Friday, June 24, 2022


Joel Potrykus

Buzzard exists in a world that just seems to a be a series of banal spaces and totally devoid of any personal meaning to anyone.  Houses and jobs are just spaces to occupy. What you do there is largely irrelevant. These are the corpses of what might have once been thriving places filled with people who have full lies, but all of that is dying or already dead. Enter into this world, Marty (Joshua Burge).

Marty is low-wage temp performing pointless work at an insurance company. Marty is schemer, always looking for ways to get things for free, he struggles to get traction in a world that has been smoothed down by indifference. His frustration at the world transforms into rage. At his core, Marty is an angry person and grows angrier with each passing day. Eventually he tries illegally cashing checks and returning stolen office supplies to the store for cash. His fragile criminal enterprises collapse and soon Marty is laying low in the basement of his sort of friend, Derek (Joel Potrykus). Eventually things threaten to get bad enough that Marty, along with his Freddy Krueger/Powerglove invention go on the run.

Getting ready for the midnight movie.

The director, Joel Potrykus, loves his weirdo loners being put through trials to reach enlightenment. Similar themes happen in all this films, Alchemist’s Cookbook (2016), and Relaxer (2018) being his most recent two. Does Marty reach some kind of enlightenment at the end?  It’s difficult to say, he’s so mired in the crapped-out world he inhabits that any struggle is going to be difficult. Every character in the film feels isolated in a similar way.

The world of Buzzard is full of tedious office buildings, faceless shops, and basements full of pathetic knickknacks. Marty’s signature object, a bladed Power Glove is a hybrid of pop-horror and video games, it’s what little culture he posses turned into a weapon. If the rest of the movie is deliberately unremarkable looking, Marty’s little toy is the opposite. It’s dangerous and funny and absurd in a way the rest of the world isn’t.


At the midnight movie.

Buzzard is a bleak but there are plenty of moments of comedy. Marty’s whole dysfunctional friendship with Derek is a constant source of painful laughs. These two people don’t respect each other, but they both seem to need each other around. Derek’s inflated sense of ego vs. Marty’s cockroach survival instincts provide for the bulk of the humor. The rest of the movie lives in a sort of glum absurdity. It is in these moments the real darkness bubbles to the surface as all this work to cheat the system fails and tears at Marty’s fragile sense of self. The final moments of the film speak of a threshold crossed but that threshold is left up the viewer.

Funny, disturbing, and a perfect story to touch on what it is like to be a wage working on flat, terrible world as seen through someone with little morals and even less planning skills. Highly recommended.

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