Movie Review – Day Shift (2022)

Wow, 3.5 readers. Every once in a while, Netflix gets it right and when they do, boy do they ever get it right.

Grab your fangs (preferably in a bottle) and come along for BQB’s review of this fun horror action comedy.

This film imagines a John Wickian world where vampires live and conspire in the shadows, while vampire hunters operate as independent contractors, ganking the undead then turning in their fangs for cold hard cash. One such hunter is Bud Jablonski (Jamie Foxx) who operates an LA-based pool cleaning business as a front for his vamp blasting game.

Alas, Bud has a long history of not playing by the rules. This has led to his expulsion from the vampire hunting union, a sprawling underground bureaucracy operated by a bench riding brass who require its members to comply with a whole laundry list of conflicting regulations but bench riders that they are, don’t realize as Bud does that sometimes when you’re out in the field, you just have to shoot a bloodsucker first and ask questions later.

Thus, the Budster eeks out a meager living by selling dispatched vamp fangs to black market dealers, but when his estranged wife announces a plan to move to Florida to live with her mother who will help share living expenses (said plan to include taking their daughter which will crush Bud as she is the light of his life), he has one weekend to rejoin the union and extract a mother-humping shit load of vamp teeth which can be redeemed at much higher union prices, thus proving to his wife that he is a good provider and there is no reason to leave. Oh, did I mention the reason for the separation is that she has no idea her husband is a contract killer of things that go bump in the night and just assumes that all his running around at late hours means he is a devious lying so and so?

Alas, getting back in the union’s good graces is no easy feat. To do so, Bud turns to his mentor, legendary vamp hunter Big John Elliott played by the one and only Snoop Dogg and if you think this is just a cameo, think again because Snoop Double D-Oh-G, You See gets plenty of screen time devoted to racking up the vamp kills in his own right. Big John goes to bat for Bud, smoothing things over with union bureaucrat Seegar (Eric Lange).

Seegar agrees to reinstate Lange just to remain on Big John’s good side but secretly yearns to bust the Budster on literally any minor rule infraction, no matter how insignificant. To do so, he enlists green newbie vampire Seth (Dave Franco) to shadow Bud for the weekend with orders to spy on Bud and report any violations he sees. Seth is comically unqualified, as often is the case for newcomers to any profession, but in the fang banging game, inexperience can get a man killed, and to add to Bud’s woes, he must drag around a clueless youngster who literally pees his pants and vomits uncontrollably upon each vampire encounter. Realism in an unrealistic world, I suppose. Who wouldn’t pee and puke the first few times they meet the undead?

Long story short, Bud’s exuberance to pull in big fang cash causes him to run afoul of big vamp boss Karla, who makes it her mission in life to send her minions to serve Bud’s ass up on a platter. Meanwhile, Seth must choose if he wants to be just another paper pushing union bureaucrat or if he wants to learn how to dispatch the damned from a man who has been out in the field for years. BTW, most of this is done on the Day Shift, as the union won’t approve Bud for the Night Shift, a time when vamps are out and about more and thus easier to blast in greater numbers, thus higher profits.

Will Bud save the day and his marriage? Start streaming to find out.

STATUS: So very much shelf-worthy. So many Netflix films are silly, slapped together foolishness, yet if I’d seen this in a theater, I would have been pleased. It’s violent and gory, so if that isn’t your thing, look away. It brings you in fast and doesn’t waste a lot of time on origin story. Even so, it is strong on world building and character development. I could see future sequels, all centering around an underground world where vampires perpetrate evil deeds in the shadows, while vamp hunters pull off their Van Helsing style moves for pay, while also hiding in plain sight. As the film indicates, most hunters have a front, i.e. a home improvement contracting business they run their fang extraction game through, so you never know, the next time you see a pool cleaning truck drive by, it might just be a vamp hunter on his way to battle the undead.

Then again, it might just also be a dude who cleans pools. Bud actually does a fair amount of that too. Have to make ends meet somehow. Did I mention I really enjoyed this?

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