Time to take on two modern horror comedies—and there’s not a zombie in sight this time! I look at the slasher Dead Body and the vampire flick Bloodsucking Bastards.
DEAD BODY (2015)
Dead Body feels like a nod to Scream era horror, and it’s just as polished. There’s plenty of humor, but that doesn’t get in the way of it delivering a clever whodunit loaded with the most important slasher elements.
A group of friends heads to a cabin in the woods right after high school graduation. While plenty of the stereotypes are present—the horny couple, the nerd, the asshole, the brooding chick—the cast elevates the characters. They’re all unknowns, yet they all have fresh looks and distinct personalities, instead of being generic, forgettable Hollywood slasher characters (I’m looking at you, MTV’s Scream). They work off each other great, the dialogue and interactions are very natural (and funny), and we actually get to connect with them and like them instead of cheering for them to die. It’s really the perfect cast for a strong, memorable slasher.
Gratuitous behind the scenes shot–he doesn’t show the tits in the movie.
When the kids decide to play a hide and go seek game called “Dead Body,” one of them actually turns up dead. There’s the usual paranoia these plots bring with them, loyalties change, we don’t know who to trust, and we try to figure out for ourselves who could be the killer. In the meantime, more and more kids fall victim to a killer in a ski mask. The murders are brutal, with no crappy CGI effects, and there are plenty of chase scenes. While chances are that many viewers will pretty much guess who the killer is, the not-so-shocking reveal is saved by the fantastic acting job of the psycho…possibly my favorite since Rebecca Gayheart’s insane performance at the end of Urban Legend.
BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS (2015)
Armed with a fun premise and a good cast, Bloodsucking Bastards had the potential to be a standout horror comedy. It finally has its moment in the last half hour. Sadly, the first hour is mostly a pale imitation of movies like Office Space or Horrible Bosses, with an occasional hasty “attack” scene to string horror fans along, leaving us hoping something major will happen sometime soon.
Fran Kranz of Cabin in the Woods is having a really bad week at work. He dumps his girlfriend—the head of HR—and is swiftly berated by his buddies because she’s hot. He’s passed up for a promotion that should have been his. And he’s the only one in the office who notices fellow employees turning vampirific. But every time he tries to prove it to others, the evidence is gone. Not that there was much evidence to see to begin with, because we’re barely fed any actual horror for 55 minutes.
Finally, Kranz, his co-worker buddy, and a security dude (played by one Marshall Givens, who looks sexy as hell in a uniform) go on a slaying rampage to save Kranz’s ex from the evil vamps. There’s horror humor, campy gore, action-packed fight scenes, and some pretty cool monster makeup. If this sequence had made up the whole plot of the film, this could have been one damn fun vampire romp. As it stands, I only love the last 30 minutes of Bloodsucking Bastards.
Keep an eye out for original Scream killer Matthew Lillard in a ridiculously pointless 2-second cameo.