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Review: ‘Bloodsucking Bastards’ isn’t as funny or frightening as that title suggests

‘Bloodsucking Bastards’

Emma Fitzpatrick, left, Fran Kranz and Joey Kern in “Bloodsucking Bastards.”

(Shout! Factory)

An obvious and meandering mash-up of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Office Space,” Brian James O’Connell’s comedy-horror “Bloodsucking Bastards” only occasionally matches the inspiration of its jokey title.

When the arrival of an aggressive new sales manager (Pedro Pascal) seems to coincide with grisly goings-on at his soul-siphoning marketing firm, everyman employee Evan Sanders (Fran Kranz) rightfully suspects that decidedly unorthodox methods are being implemented to boost anemic numbers.

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As directed by O’Connell and written by the Los Angeles comedy troupe Dr. God along with Ryan Mitts, the film takes a long time to get going because of all the prolonged, glib chit-chat that loses whatever satirical edge it might have initially possessed.

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By the time those involuntary transfusions finally kick in — and they do so in ridiculously copious amounts — the languid production emerges less as a clever humor-horror hybrid than as a slacker splatter comedy.

There’s more suspense involved in waiting for a page to come out of a printer.

Just like Evan and the rest of his unmotivated colleagues, the creative team behind “Bloodsucking Bastards” never works overtime to take this self-amused enterprise to a more profitable place.

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“Bloodsucking Bastards”

MPAA rating: None

Running time: 1 hour, 24 minutes

Playing: Laemmle’s NoHo 7, North Hollywood


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