Slated for release on Netflix on August 12, 2022, Day Shift stars Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dogg as a team of blue-collar vampire hunters in Los Angeles. The first trailer promises an energetic mix of action, horror, and irreverent comedy. Vampire hunting appears to be a lucrative underground trade, even overseen by a labor union, with Dave Franco joining the cast as an overwhelmed union rep.
Day Shift joins numerous titles that make light of hunting the supernatural, whether the threat is vampires, zombies, ghosts, or aliens. Before the streaming release drops, viewers can enjoy a similar mix of genres in these movies and TV shows about professional (and amateur) monster hunters.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
The 2012 movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter supposes that the 16th President of the United States, “Honest Abe,” secretly spent his nights hunting and killing vampires. Armed with an ax, Lincoln sheds a great deal of vampire blood against the backdrop of the US Civil War.
The preposterous premise of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter meets a surprisingly serious tone, as the film grapples with issues around slavery and secession. Benjamin Walker’s performance, though not the most lauded portrayal of Lincoln, earned praise. Meanwhile, viewers will appreciate early career performances by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Dominic Cooper, and Anthony Mackie.
Attack The Block
The underrated British movie Attack the Block featured the directorial debut of Joe Cornish and newcomer John Boyega in one of his best roles. It follows a group of South London teenagers who defend their neighborhood against an alien invasion.
Boyega’s Moses is fiercely protective of his block and eager to earn respect, and the alien attack gives him the chance to prove himself. Attack the Block satisfies audience’s cravings for sci-fi, horror, and comedy, a similar line to the one Day Shift hope to walk. At the same time, instead of reacting against the British “hoodie horror” trend that demonizes urban youth, it instead validates and elevates their experiences.
In a world overrun by brain-hungry zombies, it’s not enough to simply survive. In 2009’s zombieland, killing zombies is almost a form of sport or entertainment. Jesse Eisenberg’s Columbus narrates the film with his convoluted set of “rules” for surviving the zombie apocalypse.
Zombieland’s sense of pure fun is balanced by heartfelt emotional stakes. At the end of the day, the zombie epidemic highlights the loss and loneliness felt by the characters, who discover a new chosen family through the apocalyptic events. Likewise, at the center of Day Shift is a vampire hunter motivated, more than anything, by the love of his family.
Shaun Of The Dead
Edgar Wright’s brilliant send-up of the zombie genre, Shaun of the Dead delights in over-the-top gore and raucous comedy. The film is deeply aware of the genre’s conventions, simultaneously celebrating and parodying films like Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and From Dusk Till Dawn.
With the slacker duo of Shaun and Ed forced out of their arrested development by a zombie invasion, Shaun of the Dead captures the intrusion of threatening stakes into the characters’ banal everyday lives. Viewers can expect a similar hilarious tension in dayshift, which balances the exciting work of vampire hunting with inane union procedure.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer brought demon-hunting into the mainstream. The series took cues from horror directors like Wes Craven and sought to rethink the “final girl” trope present in the slasher genre. Instead of a damsel in distress, Buffy was a chosen one as extraordinarily capable, supernaturally gifted, and always armed with a quip.
For audiences seeking heightened camp and a goofier send-up of vampire horror, the 1992 movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which spun off into the series, is also a fun, worthwhile watch. If only the union behind Day Shift could negotiate payment for the Slayer.
For audiences addicted to monster/vampire/demon-hunters, supernatural is an excellent choice, boasting 15 seasons. Sustained for its long run by the charismatic sibling team of Sam and Dean Winchester, the series features all manner of supernatural threats.
The series grew increasingly self-aware as it went on, finding space for comedy, surrealism, and risk-taking. supernatural poked fun at itself while taking its character drama very seriously. Day Shift will surely explore the comedic potential of its character pairings while making space for self-aware genre gags.
Marvel’s half-vampire monster hunter Blade is headed for a big-screen reboot starring Mahershala Ali, but the original blade trilogy is worth a watch in the meantime. Blade is one of the best supernatural hunters in cinema. A super-strong, highly skilled combatant with the best of both vampire and human worlds, Wesley Snipes’s take on the character comes with swagger and style.
Day Shift star Jamie Foxx previously revealed that it was Snipes’s performance in New Jack City that inspired his own acting career (via Digital Spy). Foxx’s pool cleaner-turned-vampire hunter may have less supernatural ability than Blade, but the trailer suggests he’s formidable in combat.
The ultimate story of blue-collar monster-hunting is, undoubtedly, Ghostbusters. The Ghostbusters’ adventures with the paranormal are often bogged down by the mundanity of business management, local government, and capitalism. This tension often leads to wonderful comedy and Day Shift apparently seeks to find humor in the same tension with its vampire hunter union.
For all the sequels, reboots, and spin-offs it’s generated, Ghostbusters was lightning in a bottle in 1984, and it remains one of the most beloved movies of all time.
From Dusk Till Dawn
1996’s From Dusk Till Dawn features a dream team-up between director Robert Rodriguez and writer Quentin Tarantino. A cult hit that spawned an entire spinoff franchise of movies, TV, and games, it follows a pair of fugitives who become trapped in a vampire saloon across the border.
from there, From Dusk Till Dawn unfolds with all the vampire camp, violent action, and pulpy self-reference expected of the Rodriguez-Tarantino duo. With Tarantino’s penchant for memorable dialogue, From Dusk Till Dawn features countless iconic quotes. There’s a similar hyper self-awareness (and extravagant gore) in the Day Shift trailer, which shifts quickly from combat sequences to Twilight references.
The Evil Dead
Sam Raimi’s iconic horror franchise, kickstarted by the 1981 film The Evil Dead, epitomizes the amalgam of horror, supernatural combat, and parody. Leveraging a small budget into one of the best zombie movies of all time, The Evil Dead descends into progressively gory chaos as its characters strain to survive the onslaught of the undead.
The subsequent films ramped up the level of absurd humor, but the original uses black comedy to effectively avoid the trappings of the zombie genre. The result is a rare and successful blending of tone and genre like Day Shift aspire to.
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