Friday, September 2, 2022

Day Shift

With so many vampire movies made over the years, filmmakers have looked to put their own spin on the concept by offering something new. Sometimes that gives us Buffy the Vampire Slayer introducing the idea of a young woman destined to stand and fight against the vampires which would eventually spawn a for more interesting television franchise that drove female-led stories being developed across the medium. Sometimes that gives us goofy comedies such as Once Bitten playing on the gender-swapped sexuality of a cougar vampire and a virgin. And sometimes it gives us Day Shift.

So of all the possible ideas to add to vampires to give us a new and fresh take on the concept and themes created in 1897 by Bram Stoker, what do screenwriters Tyler Tice, Shay Hatten, and director J.J. Perry come up with? Beaurcracy. Oh, that's sexy.

Jamie Foxx stars as a struggling divorcee struggling to provide for his family as a vampire hunter (under the guise of a pool cleaner). To earn enough money to prevent his ex-wife (Meagan Good) from moving their daughter (Zion Broadnax) across the country, Bud will need to earn his spot back in the vampire hunter's union (where he was previously expelled for not following the rather lengthy rules of its members). In order to prove himself, Bud is put on probation with a nerdy desk jockey (Dave Franco) sent into the field with him to report on any infractions to the union's bylaws.

What follows is mostly average B-movie vampire action with Franco's character whining, even when Bud's actions save his life, and an older vampire (Karla Souza) coming after Bud for one of his recent kills. The script also throws in Snoop Dogg playing the "cool" vampire hunter who helps Bud get his union card back and steps in when things get complicated.

With the main addition being the beaurcracy and union bylaws you might expect those to be adequately explained. You'd be wrong. In fact, the bylaws look to be only in place for Bud to break them and not once, over the entire course of the film, do we see an example of any vampire hunters abiding by them, including the Nazarian brothers (Steve Howey and Scott Adkins). It's also a bit unclear with vampire hunting being such a big business that unions are needed, just how many people in the world know about vampires? This question also gets raised as the only people we meet who don't know about them are the same mother and daughter who inexplicably didn't know what Bud was up to when they were living together.

Day Shift is, like so much of the genre, a rather forgettable monster flick full of bloody action scenes (reminiscent of the Evil Dead series without the humor) that don't always mesh with how one should kill vampires, especially as the action scenes get larger and larger throughout the movie where a simple bullet seems to take them down (but only some of them, and only sometimes, while others can survive nearly everything). The action is serviceable and Foxx and Franco seem to be having fun on-screen, often more fun than the audience, but nothing about the story leads anywhere all that interesting.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Day Shift
  • IMDb: link

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