A year after winning the Grand Jury Award at the 2019 Dances with Films Festival in Los Angeles, the compelling indie feature, GUTTERBUG is getting a much-anticipated release on AppleTV, Amazon Prime, DVD as well as a host of other cable outlets.
Directed by talented first-time feature director, Andrew Gibson, Gutterbug is the gripping tale of Stephen Bugsby, (Andrew Yackel) known on the mean streets of Boston as “Bug.” Having left home on his 18th birthday Bug has never looked back, but now, three years later, he’s hit rock bottom. The high times of his “crust punk” existence which consists of panhandling as well as an unhealthy dose of sex, drugs and rock and roll seems to have ground to a halt, replaced by depression, rejection and thoughts of suicide.
On his 21st birthday, his new companion, Jenny (Hannah Mosqueda) who clearly has her own demons, asks Bug how he wants to spend his special day. Through his drug-fueled haze, the young drifter suddenly has a moment of clarity: “I want to go home.”
From there, Bug and his crew of misfits lead us through an adrenaline-packed adventure as they try to deliver Bug back to the life he left behind – not realizing that he is closer to home than he has been in years.
Andrew Yackel hits it out of the park here as “Bug.” His performance is as forceful as it is heartbreaking. Hannah Mosqueda and Justin Pietropaolo, both talented performers, ably hold the screen as “Jenny” and “Slim,” Bug’s pals who try to help him find his family.
Written by Andrew Gibson and Chris Tobin, Gutterbug well deserves its celebrated festival run and its now many accolades. Shot non-union on a tiny budget, Gutterbug feels like a much bigger movie, delivering production values that equal multi-million dollar motion pictures.
Andrew Gibson’s fluid direction, eye for composition and his ability to elicit performances from a relatively inexperienced cast is to be commended. He is an emerging young filmmaker with a clear and unique voice. It’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with as a follow-up.
Gutterbug is available 8/11/2020 on DVD, AppleTV and Amazon Prime, as well as a number of other VOD platforms (Google, Vudu, Tubi, FandangoNow, RedBox, Xbox, Playstation).