A small sales office, where it would appear a prerequisite of being a member of staff is that you're a total slacker. At least if you're one of those taking the telephone calls from customers, listening to their concerns over products such as dildos and "male enhancement" drugs while playing the latest games on your PC. Among these wasters is Tim (Joey Kern). He's so inept, you imagine he wouldn't have a job were it not that the acting sales manager is his slightly more diligent pal Evan (Fran Kranz).

Evan is having a hard time at work. His gorgeous girlfriend Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick), who's head of the Human Resources department, has just publicly broken up with him. How publicly? Well, she's sent a memo to the entire office announcing the fact...

That's not all. Evan has his eye on being permanently promotion to the post of sales manager and, for a short while, he seems to be the most likely candidate. Oops, that is until his boss Ted (Joel Murray) passes him over and recruits externally instead. Specifically, the lucky new executive is Max (Pedro Pascal) - an old rival from Evan's college days.

Max is a smiling, smug, aggressive, charming arsehole of a man. Amanda is instantly attracted to him. His first meeting with the staff shocks them all with his announcement that their sales target for the next month is a virtually impossible $1 million. Shortly after that, he's ringing them at home and demanding they clock in at the office extra early on a morning.

Of course, it's only Evan - and to some extent Tim - who realise just what a wanker Max is. But even they couldn't have anticipated just what a threat he represents ... Until Evan finds workmate Mike (Neil Garguilo) butchered on the office toilet. Upon raising the alarm, he's made to look like a fool when the body has been removed and all blood cleaned up by the time he leads his doubtful colleagues to the scene of the crime.

But that's just the beginning...

BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS (for that is its original title) comes from the collective mind-set of comedy group Dr God - Justin Ware, Sean Cowhig, Brian James O'Connell, David Park and Neil Garguilo. Never heard of them? Neither had I. But apparently they do a lot of stand-up shows across America, as well as having written stuff for/appeared on various cable TV channels over the years. This is their first feature film - they co-wrote the script together along with Ryan Mitt; O'Donnell directs.

The film is pitched as "THE OFFICE meets SHAUN OF THE DEAD", and that's exactly what it is. The comedy is persistent, and revels in moments of acute awkwardness during the film's early stages. The set-up echoes SHAUN closely - Evan is the guy jaded in his job, desperately trying to woo his estranged girlfriend back while contending with his slacker pal's irreverent humour at every turn.

Once the zombies come, the pace is pretty much unrelenting. The gore is decent at times, but this is strictly played for laughs - even though the cast are commendably deadpan throughout.

I wasn't crazy about BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS/BOSSES - it plays far too closely to the styles of the material that's inspired it, and thus has little identity of its own - but I appreciate the effort involved.

BLOODSUCKING BOSSES comes in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The uncut film runs for 80 minutes and 38 seconds. The picture has been enhanced for 16x9 televisions. It's a solid transfer by and large, allowing for natural colours (the reds are nice and pronounced), stable blacks and a welcome absence of noise. My only reservation is the edge enhancement which can be occasionally evidenced.

English audio is provided in both 2.0 and 5.1 mixes. Both are sufficient: the latter doesn't get exercised as frequently as you may hope for. Optional subtitles are included for the benefit of the Hard-of-Hearing. These are easily readable at all times and, as far as I could see, are free from typing errors.

Entertainment One's region 2 DVD presents itself to us with an animated main menu page. From there, a static scene selection menu allows access to the film via 16 chapters.

There isn't much in the way of extras.

The most substantial bonus feature on offer is an audio commentary track by the Dr God crew. Ware takes the lead to begin with, soon passing the mantle to O'Donnell. But all five members contribute throughout - often speaking over one another. These guys seem nice enough, but ... they're trying too hard. I'd have much preferred a straight commentary with interesting anecdotes etc, as opposed to the chaotic lampoonery we get instead.

To begin with, we get 3 minutes of rather nondescript bloopers. If your idea of fun is watching actors get the giggles, then knock yourself out.

A 3-and-a-half minute Behind The Scenes featurette sees Kern as our host, talking us through the tribulations of having to work while coated in fake blood while we watch some vaguely interesting on-set clips.

The disc opens up with trailers for TRIPLE 9, MIDNIGHT SPECIAL and ALLEGIANT.

Review by Stuart Willis

Released by Entertainment One
Region 2 - PAL
Rated 18
Extras :
see main review