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The Buzzards are a Russian speaking scavenging wastelander tribe of bandits of Russian descent living in some underground burrows known as the Sunken City.[1] They appear in Mad Max: Fury Road and Mad Max (2015 video game).

"From hidden underground tunnels came the buzzards, metal pirates from the buried city. They covered their bodies in bandages to keep the knifing sun at bay and their rides in rusty spikes to keep their enemies away. They lived to hunt the scrap"

Conception of The Buzzards

During very early writing process of Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller and Brendan McCarthy came to a point in the story where the audience would be getting used to everything so they needed to show them something they hadn't seen before. That initial idea evolved into introducing a completely new tribe to the audience - The Buzzards. The inspiration for them came from studying the Australian outback and the spiky lizards that inhabited it. After Miller saw McCarthy's designs of The Buzzards' vehicles, he said that they looked like they were from the movie "The Cars That Ate Paris". That came as a surprise to McCarthy, who hadn't seen the movie.[2]

Brendan McCarthy came up with the idea of installing buzz saws onto the Buzzard vehicles, the intention being that those cars were supposed to swiftly jump in and out of action, disabling vehicles with said buzz saws. They were the vehicular equivalent of Coyotes or Hyenas, with the general idea of being scavengers that let someone else do the killing only to come back for whatever is left.[3]


The Buzzards drive vehicles covered in spikes and are regarded as "the lowest common denominator" of the wasteland.[4] The Buzzards reside in an area of The Badlands called The Sunken City. [5] It borders The Last Road (aka "Fury Road") which connects The Citadel to Gas Town.[6] Anyone foolish enough to enter The Badlands has to face them.

Survival strategy

Contrary to the philosophy of the War Boys, The Buzzards do not seek to salvage and re-use found materials. They do not care for the rebirth of society. The Buzzards simply consume the remains of the old world, they are scrap merchants. They see steel instead of a potential sedan, they see meat instead of a human being. Their referring to humans as "meat" is not simply because or their disrespect for others. They are, in fact, cannibals, shown in the comics when a Buzzard pursuing Max shouts "The drumsticks to the warrior who kills the filth!" They also breed moths for food.


Their rusty vehicles are covered in metal spikes and look to be mostly made of scrap metal. Their vehicular fleet consists of a number of Spiked Jalopies and the Buzzard Excavator.[7] Another characteristic of their vehicles are the circular blade saws attached to them. They prove to be quite ineffective against The War Rig and its crew. One of these vehicles is called "Plymouth Rock" and is composed of a 1937 Plymouth sedan covered in metal spikes. In the video game, their vehicles seem to also be quite durable being able to take at least 4 Thunderpoons, when the weapon is at a low level. At higher levels, Buzzard vehicles all take one Thunderpoon.


  • The Buzzard Excavator, is a MAN 6x6 tractor covered in 1,757 steel spikes hand-fabricated from old car panels. It's the same amount of quills found on Echidnas.[8]
  • A total of 5,000 of rusty spikes were welded to the cars in the Buzzard fleet.[9]
  • The look of The Buzzards cars was inspired by an Australian car movie: The Cars That Ate Paris[10][11]
  • In the Russian version of the movie,The Buzzards speak German, and this ironically seems to make more sense in the real world considering that the real Australia has a larger minority of ethnic Germans than ethnic Russians.

Early concept art

Early concept art for The Buzzards was conceived by Brendan McCarthy and Peter Pound between 1999 and 2003.