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  Buzzard Glove Story
Year: 2014
Director: Joel Potrykus
Stars: Joshua Burge, Joel Potrykus, Teri Ann Nelson, Jason Roth, Joe Anderson, Alan Longstreet, Scott Baisden, Trpl Blk, Katie Call, Michael Cunningham, Chris Kotcher, Lisa Mueller, Abi Obisesan, Michael Saunders, Crystal Sparks, Camille Vanderweide
Genre: Horror, Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Marty Jackitansky (Joshua Burge) is a temp office worker who currently is a drone in a bank, behind the scenes where he can take care of mortgages and the like. But he has an eye for a scam, and as he has an account with this bank, he goes to see one of the assistants to close it, which he does, then immediately after opens a new savings one with them because it has a fifty dollar bonus as a starter. The assistant is well aware that this is highly irregular, but it's not illegal, so there is nothing he can do but arrange to hand over the fifty dollars to Marty. Back in the open plan office, he has gotten to know Derek (Joel Potrykus), a fellow drone, who he likes to shoot the breeze with when they should be working. This is mostly because Marty knows he can take advantage of his friendship, if it comes to that. And it will, and assuredly he will...

Potrykus was the writer and director here, in one of the films he made before Relaxer which, if not exactly a mainstream breakthrough, did get him noticed more than efforts like this had, even among those who hated what he had conjured up. Back at Buzzard, a title which seems to describe the nature of the lead character thanks to his opportunistic and scavenging ways, it mixed the same amounts of comedy, drama and more fantastical or horror elements which were the director's stock in trade. In this case the latter were signposted by the posters of Freddy Krueger on the walls of the apartment Marty is staying in when we first meet him, for he will soon customise an old piece of console gaming kit to turn it into a far more sinister, wearable weapon.

This was a filmmaker keen on nerd culture, so it was a Power Glove that had the makeover, and if you knew what that was you would be aware of its somewhat notorious position as an expensive failure for its parent company. Even at the beginning, we see it is not working to Marty's satisfaction as he bashes it about in frustration, also a strong hint that he may not simply be an opportunistic fraudster, but also a danger to the public, though that part of the plot did not come to fruition until the movie was almost over. Unless, that was, you counted his outbursts against select characters, most obviously Derek when he moves in with him to crash on his sofa, and they get so bored that they begin to make up games to play - one mix of conveyer belt and snacks is really very funny, but Marty can be boisterous as well.

To an unsettling degree, as Burge played him difficult to read, yet with an arrogance that can erupt into mayhem if he does not get his way. The thing was, Marty was just bright enough to come up with his scams, but not bright enough to foresee the flaws in those schemes that would prove their undoing. When we see him deciding to put uncashed customers' cheques into his own bank account, you can understand why he would think this is easy money, but when he gets his comeuppance his self-confidence and belief that he is somehow a cut above the rest of us plebs was both misguided an insulting, should you take it that way. A very low budget production, this was not going to appeal across the board, and while some of it was laugh out loud material, much of it involved spending time with a very unlovely character, with only the last shot suggesting he has crossed some kind of cosmic line - or maybe crossing a line of copyright infringement on a cosmic scale.

[You can find Buzzard on disc 2 of the Anti-Worlds' Relaxer Blu-ray release. These are the features on that disc:

• UK premiere presentation of writer-director Joel Potrykus' 2014 feature
• High Definition presentation
• Original stereo soundtrack
• Audio commentary by writer-director Joel Potrykus
• Buzzard: The Rehearsal Cut (2014, 65 mins): alternative version of the complete film comprised entirely of rehearsal footage
• Buzzard at Locarno Film Festival (2018, 9 mins): short documentary on the filmmakers' trip to Milan, Italy, shot and edited by director of photography Adam J Minnick
• Behind the scenes footage (2014, 8 mins): a selection of outtakes and on-set material
• Seven deleted/alternative scenes (9 mins)
• Hidden Buzzard (2014, 1 min): a guide to the 'Easter eggs' within the film
• Image gallery: behind the scenes photography
• Theatrical trailer
• Festival trailer
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition 36-page booklet containing new writing on Relaxer by Nathan Rabin, Joel Potrykus on the making of Relaxer, Caden Mark Gardener on Buzzard, Alex Ross Perry on Potrykus, and film credits
• Double-sided inlay with full Buzzard artwork
• Limited edition of 3,000 copies.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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