Buzzard: Blu-ray Review

Buzzard: Blu-ray Review

Buzzard is an independent film released back in 2014. It follows the story of Marty, a man with a boring job who decides that it would be a good idea to take jabs at work and society as a whole. To do this he takes to doing some petty crime – stealing office pens and messing with the system to give him more coupons. Then he gets cocky and goes way too far. Only when it is too late he realizes that the cameras may have caught him. Paranoia and delusion quickly take hold as Marty tries to hide from his deeds.

Recently, Buzzard has been released on Blu-ray. While the main page is nothing to write home about, with the only options being Play Movie, Special Features and Set-Up. There was no option for Scene Selection, which I found a little weird, but perhaps I’m just used to that. However, the Special Features are really quite extensive. 

What we are supplied is a selection of content including the usual group of trailers, director’s commentary and deleted/alternate scenes. These are usually fun and can deliver insight into what was intended for the film. The deleted scenes were what I have come to expect from them – they’re cute and sometimes interesting, but I can see why they were cut out or changed for the final product.

Adding to the insight of the film, we have footage of the film’s release at festivals, in particular the Locarno Film Festival. Any fan of Buzzard, or even aspiring film makers or general supporters of independent films will find good reason to buy this Blu-ray for the content in the menu alone.

As for the film itself, I found it quite engaging – in that weird way only independent films seem to do anymore. Where it feels like someone came up with a strange idea and then the next thing we know it’s being shot and recorded.

Yes, every now and then we get film’s like Upgrade and Crawl, where it is the same thing on a bigger budget – but it’s becoming a sad rarity these days. It’s obvious that the filmmakers are horror fans – from the Freddy Kruger ‘Power Glove’ from Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (easily the worst film of that series), to Marty constantly wearing t-shirts of giallo movies like Demons. That does come through in some of the visuals and camera work. The film feels like an even lower budget giallo movie – without the use of vibrant colours, more’s the pity. But there is a banging metal track throughout the film.

But I was never in love with the film itself. Partly because it felt a little too slow to me. I’m not one who needs action and mind-numbing visuals to keep me entertained. But I draw the line when I check my watch as we near the final third. There is also an effect in this film that left me baffled. Tonally, Buzzard has a dark comedy edge to it. It’s not a comedy, but I wouldn’t take it seriously either. And some of the effects are quite good for what the film makers had to work with – when a man gets cut by the razor glove it does look like an injury, a bruise looks very realistic at one point and the film’s final shot uses a simple bit of trickery to fantastic effect.

While I watched it, my partner walked in when an infected cut was on screen and she was visibly repulsed – clearly something went right here. But I can’t forgive the effect used in a scene when cone shaped crisps are flying into someone’s mouth. It looked like an early effect an amateur YouTube star would use. It was unfinished and if comedy is what they were going for with that scene, then they simply failed to land the joke. The effect was too bad to be funny.

Buzzard is a weird one, that I think fans of film, particularly of obscure film can enjoy. No, it won’t entertain your Fast and Furious fans and the like. But it is an entertaining film, with a good amount of passion and clearly has its heart on display. The Blu-ray looks lovely and the special features do add more to the understanding of the film’s themes and intention. If you have time, give it a go. It looks like you won’t find a better copy of it yet, so now is the perfect time for it.

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Callum spends most free days with friends (mostly watching films, to be honest), caring for his dog, writing, more writing and watching films whenever he can find the chance (which is very often).


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