Buzzards (2015) – By Misty Layne

 

BUZZARDS is a no-budget sci-fi short that follows the life of an unusual maintenance worker as he tries to piece together some form of luxury in his menial ritualistic life. And, I mean, I guess that’s what technically happens? It’s a little hard to say what did or didn’t happen here, or more accurately put – what the point of BUZZARDS was.

For 20 minutes, we watch as said maintenance worker watches Superman cartoons and old movies in his RV-type vehicle, converses with an unknown person or entity on an old computer (think black screen with green font and that blinking line), and drives to different reception towers, all while wearing some steampunk-y goggles. Why? I don’t know. I’m guessing we’re in some sort of future, dystopian world where something’s happened, but he could also just be way out in the boonies sticking to himself. Everytime he and his computer pen pal communicated though, he would mention something about watching TV or something, and the pen pal would be, “Oh. I didn’t know you had that.” So, I’m thinking television is rare? I kind of thought “alien invasion” because he and his computer buddy keep checking the towers and maintenance guy mentions seeing someone and an invasion (or being invaded?). But I JUST DON’T KNOW. And therein lies the rub.

I assume the the two characters of the film are the “buzzards”, though whether they’re picking over a dead society or something else, I don’t know. It’s not ALL bad though. The film was beautifully shot, excellent cinematography. I loved the desolateness and I loved the atmosphere. I just wish the story had been less obfuscated so I could have truly enjoyed it. And I know director, Seamus Hanly, does good work, because I dug the last film of his I watched, BeND…this one though, I can’t get behind.