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Bloodsucking Bastards (2015)
Written by Dr. God & Ryan Mitts Directed by Brian James O’Connell
What’s (immediately) not overtly obvious is that Dr. God is in fact a group of five members; Sean Cowhig, Neil Garguilo, Brian James O’Connell, David Park, and Justin Ware. A comedy group whose worked together as well as solo on a variety of projects, finally coming together for their directorial debut with Bloodsucking Bastards. A comedy concerning a group of friends working at an office (or are they friends because they work together), overshadowed by their lack of motivation and overall interest in the (very) recent breakup between sales manager, Evan (Fran Kranz) and (worst) head of Human Resources, Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick). After a loveless night, we see the bitter side of office relationships as she goes on to chastise him in front of other staff members and even send out a memo announcing the events having transpired.
Though Dave (Park) concerned himself more with the office polls and collecting money, Tim (Joey Kern) and Andrew (Ware) got away with the most, caring the least. Mike (Garguilo) occasionally participating in their shenanigans with his alone time ultimately dooming him in the end. Later called in as a means of revamping the company, we’re introduced to Max (Pedro Pascal), whose troubled past with another employee would soon makes things once bitten, twice shy. Acquainted to other office caricatures roaming about as the overzealous security guard Frank (Marshall Givens) rounds out the cast. Shot in a matter of 18 days and only 84 minutes long, enough time is allotted to establish everyone just as soon as they’re beginning to be picked off.
Although a fine line between where Comedy and Horror are able to meet, I think what often gets forgotten is how broad of a spectrum said genres can expand upon. With so many facets of comedy, its clear that they cater to a wide variety of people. Everything from raunchy to deadpan; humor is merely in the eye of the beholder. Multiple comedy groups have even gone on to make their own films; Broken Lizard and the Happy Madison clan with the biggest stamp within said genre. Granted that type of comedy isn’t for everyone, it is an aesthetic. Having worked in a similar setting and knowing several guys like the ones we see portrayed, the humor isn’t lost (with myself) whereas others might not understand the otherwise insipid behavior in a professional setting, with vampires thrown into the mix out of nowhere. But that’s what I liked about it. Once Max is understood to be the head Vampire (Spoiler!) he goes into back story of getting kicked out of school and none others wanting him except one located in Romania. Working with Ted (Joel Murray) to help breathe new life into the company and while at it, exacting a little revenge on the person responsible for his derailment.
The heavy hitter here obviously Kern, whose always had great comedic timing; also delivering most of the more memorable one liners. With Krantz and Fitzgerald overshadowed as even Pascal had a handful of lines elicited by his charm. Though I’ve enjoyed them both in past roles, something lacked, it felt too much like they had to keep up with the rest of the cast. Once it’s established that vampires are in fact taking over the humor moves with Kern and Givens (Frank) who had a great chemistry and gimmick (for the latter). Ending in a way that suggest another (possible) installment; even the seemingly random cameo of Matthew Lillard could transpire into a separate storyline. Though probably best left in the dust as a one hit wonder rather than trying to make sense of their necks victim.