Pedro Pascal might be the most loved Hollywood star of the moment, winning a legion of fans thanks to his roles as intergalactic daddy bounty hunter in The Mandalorian, a post-apocalyptic survivor in The Last of Us, and even in Nicolas Cage’s best friend in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. The newfound love for Pascal has also been leading fans to look for more TV shows and movies featuring the actor and his iconic mustache. If everything Pascal touches turns into gold nowadays, why not look at the star’s past? That’s how some people might find out one of Pascal’s first acting credits was for a single 1999 episode of Buffy, arguably the best vampire show of all time. Unfortunately, Pascal didn’t stay too long on the show, as he was staked to death moments after being turned into a vampire. However, fans wonder what it would look like if Buffy had allowed Pascal to fully unleash his vampiric talent can see the star going full throttle in Bloodsucking Bastards, in which Pascal brings an undead capitalist to life.
What’s ‘Bloodsucking Bastards’ About?
There’s not much difference between a vampire lord and a greedy manager. They are both power hungry-monster who wish nothing but to suck the energy out of their employees and turn them into lifeless corporate tools. That’s exactly what Brian James O’Connell’s Bloodsucking Bastards is about, as it follows the aggressive takeover of a sales office by the vampire Max, played by Pascal.
When the movie starts, we are taken to a sales office filled with useless slackers who do anything but work. People in the office are playing games, taking long lunch breaks, clocking in later, and basically finding new ways to be less productive than ever. That leads the company’s executive to hire a new sales manager, the ambitious Max, whose priority is increasing productivity, even if it means killing some people.
Max’s strategy is to turn everyone into vampires who can work without rest and will have a supernatural compulsion to obey Max’s orders. And since offices are often unhealthy workspaces deprived of windows and sunlight, they are the perfect environment for a productive band of vampires to increase sales and slay the competition.
As a horror comedy, Bloodsucking Bastards is not afraid to joke about vampire cliches and pouring gallons of blood on the walls, as the few survivors of Max’s takeover try to kill their new boss and literally save their necks. While far from perfect, the movie gets many points for finding fun ways to show how corporate culture doesn’t differ much from some supernatural threats. And the main reason why Bloodsucking Bastards can still be a great B-movie to watch is Pascal, who’s having the time of his life bringing Max to un-life.
How ‘Bloodsucking Bastards’ Echoes Different Pedro Pascal Roles
In Bloodsucking Bastards, Pascal’s Max is the perfect model of an effective sales manager. Since he first steps into the scene, Max is making grandiose speeches about how sales are about seduction, setting impossible-to-achieve goals, and subtly threatening the company’s employees. Max is cocky, over-confident, and pretty much a prick. On top of everything, he’s a womanizer who holds grudges and tries to make the people who cross him suffer a fate worse than death. In short, Max is a despicable monster who deserves a stake through his heart, just like some bosses we all had the misfortune of working with.
As a satire of the workplace environment, Bloodsucking Bastards can only work with a ruthless boss who treats people as assets and never puts the well-being of their team above cold productivity numbers. And Pascal is ready to play the part with a smile on his face.
The fact that Max is a vampire adds another layer of fun to the story, closing a cycle that began with Buffy. Because while Bloodsucking Bastards is still a low-budgeted horror comedy, the movie pours every penny it has to bring a massacre to the screen. As such, Max is not only the worst boss ever, but he’s also a mean and lean killing machine ready to cut throats and break bones. And it’s glorious to see Pascal unleash all of his chaotic energy into this underrated film.
It’s also curious to notice how his time in Bloodsucking Bastards probably prepared Pascal to play a different Max a few years later. That’s because, in 2019, we saw Pascal take over the role of Maxwell “Max Lord” Lorenzano, a failing businessman who became the Dreamstone and the main villain of Wonder Woman 1984. Bloodsucking Bastards was released in 2015, one year after Pascal had his breakout role in the fourth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Still, the horror comedy went unnoticed, and no one realized the strange coincidence that both Max characters played by Pascal are very similar. Wonder Woman 1984’s Max is also a go-getter capitalist willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. And just like in Bloodsucking Bastards, Pascal steals the show in Wonder Woman 1984 by giving the villain a quirky energy that’s mesmerizing to watch.
Characters such as The Mandalorian’s Din Djarin and The Last of Us’ Joel have helped to build certain expectations about Pascal’s roles, as we all love to see the star acting as a surrogate dad. And there’s no denying that Pascal is great with both morally ambiguous characters and as part of a dynamic duo, as it happens in his main TV shows and The Unberable Weight of Massive Talent. However, movies like Bloodsucking Bastards underlined the incredible reach of Pascal’s acting, as they serve as solid proof that the star can do pretty much anything he wants.
Finally, Bloodsucking Bastards makes one hell of an argument to let Pascal plays more villains in the future, as he can be equally funny and threatening as few other actors can. So, watching Bloodsucking Bastards might quench the vampiric thirst left after that Buddy episode. But it will also leave you wanting more and excited to see where Pascal will pop up next.
Bloodsucking Bastards is currently available on Tubi.