I like horror movies, especially funny ones. And when I saw advertisements for Bloodsucking Bastards saying it was basically “Office Space” mixed with “Shaun of the Dead” I was intrigued. Then I saw that I don’t have to venture to a theater and deal with other people but could stream it on Amazon and was sold.
Basic Premise: A dude, played by Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods, Dollhouse) wants to be sales manager, not just acting sales manager, at a dead end office where no one really works. Instead, they bring in someone from outside for the job. Suddenly people begin working harder – because they are becoming vampires. It takes our hero a while to figure it out, but then he does and wants to rescue his woman who is the HR manager there.
Review: I feel as I get older representations of gender are important to me, and it’s hard to ignore how blatant this movie is in reinforcing the idea that women just don’t matter. It takes place in an office, so there could be many women in here. Yet there are three that speak at all. Three. Two of them speak to one another at one point in the movie, and it’s about the main character. In fact, it is downright problematic how women are treated in this film. Let’s briefly look at the three women here:
The receptionist: She is pretty but mousy. Men want her, but she only wants the main man. When she becomes turned, to the joy of the men in the office, her sexuality is awakened.
The fat chick: She is fat. Men don’t want her. They make fun of the ‘vampire’ when he hits on her. She exclaims that she is ‘a virgin’ (because why would anyone ever want a relationship with a fat chick?) and then moans sexually when bitten.
The allowable female: She is slim. She has short hair. She was in a relationship with the main character, but that stopped when she said she loved him and he just said ‘no.’ She is the prize he needs to win back. The movie makes a big deal in the beginning about stating why she is attractive – she’s a man with a vagina. She’s like one of them, not like the way women are, she’s not a woman, she’s a man you can have sex with w/out being seen as gay. The only thing female about her is her genitalia, thus, she is a good woman you can be in a relationship with. Because who wants to really be in a relationship with a woman when men are so much better?
This was all so obvious throughout the film it was hard to not feel uncomfortable, as a woman, watching it.
This movie felt more like a prolonged episode of Workaholics with a lot more blood. Were there spots I laughed? Sure. It followed what is becoming a basic ‘horror comedy’ formula now. Slackers work in such monotony they don’t notice when taken over by the supernatural. They then notice, have to fight for the first time, and win. The main guy gets the woman at the end. They quip back and forth a lot throughout the film.
It might also be good to mention race in the film. There is one black guy who gets lines. He’s the security guard. He defers to the main hero throughout, and eventually sacrifices his life to save the white dude. Because, of course.
Overall – eh. I’m getting tired of being shown over and over that women just don’t matter. There were definitely some funny parts to it. It’s got a lot of blood but is done comically and isn’t scary. If you like Workaholics, you’ll probably enjoy this as well. Just don’t go looking for revolutionary or out of the box as much as retread tropes.