Day Shift

  • Directed by J. J. Perry (Directorial Debut)
  • August 12, 2022
  • Based on a story by Tyler Tice
  • Netflix

A vampire hunter accidentally kills the wrong vampire and puts he and his family in danger.

Horror is one of those genres that can accommodate a great many things. Aside from the scares, you can get comedy or drama or even action in everything from the Wild West to the farthest reaches of space. They can even mix two or more of those elements to create something unusual. Enter this film,

Day Shift is a fun horror action comedy starring Jamie Foxx as Bud Jablonski who is a blue-collar dad appearing to provide for his family as a pool cleaner but in reality hunts vampires for a living. Because of this double life his marriage has fallen apart and his ex-wife Jocelyn (Meagan Good) and his daughter Paige (Zion Broadnax) may be moving to Florida. His desperation for cash in order to keep them near starts all of his problems.

The story presents vampires as known yet apparently their existence hidden from the public. From the looks of it these hunters work in some way with the government and use covers that allow them to move about easily yet anonymously. There’s a mention of police notification and they have a long series of complicated rules and the bureaucracy that goes with it all indicating a hierarchy greater than would be found in an underground network.

There was one thing that bothered me. Snoop Dogg was prominent in the marketing for Day Shift but he’s not in very much of it. That felt like a bit of a bait and switch. It was also a bit of a letdown as he was very entertaining in his all too brief presence in the story. He was not necessarily the stoner cool guy but rather the experienced guy that happened to be the coolest one there.

As “Big” John Elliott Snoop Dogg is the McGuffin that gets Bud back in the local union which is the only way to earn any real cash. Is this a pro union film? Until I wrote that all tidbit, I never even considered it. This union is our exposure to the bureaucracy as well as the rule book which mentions police notification. 

The whole plot of the story centers around vampire real estate developer Audrey San Fernando (Karla Souza) who wishes to develop sunny Southern California into a haven for vampires. That bothered me a bit. I guess it was meant as a bit of a larf. Unfortunately her hero Bud crosses her and that’s how he gets himself involved in things.

There’s a whole mythology built up concerning the vampires. There’s a market bringing in teeth as proof which begs the question what happens to the teeth? Seriously. Is there an aftermarket where they are used in some form or is this just proof that they’ve been killed. If the union was the only game in town, it would certainly imply that vampire teeth are just proof that someone has killed a vampire. However in the beginning Bud is making money by selling teeth to a guy named Troy (Peter Stormare) which would imply a market where they have value though that is really untouched.

AS part of his readmission Bud is paired with nebbish Seth (Dave Franco) who is a clerk working in the local union office. As much as Day Shift is an action-comedy film, it’s also a bit of a workplace comedy. It’s a weird mishmash of things that for me ultimately works. There are a few jokes that reference Jamie Foxx‘s career and annoying work stuff just occurs such as Seth’s coworker Carol (Gloria Bishop) repeatedly eating his yogurt.

It’s a witty script with plenty of cool lines and more importantly all the characters are set on a collision course to the finale whether they realize it or not at the very start of the film. That’s a rather impressive thing these days as in my opinion many movies seem to wrap things up not because events have come to a conclusion but because they’ve hit the limit of the run time.

Action scenes are frenetic and shot in a a way that makes you feel involved. And they manage even a touch of comedy for good measure as well as some general creativity in how the vampires are dispatched. This is no stake through the heart movie universe.

I found plenty to laugh at and just enjoy. The main issue is that it drops in a few elements such as a rumored alpha vampire called El Jefe that ultimately go nowhere. They are clearly aiming for a sequel here and that is always a mistake. Build a world you can build on later but remains contained for the first film.

Day Shift is not only action packed but very funny. It’s a well done script that knows what it is and has fun with it. While not a must see it is something I encourage you to check out if you’re looking for something enjoyable to watch.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

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