Last week saw the release of the comedy horror film Bloodsucking Bastards, which we dubbed “‘Office Space’ with vampires” in our review. Now that many of you have had a chance to see the film, we want to bring you not one but two exclusive interviews with star Emma Fitzpatrick and director Brian James O’Connell.
Keep in mind that these interviews contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film, steer clear!
In Bloodsucking Bastards:
‘Bloodsucking Bastards’ takes audiences on a hilarious, blood-spattered roller coaster ride in the most terrifying locale of all: the American workplace. The film stars Fran Kranz as Evan Sanders, a low-level, dutiful employee stuck in a boring job at a soul-killing every corporation. Evan’s the kind of guy who does all the work and gets none of the credit, but at least he gets to spend his days with his beautiful co-worker/girlfriend Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick) and his slacker best friend Tim (Joey Kern), so he soldiers on in the hope of one day getting his coveted sales director position.
Unfortunately, it all falls apart in one fell swoop when Amanda breaks up with him and Evan’s boss Ted (Joel Murray) hands his promotion to his college nemesis Max (Pedro Pascal). And it isn’t just their sordid past Evan has to deal with. After his fellow officemates start going through disturbing changes (which, paradoxically, make them better employees) and bodies begin to pile up, Evan learns the horrible truth: Max is a vampire. And even worse… a vamp with a plan.
Evan must find a way to stop the evil brewing amidst the cubicles, expose Max as the bloodsucking bastard that he is, and save his pals before his life and career go from dead-end…to just dead.
Directed by Brian James O’Connell and penned by the popular comedy troupe Dr. God and Ryan Mitts, Bloodsucking Bastards boasts an all-star cast including Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods), Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones), Emma Fitzpatrick (Significant Mother, The Collection), Yvette Yates (Inherent Vice) with Joel Murray (Mad Men) and Joey Kern (Cabin Fever). It was produced by Fortress Features (Brett Forbes, Patrick Rizzotti) in association with Maybe This Year Productions (Brandon Evans), Colleen Hard, and Justin Ware.
You can pre-order your copy of the film via Scream Factory. It will be released November 3rd.
From the description the other characters gave about Amanda, she seems like a very active, strong, and focused person. Evan, on the other hand, lacks all those qualities, well for the majority of the movie, at least. Why do you think Amanda was drawn to Evan in the first place?
I think Evan displays gumption on more than one occasion, even pre-vampires. He is fully focused on acing this presentation and getting a promotion, which is why his world is turned so upside down when Max comes into the picture. Max reminds him of every insecurity or doubt he’s ever had. Fran Kranz brings a certain tenderness to Evan as well. That nerd with a heart of gold thing. I think it’s obvious why Amanda falls for him. He’s kind and smart and motivated and just so darn cute in those chinos.
For all the talk of how awesome Amanda is at doing outdoorsy, sporty activities, pretty much the whole takes place inside of the office building. If the movie had a bit of a bigger scope and ventured outside the office walls, what kinds of environments do you think Amanda would’ve really shone in?
I like to think Amanda is the undefeated beer pong champion in her group of friends. Probably strangely good at air hockey, and an expert ship in a bottle builder.
Amanda begins the movie in a place of emotional pain only to move into a situation of physical violence. What was it like putting yourself in the mind of someone who only got to be free of troubles in the last few moments of the film?
Well, in horror films, I’m used to putting myself in a state of duress. It’s kind of what you sign up for. This was obviously a great deal of fun to introduce the humor aspect. Amanda, on the page, just seemed like an ass kicker. Yeah, she got her heart broken, but she’s gonna kick heartbreak’s ass. Yeah, her new boss is a prick, but she’s gonna kick this job’s ass. It’s only natural for her to slay vampires when faced with that challenge.
Tell me about Amanda’s backstory and how she got this job.
Amanda was a prima ballerina in her youth. She injured her ankle and had to quit dancing forever, so she got a degree in communications and took this job in HR to pay off student loans. In her spare time, she’s been developing an app that connects at-risk youth to after school programs that help them design apps. She’s basically brilliant.
What was your favorite moment or memory of ‘Bloodsucking Bastards’?
Watching Pedro Pascal’s (spoiler) death was amazing. That guy is great at dying.
Brian James O’Connell
This was your first full length feature with Dr. God. What did you learn from this experience that you’ll use for your next feature?
Well, I definitely learn something from every film I direct. That’s the nature of the beast. Honestly, I don’t really think I’ll truly know what those lessons are and how much I’ll use them until I’m actually doing the next feature. I’m very blessed to be part of Dr. God and we work really, really well together. We take a lot of care in creating a safe, fun atmosphere. We carefully add people to the mix that also want that. We do not tolerate divas or head cases.
We got so extremely lucky on this film. Everyone involved from producer down to PA went out of their way to make the set a really light and fun one. I think the lesson from that will be on the next film I direct where maybe decisions get made for different reasons, it might be more challenging to create that type of atmosphere, if that makes sense.
What was the inspiration for ‘Bloodsucking Bastards’ and how did you get that dreadfully dull office atmosphere down so well?
Ryan Mitts had written an excellent initial script and when Dr. God came on we said, “You know? There is a lot of great shit here.” We knew tone was going to be the main needle to thread on this film, and especially in the horror comedy genre. Everyone has had to work at one of these cubicle farm type of jobs. The rhythms are there. The drudgery. The corporate language. Basically, anything that made us go, “Arrgh, that sounds fucking horrible…”, we put in. Finding a way to weave that into vampiric lore was surprisingly easy, actually. If your office gets so little direct sunlight that vampires can just walk around, your job blows, dude.
This is the first time that I’ve seen vampires explode like that with just a simple stake to the heart. What brought about that idea?
Thank you! I really believe strongly that in dealing with alternate realities in storytelling you must absolutely focus on “if this is true, what else is true,” mapping and consistency. It’s gotta make sense, it’s gotta tie in to something we already understand and it’s gotta make sense all the time. If you have a character who went to college that taught a course in vampire business management, that college has to be in Romania, you know?
The vampire explosions were something we settled on pretty early on in the script phase with an eye towards getting the most bang for our buck when it came to production value during principal photography. Our theory was that vampirism is actually a disease. To be undead, to live off of human blood, means that is a pretty efficient yet highly unstable ecosystem going on in there. You throw a wrench into the engine, that train is going crash really quickly.
I knew if we shot one really good/cool explosion scene the first time we dispatched a vampire, it would set the precedent and the audience would fill in the blanks later when we we’re killing a ton of vampires off screen, the audience would fill in the blanks.
The movie ends with the possibility of a sequel. Is that something you’re entertaining the thought of?
There have been some discussions and of course we’d love to do it if the opportunity presents itself. We love these characters and we love the people who play them, so if it we’re up to Dr. God, we’re ready to go! We would also love to make the scope of the world a little bigger, but I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll just leave it at that.
What’s next for you and the rest of the Dr. God team?
We’ve got a few other features that are currently seeking financing. Currently, we’ve got 2 television pilots that we’ve got the green light on so that will take up a good section of the Fall. We’re not slowing down.