Horror-comedies are arguably the most difficult mashups to pull off. I’ve said this before and I’ll probably continue to say it every time I talk about a horror-comedy because not only do I find it to be true, but horror-comedies seem to be some of the most frequent entries. I’m not sure why this is exactly. Perhaps filmmakers think they’re easier. Whatever the case may be the market is saturated with them and more often than not they tend to miss the mark for me. That’s why I’m proud to say Bloodsucking Bastards is part of the exception.
Fran Kranz (is this not one of the best modern day names for an actor?) stars as Evan, a good hard-working employee that works for a company that deals in over-the-phone sells. What they’re selling exactly I’m not too sure. I think it’s all that infomercial crap that is purchased by sad people. Needless to say it’s a job that doesn’t exactly feel like it’s going places. Still Evan works hard and is hoping to get a promotion. Sharing the office with Evan is his best friend Tim (Joey Kern) and his now ex-girlfriend Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick).
Evan’s boss, Ted (Joel Murray), calls a meeting one morning. Evan is sure this is going to be the moment he has been waiting for but things don’t go quite as Evan had planned. Ted announces that the sales manager position that Evan has been working so hard for has been filled. Not only did Evan not get the job but it went to an outsider who also happens to be Max (Pedro Pascal), the man who has basically been Evan’s arch nemesis since college. Ted explains that Max was brought in because they need some outside help from someone with a history of success. The company isn’t doing too well, which comes as a surprise to no one.
Max immediately starts making changes in an effort to better business but Evan begins to notice other changes. Very weird and strange changes to all his co-workers. After some digging Evan gets to the bottom of it – Max is a vampire! And he plans to turn everybody into vampires! He quickly explains this all to Tim and the two set out to foil Max’s evil plans!
The issue I typically find with comedic horror films is that the humor often doesn’t work. It either falls flat, feels forced or has too much of a raunchy teen-sex vibe. For the most part Bloodsucking Bastards delivers humor that is quick and witty. Most of that comes courtesy of Kern who is fabulous. I always wonder why we don’t see him more. He’s the perfect supporting man. If you’ve ever worked in an office you’ve worked with a Tim. And a Max, an Evan and a Ted for that matter. Somebody from Dr. God (the comedy team responsible for Bloodsucking Bastards) has definitely worked in an office environment and it shows. They nailed the dynamic and the jokes are spot on.
The film definitely sways more towards the comedy side of things rather than horror, but a lot of the vampire elements are great. Particularly what happens to the vampires when they die. They basically just explode into a bloody mess. It’s pretty fantastic.
Bloodsucking Bastards is a highly enjoyable little flick. Not everything works but most of it does. When the film encounters the few hiccups it has you really don’t even mind because the cast is so damn charming. While it may not be as good as something like What We Do in the Shadows, I’d say it’s a more than worthy companion piece.
Bloodsucking Bastards is now available on Blu-ray from Scream Factory.