By Don Simpson | March 4, 2015
Director: Joel Potrykus
Writer: Joel Potrykus
Starring: Joshua Burge, Joel Potrykus, Teri Ann Nelson, Jason Roth, Joe Anderson, Alan Longstreet, Scott Baisden, Trpl Blk, Katie Call, Michael Cunningham, Crystal Hilliard, Chris Kotcher, Lisa Mueller
Marty Jackitansky (Joshua Burge) — he’s a “White Russian,” not Polish — is an angry young man. He mostly seems bitter about having to toil away his weekdays as a temp at a bank, though one might surmise that Marty would rather not have to work at all. Marty seems just barely cognizant enough about the economic system to find ways to scrounge together enough money each month to perpetuate his own existence. As a temp, Marty earns a pathetic hourly wage with no benefits, so he partakes in petty scams to make some extra dough — more like chump change. Sticking it to the man, Marty orders office supplies online at work then returns them to the store for cash; he also closes his bank account in order to open a new one and collect the $50 incentive that comes along with it. A fateful stack of returned checks on his desk proves to be far too tempting for Marty, especially when he learns that checks can be signed over to another party. Not surprisingly, Marty does not think the check fraud plan completely through; he ends up on the lam in his friend’s (Joel Potrykus) basement. Armed with a taste for rebellion and a self-made Freddy Krueger glove, Marty finally escapes the bland conformity of the banking industry; but the perpetual weight of economic pressure finally gets too much for Marty, so he begins to lash out like a financially disgruntled nightmare.
Like Ape, writer-director Joel Potrykus’ previous feature, Buzzard rails against conformity and Capitalism. The economy is the ever-present villain of both films — no matter how much Marty or Ape‘s Trevor try to rebel against the system, they cannot defeat Capitalism. Frustrated with the constant struggle, they turn to violence and presumably self-destruction. The gritty cinematic worlds created by Potrykus are difficult for slackers to survive within, presumably because of their inherent laziness, ambivalence and naive expectations of the modern world. Neither of them are all that likable — they are quintessential fuck-ups — but it is difficult not to feel a tad bit sorry for Marty and Trevor as they burn, scavenge and claw for a right to exist; you might even go as far as saying that they are presented as martyrs for the non-conformists of the world.