Making a movie is a nat­u­ral way for a com­e­dy group to broad­en its reach in the world of enter­tain­ment: for the gold stan­dard exam­ple, look no fur­ther than Broken Lizard and their beloved cult movie, Super Troopers. The Dr. God com­e­dy group has tak­en this path to poten­tial glo­ry and tapped both the hor­ror gen­re and the office-set com­e­dy to make their debut film ven­ture, Bloodsucking Bastards. The result is a piece of work that shows both the joys and the grow­ing pains of a com­e­dy group try­ing to trans­late their style to the big BloodBas-bluscreen.

Bloodsucking Bastards takes place in the cor­po­rate world, set in a com­pa­ny where slack­ers try to do as lit­tle as pos­si­ble while ignor­ing the fact that their com­pa­ny is in trou­ble. Evan (Fran Kranz) is an excep­tion to this rule and wants to work up to mid­dle man­age­ment. He gets his hopes up when the boss (Joel Murray) says changes are about to occur but those hopes are dashed when Max (Pedro Pascal) is brought in to take the slot.

This for­mer col­lege rival of Evan’s has eyes for Evan’s girl­friend Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick), a sit­u­a­tion that is com­pli­cat­ed by the fact that Evan is cur­rent­ly on the outs with her. However, Max presents a big­ger prob­lem: he is a vam­pire who is turn­ing the staff into his min­ions. Evan is thus forced to find his inner Van Helsing with the help of slack­er pal Tim (Joey Kern) and secu­ri­ty guard Frank (Marshall Givens).

Bloodsucking Bastards starts off kind of rough: the patchy script relies on improv to keep it afloat and bla­tant­ly cribs from its obvi­ous influ­ences, name­ly Office Space, The Office and Shaun Of The Dead. The direc­tion by Brian James O’Connell tends towards a flat, t.v.-ish visu­al style and all the office satire arche­types on dis­play have a pre-fab qual­i­ty, sug­gest­ing this satire of office life was drawn from movies about office life rathBloodBas-01er than the real thing. Performances are suit­ably ener­get­ic but Kranz seems a lit­tle over-kinet­ic in try­ing to prop up the mate­ri­al.

That said, com­e­dy fans might find the film worth stick­ing with because Bloodsucking Bastards perks up as it goes along, par­tic­u­lar­ly in its last half-hour. At this point, the char­ac­ter­i­za­tions click in a way that they didn’t in the first half, the satire devel­ops a new accu­ra­cy in how it hits its tar­gets and the film throws in some fun Monty Python-style mock-splat­ter. The cast all shi­nes dur­ing the final stretch, with Givens and Kern prov­ing them­selves to be excel­lent, dead­pan scene-steal­ers. Pascal, who is bet­ter known for dra­mat­ic work, also makes a fun alpha-jerk-as-real-mon­ster vil­lain.BloodBas-02

In short, Bloodsucking Bastards is a rough-hewn but ulti­mate­ly enjoy­able piece of work that shows promise for the Dr. God group. If they can learn to har­ness cin­e­mat­ic lan­guage to their knack for improv, they may be able to make a movie that is as con­sis­tent­ly engag­ing as this film’s final half-hour.

Blu-Ray Notes: Scream Factory has released this title on blu-ray. The trans­fer cap­tures the straight­for­ward dig­i­tal cin­e­matog­ra­phy pret­ty well, jux­ta­pos­ing the splash­es of blood again­st the drab office col­or scheme nice­ly. Both 5.1 and 2.0 losslesBloodBas-03s stereo tracks are pro­vid­ed: the 5.1 track was used for this review and it’s a pret­ty good track for a low-bud­get affair, with an effec­tive use of music and some con­vinc­ing office-sound ambiance.

A fist­ful of extras are also includ­ed. A com­men­tary track with the Dr. God group is loose and jokey, more of a crowd view­ing track than a true com­men­tary, but it does have some inci­den­tal info about the cast and a few on-set sto­ries. A quick set of out­takes is devot­ed to bloop­ers and extra improv beats while “BSB On Set” is a quick EPK piece with Kern intro­duc­ing the seg­ment and dis­cussing his cast­mates. A trail­er offers a punchy spot that leans on the com­e­dy. Fans should also note that there’s an east­er egg that offers a few bonus pro­mo clips.