Bugtussle Image


By Alan Ng | February 21, 2022

Derek Sitter’s short film, Bugtussle, is a modern take on John Steinbeck. Two bank robbers, Crow (John Mese) and Coyote (Derek Sitter), are on the run and holed up in a safehouse. Now, all they have to do is wait for the other thieves to arrive so that they can split up the cash. The problem is during the heist, Coyote killed a bank teller and was shot in the process.

The dramatic crime tale takes us into Crow and Coyote’s waiting game. As the pair waits for the money to arrive, which feels like an eternity, Crow frets over the fact that the others are not coming because of Coyote’s fatal actions. All the while, Coyote is working hard to keep his short temper at bay.

“Two bank robbers…are on the run and holed up in a safehouse. Now, all they have to do is wait…”

Writer/director Derek Sitter wrestles with America’s wealth disparity as it exists today — a problem not so different from the time of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Grapes of Wrath. As Bugtussle plays out, you’ll feel a familiarity with those stories. Crow and Coyote are men trapped in a life of poverty and going to extremes to get out with their dreams serving as their last shred of hope.

Sitter’s tale is presented like a mini-play. As our leads, Mese and Sitter’s performances tell us everything we need without exposition. Very little is spoken about Crow and Coyote’s origins; instead, they react to their characters’ tense situation, leading to an extreme conclusion.

For more information, visit the Bugtussle official website.

Bugtussle (2022)

Directed and Written: Derek Sitter

Starring: John Mese, Derek Sitter, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Bugtussle Image

"…wrestles with America’s wealth disparity as it exists today..."

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