I have to be honest going into this I’m not a big fan of comedies, so I was surprised when the trailer for Bloodsucking Bastards got such a good reaction out of me. And then another clip surfaced that was even better and the film was added to my see ASAP list. And I was not disappointed.
Advertised as a cross between Office Space and Shaun of the Dead the film takes office politics and adds fangs, you’ve heard somebody describe their job as sucking the life right out of them, well now it’s literal.
Evan is having a bad day, he’s messed things up with his girlfriend, who happens to be the head of HR and the position he thought he was getting has gone to somebody from outside the company, his college rival Max. And when co workers start turning up dead one minute and quite fine the next, things really go from bad to worse. There’s a corporate takeover going on and leveraged buyouts have nothing to do with it.
This film does a wonderful job of spoofing everything from soul sucking, dead end cubicle jobs, relationships, commitment, friendship and, of course, horror movies. It actually starts out like a fairly generic slacker comedy with the usual relationship gaffs, jokes about spending one’s time at work doing anything but working, etc. It’s only when corporate shark Max is brought in that things change and the humor becomes darker. It’s not giving anything away that the poster and trailer don’t tell you that Max is a vampire and his plans for turning the company around involving turning the staff. Pretty soon it’s just down to Evan, his best friend Tim, Red Bull guzzling security guard Frank and the initially unbelieving Amanda against a horde of undead telemarketers.
At this point the film kicks into gear and the blood starts flowing, actually gushing would be a better word as vampires are staked and decapitated with blood spraying everywhere. There’s even a few exploding bodies (“Wikipedia didn’t say anything about that” one character deadpans) to add to the mess. It never reaches the heights of Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive but it does get very bloody and our heroes are covered in gore by the film’s end. The effects are basic but well done and best of all, done without CGI. A lot of the more outrageous violence is implied rather than shown, but it works and as previously noted, avoids the use of CGI.
The cast is mostly unknowns or up and comers but they work well together and really give the impression of people who have dealt with each other on a daily basis for entirely to long. The interplay between them feels natural and unscripted to the point I wouldn’t be surprised to find a lot of it was improvised.
Director Brian James O’Connell is also a relative newcomer with only two other films to his credit the thriller Killer View and a comedy Angry White Man. While he could use a bit of work on some of the technical aspects such as framing shots and lighting he does bring great performances out from the cast and keeps things going at a fast pace. He just needs to get a bit more creative with some of his shots, a lot of them look fairly generic.
Bloodsucking Bastards is a fun film that will get you laughing regardless of your background. It will have you howling if you’ve ever worked a job that involved a phone and a cubicle and/or you’re a horror fan. It’s currently in very limited theatrical release and available on VOD.