Buried Credits, a column that deep dives into the IMDB pages of favorite actors, directors, and writers to find their lost, forgotten, or unknown film and TV credits, continues this week with works featuring David Bowie.
Written and Directed by Andrew Goth
B.U.S.T.E.D. is a movie I would’ve turned off if it weren’t for Buried Credits, but having stuck it out to the end I’m glad that I did. It was never going to be a showstopper but, from wanting to turn the movie off, I went to wondering what will happen next, and caring about the answer, so some changes were made for the better. In a lot of ways the basic characterizations reminded me of The Wire, a comparison which doesn’t do B.U.S.T.E.D. any favours but does cause some mild amusement when imagining The Wire’s Stringer Bell played by David Bowie instead of Idris Elba. Bowie’s character, Bernie, fulfils a similar function in B.U.S.T.E.D. but his intelligence isn’t as intimidating, or tested, as Stringer’s was on his show.
The film starts with two best friends who did jail time together getting released on the same day. Bernie has been running the gang like a business in their absence. You can tell he’s the brains of the group because he’s wearing black frame glasses. The friends have very different ideas of what they want to do with their lives now that they’re out. Ray (Andrew Goth), for instance, has no interest in returning to the life but sees a chance to do something fulfilling by opening a club or gym, where he can dance with his friends and work with the local kids in the area.
It’s not just that Terry (Goldie) doesn’t understand why Ray feels this way. It’s that he doesn’t accept it, putting all his focus into bringing Ray back into the fold and none on whether his obsessed actions are good for the members of his gang. It’s scary how much they all still follow him while his behaviour gets more erratic. Their rivals, the Chinese triad, started a chain of revenge killings but are ready to call a truce. When the gangs meet face to face, having seemingly coordinated their outfits so that the Triad are in shades of orange and Terry’s people are in black leather, one poke the bear “Terry-tory” pun later and the guns are out by the dozen.
The bigger Goldie’s performance gets the more transfixing the film becomes. Kidnapping Ray’s girlfriend (Rachel Shelley), out of jealousy of the attention Ray gives her, she never stops fighting back but gets tortured mercilessly. Goldie continues to talk to Ray like nothing’s wrong, with no physical tells. It’s terrifying and revealing of something seriously the matter.
Verdict: Not Sure
In sync with the other, more obscure Bowie films we’ve covered, Bowie’s prominence on B.U.S.T.E.D.’s DVD cover is completely misleading but it’s during one of his limited scenes that the tide of my opinion started to change. Right after sewing his own pocket square, Bernie upsets Terry to the point that Terry holds a gun to his head. No worries, though. Bernie has his trusty belt knife on hand. It’s ridiculous, it’s crazy, and very, very violent but there are some parts to B.U.S.T.E.D. that might be worth watching if you’re up to giving it a try.
Check back tomorrow as we close off the week with Bowie delivering inspirational speeches.