I inadvertently attended the Chicago premiere of Bloodsucking Bastards at Facets on 9/4/15. I had no idea that the director, the producer, and the writer would be there introducing the film and doing a Q & A afterwards. (more on them later) I guess I’m lucky like that. I met Jay there a few minutes before “curtain” (that’s industry insider speak for “start of the movie” for you laypersons). I was shocked to see a line at the ticket counter. SHOCKED! I had no idea the film had enough buzz to put a lot of butts in seats at 10:30 at night. I’ve been to the Facets Cinematheque many, many times, but I cannot remember ever having to wait in line for tickets. It was awesome! “NICE! People are coming out for a horror film!” I thought. “An indie horror film no less!” I continued to think. (probably. i don’t know. i wasn’t taking thought notes or anything) I sat and Justin Ware soon intro’d the film and got the thing rolling.
The opening titles set the tone quite nicely with a series of photocopier/scanner pics of the players and various office and vampire related items. The color popped, they were unique, and they were pretty funny to boot. There was even an Office Space reference in there. (or, i’m reading too far into things.)
Now, I was going into this almost completely blind. I didn’t watch the trailer. I hadn’t heard anything about it from anyone. Nor did I read any reviews. I just saw that it was playing in Chicago and I read that it was a horror comedy in a tweet from Facets. It certainly was comedy. In fact, for the first half hour or so, it was straight office comedy. That’s not a bad thing at all. I like Workaholics and I’m a fan of Office Space. So, I was pretty entertained. The office slackers dynamic was pretty damn funny. Was it horror though? I’m not sure. There were definitely horror elements – gore, copious blood, vampires, and whatnot. Was I scared? Nope. But that’s not saying much because I’m pretty fucking unflappable, guys. Does it matter? NO! Because it was a raucous good time!
When the credits started rolling, the house lights went up and Justin Ware (writer), Brian James O’Connell (director), and Parvesh Cheena (actor and i could have sworn that he said producer too but that’s not what IMDB says) came out to start the Q&A. (read that last sentence without the parentheticals and it will make sense, i promise.) They talked about the writing process and working as an ensemble troupe – Dr. God – and the challenges/triumphs of making the movie. It was particularly interesting to hear how they cast the film. Securing Fran Kranz after talking basketball with him over some drinks got their foot (foots?) in the door with other actors. And they even got another recognizable “name actor” for a fun cameo that I won’t spoil for you. I wanted to ask the filmmakers what genre they considered the movie to be, but we ran out of time for questions. Maybe they answered that question in some interview they did that I could find online. I guess we’ll never know. So, anyway…
THE FINAL CUT: Bloodsucking Bastards is a super fun indie splatter comedy and you should check it out on VOD or, better yet, in a theater near you (if you live in one of the 13 cities hosting its theatrical run). Or don’t. I’m not the boss of you. (get it? “Boss”? eh? ’cause the movie is set in an office? eh? you know what? just forget it)