'Bloodsucking Bastards': Film Review

A middling mixture of office-drone lament and vampire-slaying mayhem.

Yes, your boss really is sucking the life out of you.

"Fresh blood in the management team" takes on a new meaning in Bloodsucking Bastards, Brian James O'Connell's horror comedy about a vampire infestation at a crummy telemarketing firm. Billing his hybrid premise as "Office Space meets Shaun of the Dead" gets the idea across but raises expectations far too high for this pic, which isn't nearly the match of either film in terms of laffs or action. While it has no chance of becoming a cult hit like those two, it offers just enough B-movie pleasure to keep genre fans busy for a weekend or two before heading from theaters to vid.

Fran Kranz (The Cabin in the Woods) leads the ensemble cast as Evan, one of few workers who gives a damn in an office of slackers like Tim (Joey Kern). Evan's frets over romantic troubles with HR director Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick) when he learns that the promotion he expects to get has gone to an outsider, slick biz-school jerk Max (Pedro Pascal). It isn't until coworkers start getting mysteriously murdered, though, that he understands what a bad day at the office really means.

O'Connell has a hard time generating the tongue-in-cheek tension horror comedies rely on, letting several of his early stalking scenes fizzle. But the action grows more satisfying in the third act, when Evan finally realizes that Max is a vampire converting everyone to undead superemployees, and must be stopped. Viewers who maintain interest up to this point will do so because of a script, by Ryan Mitts and a comedy collective called Dr. God, that is hardly state-of-the-art but offers enough bro banter to amuse, especially in the hands of this unexceptional but likable cast.

Production values are geared for play on cable, though somebody had a lot of fun with the red-dyed corn syrup as they shot the climactic massacre.

Production company: Fortress Features

Cast: Fran Kranz, Pedro Pascal, Emma Fitzpatrick, Yvette Yates, Joel Murray, Joey Kern

Director: Brian James O'Connell

Screenwriter: Dr. God, Ryan Mitts

Producers: Patrick Rizzotti, Brett Forbes, Brandon Evans, Justin Ware, Colleen Hard

Director of photography: Matthew Mosher

Production designer: Jessica Mahnke

Costume designer: Andrea Federman

Editor: Andrew Coutts

Music: Anton Sanko

Casting directors: Annie McCarthy, Freddy Luis

 

No rating, 83 minutes

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