Bloodsucking BastardsOverview -
An action-packed vampire comedy in the vein of Office Space and Shaun of the Dead, Bloodsucking Bastards stars Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods) as Evan Sanders, a dutiful and overworked employee stuck at a soul-killing corporation with his beautiful girlfriend, Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick, Significant Mother), and his slacker best friend Tim (Joey Kern, Beneath). Evan's world begins to crumble when Amanda dumps him and his boss, Ted (Joel Murray, God Bless America), hands his coveted promotion to his nemesis Max (Pedro Pascal, Game of Thrones). But just when Evan's convinced that life couldn't bite any harder, his office mates start going through disturbing changes… and bodies begin to pile up. Evan must find a way to stop the evil brewing amidst the cubicles and water coolers, win back Amanda, and rescue his workplace pals before his life and career go from dead-end... to just dead.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
'Bloodsucking Bastards' bills itself as a mix between 'Office Space' and 'Shaun of the Dead', which are two iconic and excellent cult films. That's a high bar to set for a low budget horror comedy like this one, and while it doesn't quite meet those expectations, 'Bloodsucking Bastards' still has a place in the B-Movie genre, due to its funny script and gallons of blood.
One of the main problems though is that it takes too long to get where it needs to go, but once it does, the gore and action are at an all-time high. The film centers on Evan (Fran Kranz), who works at a dreary call center, bothering people at home over the phone, trying to give the hard sell at all times during the day. He is surrounded by fun, yet deadbeat friends with Tim (Joey Kern) and an over-the-top suave jerk named Max (Pedro Pascal), who has a business degree.
When Evan isn't busy caring about work, he pines for Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick), who doesn't really reciprocate his feelings. It's early on though that Evan senses something isn't right with the company he works for. This is where director Brian James O'Connell drags the pace of the movie. Instead of setting up some of the conflicts and suspenseful moments that eventually pay off near the end of the movie, we get a heavy dose of interactions between all o f the colleagues, which is usually in the form of toilet humor, similar to 'Workaholics', which is fine, but is not used well with this horror comedy film.
However, in the last third of the film, things pick up and we figure out that tons of co-workers are being killed off, only to return from the grave as well, 'Bloodsucking Bastards' or vampires if you want to get technical about it. The screenplay is by Ryan Mitts and a comedy troupe called Dr. God. It's nowhere near as good as anything from Broken Lizard, but it has its moments, but again, focuses on the toilet humor, rather than a broad spectrum of comedy.
The practical effects are decent throughout, particularly near the end of the film where what seems like one thousands of gallons of fake blood were used, which should satisfy the gore-hounds quite a bit. 'Bloodsucking Bastards' is a decent attempt at the horror-comedy genre, but fails to live up to the films it says it emulates.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Bloodsucking Bastards' comes with a 25GB Blu-ray Disc and is Region A Locked from Scream Factory. The one disc is housed in a blue hard plastic case with artwork on both sides of the packaging. Everything is cased in a cardboard sleeve. There are no inserts or digital download codes here.
'Bloodsucking Bastards' comes with a decent 1080p HD transfer presented in 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This would have been an outstanding video presentation if it were not for the excessive color grading and pale contrast the filmmakers chose to go with. It's a rather dreary image, despite some good qualities. Colors never really pop off screen as again, the color grading has a grayish green tint to it, which doesn't help the colors to be as bold or striking as they could be. In addition to that, the detail suffers a bit as well.
When in natural lighting conditions, the image looks far better, providing vivid detail that reveal excellent closeups with great makeup applications, nasty wounds, and individual hairs. Black levels are mostly deep and inky, but a minor amount of crush was visible. Skin tones were somewhat natural, when not severely color graded either. There was some minor video noise, but other than that, there were no other compression issues.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and does the job, however the score tends to take over everything in certain scenes. This overly excessive score sounds good, but is turned up too loud and sometimes drowns out the sound effects and dialogue. Other than that unfortunate business, the audio is pretty good with great sound effects that are well balanced with good directionality.
Some of the ambient sounds are robust as well from the surround speakers. The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow, despite when the score takes over, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills. The bass has a nice rumble to it in the heavier action sequences and never crosses into rocky territory. The LFE is excellent and the dynamic range is wide here.
Audio Commentary - A commentary track with the comedy troupe Dr. God, which consists of the director, writer, and actors of the movie. They had a ton of fun making this and it shows here. They discuss the origins of the script, shooting the movie, and using the practical effects. This was a fun listen.
Outtakes (HD, 4 Mins.) - A gag reel with some missed cues, flubbed lines, and tons of laughter from the set.
'Bloodsucking Bastards': On Set (HD, 4 Mins.) - Some B-roll footage from the set with some clips spliced in.
Easter Eggs (HD, 6 Mins.) - There are four "Easter Eggs", which are more like deleted scenes that are quite funny. These "Easter Eggs" are labeled in the Extras menu, making them NOT "Easter Eggs".
Trailer (HD, 3 Mins.) - Trailer for the film.
'Bloodsucking Bastards' is a fun movie once it ramps up. Unfortunately it takes almost the entire film to do so. There are some very funny moments and tons of blood and guts to be had. I have no doubt that this new comedy troupe called 'Dr. God' will only improve as time goes on. There are some problems with this movie, but overall, its a solid first effort. The video and audio presentations are both decent, but not great, and there are a couple of good bonus features to boot. Worth a Look.
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