Evan’s life isn’t going all that well right now. He screwed up his relationship, and he works in a really dreary telemarketing office. He is “acting” sales manager, and his boss keeps holding out on him with regards to making the position permanent. Meanwhile, all his co-workers pretty much ignore him and abuse his friendly, meek nature in order to do as little productive work as possible.
Evan believes things could not get any worse. But then one day, everything starts to turn really bad when a new management style sweeps through the office…
The DVD cover touts: “The Office meets Shaun of the Dead“. But I believe it would be far more accurate to compare this film to Office Space: the office environment and the workforce – while entirely surreal – are modelled closely after real-life conditions.
The story itself is predictable, which in a satirical comedy is neither uncommon nor a real problem. It is the dialogue which is the script’s strong side, including management gobbledegook and corporate lingo that is wrought very well into the action to achieve the maximum comedic effect. I also believe that there was a huge amount of improv, given the comedic talent assembled here. I really enjoyed the humour, although I would not be surprised if it did not click with some people.
Apart from the dialogue, the acting is definitely the film’s strongest element. Fran Kranz (Dollhouse; Cabin in the Woods) does a fantastic job as Evan, and the supporting characters around him are all perfectly cast: first and foremost Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones), who revels in the role of the corporate bully, and Emma Fitzpatrick as head of HR, Amanda; and including the always delightful Joel Murray as the hapless boss of the branch office. Some very talented comedic actors fill a number of the remaining supporting roles, including Justin Ware, Marshall Givens, David F. Park, Neil W. Garguilo, Zabeth Russell, and Sean Cowhig.
Perhaps the most difficult role falls to Joey Kern, who has to play a mixture of “straight man” and stoner, while delivering his lines with a comedic timing that has to be spot-on and yet at the same time just ever so slightly off, in accordance with his character’s slower speed of thinking.
Bloodsucking Bastards, which is also known as Bloodsucking Bosses, is a project of comedy collective Dr. God and was written by them as well as by Ryan Mitts. The aforementioned Park, Ware, Cowhig, and Garguilo are all members of Dr. God, as is the film’s director, Brian James O’Connell.
The film goes for a maximum amount of blood-splatter and gore, but mostly for comedic effect. The practical effects involved are all really good, and the Buffy-style vampire make-up is absolutely adequate for a comedy.
In spite of the fact that the film does in the beginning emulate dreary and eventless office life, I find it on the whole very well-paced, and the end-result is a short and snappy comedy film with a net running time of under 78 minutes. I find it more entertaining and more well-rounded than Netherbeast Incorporated, which itself is by no means a bad film.
I would rate Bloodsucking Bastards between 8.0 and 8.5 out of 10.