Bloodsucking Bosses, 2015.
Directed by Brian James O’Connell.
Starring Fran Kranz, Pedro Pascal, Joey Kern, Joel Murray, Emma Fitzpatrick, Yvette Yates and Marshall Givens.
Evan is a dedicated office worker who is passed over for promotion in favour of newcomer Max, but once Max settles in to his new job the bodies start piling up.
Otherwise known as Bloodsucking Bastards, which would guarantee it not getting put on the shelves at your local supermarket, Bloodsucking Bosses takes all of those clichés and stereotypes that you know from The Office, Office Space and, of course, your own experiences in your dead-end day job and throws them back at you with wry humour and bloody vampire action.
Evan (Fran Kranz – The Cabin in the Woods) is the acting sales manager in a large corporation hoping to get offered the position full-time from his boss Ted (Joel Murray – The Artist) but he doesn’t seem to be getting the support from his colleagues who take his friendship as an excuse not to do very much work. Things get worse for Evan once Ted makes the announcement about the new sales manager as his old college nemesis Max (Pedro Pascal – Game of Thrones) is brought in to take over the role. However, Max seems a little too slick and his influence is soon felt as several of the office staff suddenly become very work-oriented but along with their newly-found work ethic comes a certain coldness and lack of humanity. It seems Max may have more than motivational speeches in his arsenal of tricks to get the staff to be more productive.
As you can tell from the title and the plot, Bloodsucking Bosses is pretty simple fare and it wastes no time in setting up who is who. With clearly defined lead roles and a supporting cast made up of members of the Dr. God comedy troupe the film spends a large portion of the first act establishing the usual office characters – pranksters, love interests, ineffectual supervisors, etc. – before getting to the meat of the matter, and although the film does get gory in the latter stages the light tone at the beginning helps to keep you invested as the more horrific elements start to build up. And although Max is the big bad of the film his role feels a little underplayed as it is Fran Kantz, Joey Kern as office slacker Tim and Marshall Givens as Frank, the security guard who knows a little too much, who steal the show and make the film as much fun as it is.
Bloodsucking Bosses is a pretty solid horror comedy that comes from the gloopy grand tradition of splatstick giants such as Evil Dead II and Re-Animator but unfortunately it doesn’t quite have the staying power of those mighty classics. It is funny, the gore is plentiful during the final act (these vampires explode) and the actors do a fine job in getting across the absurdity of the situation but keeping it feeling very much like a real work place, although once the fun is over and the credits have rolled then the film doesn’t tend to linger in the memory for all that long. Perhaps that is because the film doesn’t really step outside of its comfort zone, tending to give you jokes that are obvious – still funny, but not surprising – and comic violence that is very pleasing on the eye, despite the low budget limitations, and evocative of the undead bloodsuckers from From Dusk Till Dawn, which is all good fun but we’ve seen it before. Ultimately, though, the film succeeds in getting across the metaphors of corporate bloodsucking and the tedious inevitability of working a day job (and they do explain how vampires can work in an office during the daytime) and for the short time the film is on it is highly enjoyable, but it just lacks that extra bit of bite to step it up and make it something a bit more memorable.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
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