to the accounts.
So, the kid...
and Slim...
and Mark...
they were just another way out.
Another out.
Another loose end.
One less share to dole out.
Take your pick.
Which one of those
have you chosen for me?
How do I know that?
I left the guarantee
business long time ago.
But I'll make
an exception for you.
If I wanted you gone...
you'd be gone.
I need to piss.
1031 Crestwood Drive.
'Cause I know when
it's in my best interest
to tell the truth.
Look, you told me
that you don't like
when people take
what's yours, right?
Well, Ricky did just that.
Nothing's taken yet,
especially since I'm telling you
how to get it back.
Well, then I'll expect you--
Hey! Come on!
Then I'll expect
that you'll be leaving soon.
See, this is why
you don't want to get married.
Don't gotta run off
and check in.
She suspect anything?
She trusts me, so...
she never does.
You owe me four bucks.
You want it right now?
what did that, uh...
what did that guy Kurtis,
what did he have
inscribed on his desk plaque
at Meridian?
"Patience with persistence."
Ha! Yeah, that was it.
Ah, some bullshit
engraved in brass.
He sold a lot.
A lot more than any of us.
He sold to
his old college buddies.
Just pushed a POS form
to any pecker from Alpha Beta
and they'd sign.
Persistence, my ass.
You wanna keep on?
Sell the hardest thing to the
most pigheaded man in the room?
You ever do that?
Yeah, what was it?
What was it?
I'm not talking about product.
Ah, what was your hardest sell?
At Meridian?
Nah. Anywhere.
Man, you know what mine was?
Selling some cooked-up memory
of my old man
to my stubborn-ass mule grandma.
First time,
when my mom was driving,
we were getting
our stories straight.
The level of detail
was important,
she always said.
You embellish it too much,
and you can't
keep track of it all.
Not enough, well,
she'll sniff out a lie.
And my mom always
sent me in first
and my grandma
would fuss over me.
Pouring out...
piss-warm Dr. Pepper
while I convinced her
the bruises
were from something else.
That her, uh, darling boy
would never thrash me or my mom.
Never, uh, steal embalming fluid
just to get fucking high.
Never run off.
And if he did,
he'd come back again.
Well, each time
she bought what I hustled,
the bar was raised...
so that I had to work twice
as hard for the next sale.
The next, uh... next lie.
That was my hardest sell.
Selling those lies
to that old woman for years
just to protect
some son of a bitch
who used to beat on me.
You didn't peddle trust.
You sold her hope.
Ignorance, more like it.
that's just as valuable.
You see, you sold her
what she wanted to hear.
The truth she needed.
It's the same thing
I sell my wife,
and will continue to sell
until I need her to stop buyin'.
There's a world
that she deserves.
Until I can get that for her,
all I can do is...
keep my stories straight,
keep the details,
so that I remain the provider
that she thinks I am.
I'm just like you, Ricky.
Setting one up to make
the next one more challenging.
That's what
a good salesman does.
He takes that lie...
and turns around
and sells it himself.
Maybe we should get that
engraved in brass.
Put it on our desks.
I don't think you'll
be sitting behind a desk
for a while.
Yeah, no shit.
Neither of us will be.
All right.
Bring 'em in.
So you got us
doing this here?
All right.
We can do business.
Knew we could.
How many?
Thirty for 500 grand.
That's a steal.
You're the one on
the shit end of that stick.
Then your hands are
clean for a damn good price.
It comes cheap,
it comes with problems.
Price is low.
And that's all there is to it.
All right.
Show 'em.
What the fuck?
Son of a fucking--
Who is it?!
It's John and Louis.
They just showed up.
Oh, motherfucker.
I'm sorry.
How'd it go?
It went well.
Really well.
He'll love these.
Especially this one.
. ..and we all have
them in our lives!
Our modern form
of the gigantic Philistine.
And it's a defining moment
to face our Goliaths.
To battle him.
Over and over.
Because we don't have slings.
We don't have stones.
We have God.
Those around us.
And there will be moments when
you need to face your Goliath
and decide whether to put on
the armor of Christ,
or allow yourself to succumb.
And that defining moment
was told
in Ephesians chapter 6,
verses 11-13.
It reads,
"Therefore, put on
the full armor of God,
so that when
the day of evil comes,
you may be able
to stand your ground."
And that day of evil will come.
You need to ask,
will you fight?
Will you arm yourself with God?
With courage?
Arm yourself with honesty?
Will you decide
to stand your ground?