Welcome back to this year’s Halloween series! Every Monday and Wednesday throughout October until Halloween day, Nerds & Beyond will be sharing our favorite Halloween-themed TV episodes and bone-chilling movies. Today, we’re highlighting 2015’s horror/comedy Bloodsucking Bastards.
We’ve all been there. We find a neat little person that resonates with us in a show or movie and we head right to their IMDb page and begin diving into their filmography. (I know it’s not just me, don’t lie to yourself.) We sort through the good, the bad, and the ugly to catch up on all our new favorite has done, certainly finding things to love in all of them no matter what. Cue, how I stumbled across Bloodsucking Bastards. Thanks, Pedro Pascal.
This movie somehow makes no sense and perfect sense at the same time. The premise is as if someone gave director Brian James O’Connell and co-writer Ryan Mitts (alongside O’Connell’s comedy group Dr. God) a prompt they got off of a randomizer on the internet to write, and somehow they succeeded. Make it a comedy with the working with the ex trope but … in a vampire AU is what they were handed. And somehow from the ashes, this film was born.
Bloodsucking Bastards is a hidden gem or horror/comedy. Yeah, I said it. After I watched it I stared blankly at the screen, tilted my head a little in thought, and then asked, “Would I watch it again?” It’s campy and ridiculous, gory and hilarious, somehow all of the characters are endearing in their own ways, and Pedro Pascal once again proves he’s the most enigmatic, charisma-oozing force on the market these days. I mean that guy can command a screen, and no, I’m not biased.
One particular strength of the film was building the characters through minor, insignificant interactions. This runs on the shorter side, at 86 minutes, so there wasn’t a ton of time to give us the information we needed about each of our office cronies who would play a role, but they really fleshed everyone out quickly and with humor and heart. We’re introduced to Evan (Fran Kranz) and Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick), along with Tim (Joey Kern), who I’m still willing to lay it all on the line to protect, and Andrew (Justin Ware), and their inside jokes and relationships with each other and their environments. It was like a fast track through The Office, with vampires!
The plot gives no shocking twists or turns; it’s exactly what you assume it’s going to be, and that works in its favor. I don’t always want to be on the edge of my seat or waiting for another shoe to drop. Sometimes I just want to be entertained by well-delivered jokes and over-exaggerated characters (and Marshall Givens’ security extraordinaire Frank serves there). And that’s exactly what Bloodsucking Bastards provides. It’s fun, and I think sometimes we lose sight that a movie can simply be just that and be considered a sound success.
And for the record, yeah, I will be watching it again. You should watch it, too, even if you didn’t stumble upon it doing a grand tour of Pedro Pascal’s filmography.