Movie Review: “Buzzard” Screening at AFI FEST Presented by Audi


Joel Potrykus’ Buzzard is unquestionably “Loser Friendly” fare and may be perfectly suited for “Millennials” cultural disenfranchisement with its budget conscious cinematography and equally financially conscious mise en scene.

The story revolves around Joshue Byrge‘s character, Marty Jackitansky, an immature and angry temp worker serving time in a bank office cubicle. Marty occupies his time with in-house petty crimes, horror films, gaming and Speed Metal. The over style of the film is riffing off of movies like SFW and Clerks. Marty is liked by his co-workers and has a relatively tight bromance with Derek, played Helmer Potrykus, a fellow temp and corporate slave. The early part establishes Marty’s character with snippets of home life, shenanigans and minor criminal activity. He’s then given a task by his supervisor who supplies him with the task of finding a bunch of small amounts of undeliverable checks by the banks clients. Marty frustrated by the banality and difficulty of the task decides it’s better and easier to cash them in his own bank account. He later discovers his supervisor has the ability to track these checks and where they have been cashed.

Because of this Marty fear of getting caught puts him “On the lam” and for a while to finds himself “Hold Up” in Derek’s “Party Room”. The motto of Derek’s party room is, “Don’t stay in the party room unless you are prepared to party!” This part of the movie explores their bromance or geeky and awkward mildly homo-erotic exploits that ends days later in a bit of boy on boy rough housing. This sequence ends with Marty running off into the cold cruel world! To clarify the term “Exploits”, I mean, setting on the sofa gaming and eating for the most part, with the added tension of making a “lame” Freddy Kruger styled bladed gaming glove in the quiet times.

Marty’ life descends into homeless anarchy as his funds from his fraudulent checks cashing begins to dwindle and he discovers that his bank account has been put on hold because of the illegal activity. He uses his small time crime skills in an attempt to sustain his ever spiraling decline. This eventually ends in what appears the final straw when he’s caught in his fraudulent check cashing scam, with the final blow being him assaulting a check cashing business owner with the Freddy Kruger gaming glove in a successful escape. After this point the movie is not definitively resolved, but simply shows Marty Running down a sidewalk after a phone conversation where he discovers from Derek that his supervisor has been fired.

Buzzard is a fun character study that produces some chuckles and light laughs but it doesn’t resonate with my sensibilities despite the fact I a huge fan of indie cinema. I think it is meeting its key demographics needs and interest but it’s no wunderkind of smart observations, a clever take on the world or some grand absurdity. For the most part it is uncomfortable and monotonous. Joel Potrykus has his advocates and fans but I like a good belly laugh and something that really blows my mind, Buzzard didn’t do that.

Billy Bennight

About Billy Bennight

Billy Bennight is a writer and photographer with expertise and years of experience in these disciplines. His musical youth started as a Punk Rocker and has expanded into exploring many genres of music, with a keen interest in art, fashion, photography, and writing. He shoots celebrity and red-carpet events for ZUMA Press. He is also a member of the Los Angeles Art Association. His images have been published in The Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, Parade, Wall Street Journal, and French Elle, both Vanity Fair and Vanity Fair Italia. He's very engaged in life. You an see more of his work at ZUMA Press at You can follow him on his Facebook page at: and on Instagram and Twitter @billybennight
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2 Responses to Movie Review: “Buzzard” Screening at AFI FEST Presented by Audi

  1. Dennis Robit says:

    DUDE! Spoiler alerts needed. “Spoiler”, that is.

    • For something to warrant a spoiler alert there has to be a pivotal moment to expose a key element in the story that ruins the experience. I guess, the surprise in this instance is there is no real resolution or surprise. I could have written that it ended in the most unimaginative and most unsatisfying way. I’m confident that the director will make a better movie and with a budget to accommodate that process in the future.

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