The title blares this is not going to be a heartwarming examination of middle-class suburbia – what it doesn’t tell you is just how entertaining this independent film manages to be in just over an hour running time.
"Bloodsucker's Planet" is a somewhat prequel to Mark Beal's 2012 “Bloodsucker’s Handbook,” a decidedly-offbeat vampire movie, but you don't have to see the original to relish this one.
What “Bloodsucker’s Planet” is rather than a traditional prequel is this: a marvelous retro homage to the science fiction movies of the late Fifties and Sixties (and beyond), replete with dated technology and offbeat touches (Toad licking? A stop-motion cockroach?), all done in a straight-faced campy fashion set to a wonderfully-original soundtrack courtesy of David Jack Skinner.
The story is simple: a spaceship gets a distress signal; its crew sets down on Mara, a “there’s something in the mud” planet, and what you would expect from a film so titled ensues. However, Beal follows form only sporadically while playfully telling a skewed story through his actors and his visual flair.
If you’re looking for the latest Marvelesque CGI production values, “Bloodsucker’s Planet” is not your cup of tea. However, if you enjoy quirky writing, engaged acting, and inspired creativity, this film is a real delight.
One last treat: if you check out the director’s commentary, Beal is joined by some of his cast and crew as they reveal secrets of DIY filmmaking. You’ll never look at Tupperware and yoga mats the same way again.