It’s easy to overlook the Slamdance Film Festival while in Park City attending Sundance. But year after year, the smaller event up the hill increasingly proves its programming is worth paying attention to. Last year, Slamdance gave us the odd, ethically complicated documentary Kung Fu Elliot, which became a bit of a cult favorite and wound up at Fantastic Fest in the fall. My sudden most-anticipated selection from the 2015 Slamdance program is sure to head to Austin later this year, too. It’s called Bloodsucking Bastards, and I don’t think there’s any better way of describing its aesthetic than Flickchart’s comparison of “Office Space meets Shaun of the Dead.” Only instead of zombies, the heroes here have to deal with vampires.
The metaphorical concept has to do with how working at an office is “soul-killing,” as the synopsis puts it. Not that such a layer of meaning matters, because I don’t think this will be on the level of satirical brilliance of Edgar Wright’s zom-rom-com, but I’m just curbing my expectations for now on something by people I’m unfamiliar with, such as director Brian James O’Connell. Honestly, before seeing Shaun of the Dead back in 2004, I would have thought it looked cool but not necessarily like a contender for one of the best films of the year, let alone decade. Meanwhile, there are a surprising amount of great vampire comedies lately, between What We Do in the Shadows and Only Lovers Left Alive, so eventually something’s gotta disappoint. Hopefully it’s not this, but who knows?
So why do I consider it so highly anticipated in spite of my trepidation? Well, the trailer definitely works in terms of what the movie’s assets appear to be, and those include leading man Fran Kranz (The Cabin in the Woods) and boss man Joel Murray. I don’t known anything of Joey Kern, but he also looks to be pretty funny in a goofball sidekick Seann William Scott character sort of way. And it doesn’t appear to be holding back on the bloodshed, so there’s that.
Watch the trailer below. And if you’re in Park City next week, swing by Slamdance to check this out when it debuts on January 23rd.