Dr. God are a comedy group who have for the past several years been performing fortnightly improv and creating short films and TV content in LA; Bloodsucking Bosses is their first feature length film, and it’s a blast.
There isn’t much to say about the plot that you haven’t already deduced from the title. Tim (Joey Kern, with the charm, looks, accent and moustache of a young Matthew McConaughey) works a dead-end sales job, playing computer shoot-em-ups on the company’s time and knowing his position is made secure by his old friend, acting sales manager Evan (Fran Kanz), who has problems of his own. Evan has two days to put together a sales pitch for the Phallicyte account, and none of the other staff can be bothered to pitch in. He’s also in trouble with head of HR Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick, as sharp as her haircut), who’s just brought up the L-word to a breathtakingly lacklustre response. Meanwhile Ted (Joel Murray) is hatching a plan to raise the company’s efficiency that involves the recruitment of a new sales manager who learned his trade in Romania...
Much of the rest of the cast is filled out by Dr. God themselves, each of whom has his own particular place in the pecking order and idiosyncrasies and preoccupations to match, creating a completely plausible environment in which it feels like everyone has known everyone else for years. The repartee and characterisation are as quick and spiky as they are comfortable, and the visual comedy as adept and effective as the dialogue (“You’re telling me we get so little sunlight in this fluorescent hole the puncture monkeys are just fine?”). Essentially taking the situation and targets of Mike Judge’s Office Space and adding some of the kind of humour you had in, say, An American Werewolf in London, Bloodsucking Bosses is thoroughly enjoyable. Even the minor players, the janitor and the security guard, are fully developed and earn themselves resolutions in the final third that are wholly consistent with their characters.
And that final act isn’t a disappointment. Cheap “horror” films often fall apart at the end where the ambition outstrips the budget, but Bloodsucking Bosses is inventive to the last, although there is of course nothing here we haven’t essentially seen before. If there’s a problem of any kind it’s that Bloodsucking Bosses never goes for the throat, contenting itself with being all satire and no scares. But to see that as an issue would be to miss the point; this is a film for anyone who’s ever worked an unfulfilling job and had dreams of decapitating his co-workers, and in that context it’s a supremely well-executed, deliriously creative and highly entertaining success.
Special Features: bloopers / behind the scenes
BLOODSUCKING BOSSES (U.S.: BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS) / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: BRIAN JAMES O’CONNELL / SCREENPLAY: DR. GOD, RYAN MITTS / STARRING: FRAN KRANZ, PEDRO PASCAL, JOEY KERN, EMMA FITZPATRICK / RELEASE DATE: 16TH MAY