An action-packed horror comedy, BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS stars Fran Kranz as Evan, a dutiful and overworked employee stuck at a soul-killing corporation with his beautiful co-worker and girlfriend Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick) and his slacker best friend Tim (Joey Kern). Evans world begins to crumble when Amanda dumps him and his boss Ted (Joel Murray) hands his coveted promotion to his nemesis Max (Pedro Pascal). When his office mates start going through disturbing changes, Evan must find a way to stop the evil brewing amidst the cubicles, and rescue his workplace pals before his life and career go from dead-end… to just dead.
Vampires have taken over your office. Hiding under your dreaded cubicle, you hear the undead seductively tip toe around, searching for the next soulless work horse to feed on. Perhaps those who drone on day by day in low-level sales jobs wouldn’t mind a vampire revolution; what better way to break up the day? Unfortunately, the gang of white-collar friends in Brian James O’Connell’s Bloodsucking Bastards don’t jive well with the new supernatural management strategy.
Evan (Fran Kranz), his best friend Jim (Joey Kern) and his pixie cut sporting, queen of HR girlfriend, Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick) all work for the same miserable company. Things go awry when Evan gives an inconsiderate response to Amanda after she confesses her love for him. He doesn’t just remain silent or change the subject, but sweats with insecurity and mutters “nooo”. Naturally, Amanda is furious and hostile towards her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend; she even sends out an office-wide memo announcing they’ve broken up. To make matters worse, branch president, Ted (Joel Murray) has chosen Evan’s college nemesis, Max — a character skillfully executed by the hilarious Pedro Pascal — as the company’s new manager of sales. Events go from Office Space to From Dusk Till Dawn rather quickly, and it’s up to the the lazy, videogame obsessed employees inhabiting this administrative graveyard of dreams to thwart a complete vampiral takeover.
It’s an old, surefire formula; the usual pissed off love interest, goofy sidekick and back and forth banter are all present, giving O’Connell’s low budget romp a clear resemblance to successful horror comedies of years past (think Shaun of the Dead and Slither). There’s quirk in abundance, and a coat of snappy, obnoxious gore, all mashed up in a warm bloody mix, sure to entice younger audiences who crave this typical easy going macabre.
The tonal shifts aren’t jarring like other genre fusions — check out the aforementioned From Dusk Till Dawn if you want shock value — which lends to it’s charm; events never turn too serious or grim.
Max and the vamp provocateurs first attempt to seduce the humans, sneaking up on them in storage rooms after dark. The Office Space antics continue on, but more workers are turned a pale white. Max’s new regiment seems to improve the company as once indifferent employees become fine tuned workaholics with slicked hair and neatly kept attire.
This funny premise and solid script, written by Los Angeles based comedy group, Dr. God, help Bloodsucking Bastards achieve watchable status. It overcomes unoriginality with decent comedic timing and clever themes the 9 to 5 masses can easily internalize. Franz and Kern are a great duo, the latter holds the best lines and is exquisitely mustachioed.
It’s low budget does bring flaws. Many of the deaths take place off-screen and tend to feel like a cop out. Why lock the doors on the audience while a ghoul’s entire body is exploding? We should be alongside the characters, bathing in the red pools. The cinematography and direction feel cramped, almost claustrophobic; bizarre angles and excluding frames neuter a film that hypes up its conflict-filled third act.
Again, the crew behind Bloodsucking Bastards didn’t have a fortune at their disposal, and the office setting is bound to bring cinematic difficulties. But their effort shows, and the result is a fun, comfy horror film with a charming, Red Bull guzzling security guard (someone give Marshall Givens more roles) who doubles as a new era Van Helsing. Don’t miss the romantic displays of affection amidst mythical beasts who, much like the big corporations we grind for, wish to transform us into well-oiled, lifeless flesh bags.
- Gag Reel
- Behind The Scenes (Bloodsucking Bastards On Set)
- Audio Commentary With Dr. God Comedy Troupe Including Director Brian James O’Connell, Producer/Actor Justin Ware, Writer/Actor Sean Cowhig, Actor Neil W. Garguilo and Actor David F. Park
Bloodsucking Bastards (2015) is now available bluray per Shout Factory