The Members of Dr. God Talk the Practical Effects of Bloodsucking Bastards

During the 2015 Texas Frightmare Weekend, which took place in early May, we spoke with Dr. God, comprised of Justin Ware, Brian O’Connell, Sean Cowhig, Neil Gargulio, and Dave Park, the masterminds behind Bloodsucking Bastards (review here). They wrote, produced, and directed the film as well as appearing on screen with Fran Kranz, Pedro Pascal, Joel Murray, and Emma Fitzpatrick.

You can check out Part 1 of our interview here; and now, with Bloodsucking Bastards heading for a theatrical release on September 4th thanks to Scream Factory Films, here’s Part 2, which focuses on the film’s effects and on-set camaraderie.  For more information visit bloodsuckingbastards.com.

MD: We previously talked about the practical effects, the sheer amount of grue. There’s a lot of squishing going on. Who did your practical effects?

BO: His name is Mark Villalobos, and he’s great. He’s got a nice studio up in the Valley. He came to us through the Fortress Features guys who produced The Collector and The Collection. We hit it off really well right at the beginning. I grew up as a fan of the gore and splatter. Practical is the way to go. It feels tangible, you feel it on the screen, it stains things, it gives life to it. I’m not opposed to doing digital sweetening here and there, but you’ve gotta have a bucket and you’ve gotta throw it. It’s gotta hit people.

MD: It’s a trend, though, especially with low budget films: all blood effects, CGI.

BO: Yeah, and it looks like hot dog shit.

MD: You certainly could have played down the gore, went a little more mainstream; but you went all out and are literally splattering people with file cabinets.

BO: Yeah. Absolutely. Still, I think we did a pretty good job of walking that line. We did it just mainstream enough that distributors got excited about it, but not enough that gentlemen like yourself would go, “Bah, this is a fuckin’ waste of time.”

MD: You guys are kind of continuing a grand tradition of comedy troupes moving from stage to television to films. Python, Kids in the Hall, Broken Lizard, and now Dr. God. Yet, one thing I noticed about the movie, even though you guys are the troupe, you didn’t really take the lead parts. You’re all there, but not right up front.

JW: It was a conscious choice. We wanted to sell it, and it’s our first movie. We didn’t necessarily have enough “juice” to play the leads. We’re planning on playing the leads in the next one.

BO: Moving forward, that’s the plan.

JW: It was also just fun to get to work with guys like that. We really have to thank Fran because he was the first major piece to come aboard as talent. That really got the movie moving. He came in through our casting director. Brian and I went out and had drinks with him, and he didn’t know us from Adam. This is one of the things I love about Fran; he said, “Look, I don’t know you guys, but I think the script is really funny so I just wanted to meet you guys, and if we hit it off, we’ll do it.” An hour and a half later, I think we were just talking about basketball, and he said, “Let’s go.” A lot of actors won’t do that.

BO: Pedro was like that, too. We spent over two hours in a diner, and I think we talked for maybe 20 minutes about the movie. By the end we were just super gay for each other.

MD: Did you find that kind of made sense? I assume in a group like yours, camaraderie is as important as how funny the script is. Did that play into how you cast as well?

BO: Absolutely. We got really lucky on this cast. How well everyone got along. A couple of people we already knew, but every time I met with a new actor, I’d think how well I got along with him but also try to think how well Sean would get along with him. I know he’s got a scene with Neil; are these guys going to rub each other the wrong way?

NG: It’s very important. We work together, we’re best friends, we hang out together all the time. The environment is so important. There are a lot of great actors out there, but can you be a great actor and a great person, keep that vibe?

BO: It’s a short shoot, they’re going to be long days, we had absolutely no room for prima donnas. We really like the idea that every movie we do, we’re adding a few more people to the Dr. God family. We’re cool, we’re chill, we know we can trust them.

DP: We can’t not mention all the supporting people that we had worked with on a number of occasions. Zabeth Russell, Marshall Givens, Parvesh Cheena… so many.

Fran Kranz, Pedro Pascal, Joey Kern, Yvette Yates, Joel Murray, and Emma Fitzpatrick star. Brian James O’Connell directs from a script by Dr. God.

Synopsis:
Bloodsucking Bastards takes audiences on a hilarious, blood-spattered roller coaster ride in the most terrifying locale of all: the American workplace. The film stars Fran Kranz as Evan Sanders, a low-level, dutiful employee stuck in a boring job at a soul-killing every corporation. Evan’s the kind of guy who does all the work and gets none of the credit, but at least he gets to spend his days with his beautiful co-worker/girlfriend, Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick), and his slacker best friend, Tim (Joey Kern), so he soldiers on in the hope of one day getting his coveted sales director position.

Unfortunately, it all falls apart in one fell swoop when Amanda breaks up with him and Evan’s boss, Ted (Joel Murray), hands his promotion to his college nemesis, Max (Pedro Pascal). And it isn’t just their sordid past Evan has to deal with. After his fellow officemates start going through disturbing changes (which, paradoxically, make them better employees) and bodies begin to pile up, Evan learns the horrible truth: Max is a vampire. And even worse… a vamp with a plan.

Evan must find a way to stop the evil brewing amidst the cubicles, expose Max as the bloodsucking bastard that he is, and save his pals before his life and career go from dead-end… to just dead.

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Mr. Dark

A man of mystery. An enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a low-carb whole grain tortilla. A guy who writes about spooky stuff.

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