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BUZZARD (director/writer: Joel Potrykus; cinematographer: Adam J. Minnick; editor: Joel Potrykus;cast: Joshua Burge (Marty Jackitansky), Joel Potrykus (Derek), Teri Ann Nelson (Carol), Katie Call (Stacy), Scott Baisden (James), Joe Anderson (Craig Kowalcyk), Rico Bruce Wade (Larry), Crystal Hilliard (Maid), Michael Cunningham (Zach); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: NR; producers Michael Saunders/Ashley Young; Oscilloscope Pictures; 2014)
“Bleak grungy slacker indie.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Joel Potrykus (“Ape”/”Coyote”) directs and writes this somewhat endearing and yet not so endearing bleak grungy slacker indie. It offers an amusing satire on how to deal with office boredom, work petty scams and to fool yourself into thinking that you are more important than you are.

The low-life petty scam artist Marty (Joshua Burge), who is the titled character, bolts from his dead-end office bank temp job, after one of his scam’s fails. He hides in the basement of his weasel-like work-place friend and cubicle-mate, a clueless nerdy figure named Derek (Joel Potrykus, the director). The socially backward nerd hopefully calls his basement “the Party Zone.” When Marty’s bank boss gives him a bunch of undelivered checks and tells him to find the clients’ new addresses, he instead signs some of them over to himself and cashes them — only to discover that the bank keeps track of such transactions. Paranoia takes over and he goes on-the-run to his basement hide-out. When Marty takes off for Detroit, he takes with him his invented Nintendo Power Glove with Freddy Krueger finger blades and some bogus checks. In Detroit he continue his check scams on new turf.

The unsympathetic loser is an arrogant guy who hates the system and looks to rip off everyone, not just the system. He takes an interest in such things as video games, comic books, vandalism, junk food, slasher movies, heavy metal, and, gets a particular joy, getting away with cashing fraudulent checks. He’s the kind of turd you might want to succeed on principle, if you root for underdogs, but still hate it if he does succeed because the dude’s such an ass-hole it’s not possible to identify with him.

This is the best of Potrykus ‘s three films, as I almost really liked it.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”