Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How Classic Action-Horror Comedies From The 1980s Influenced J.J. Perry's Practical Effects In Day Shift - Exclusive

Since the trailer for director J.J. Perry's "Day Shift" teases in very large text, "From the guys who taught John Wick how to kick ass," film fans knew going in that there was a good chance there would be some serious Keanu Reeves-like ass-kicking throughout the movie. The bonus, however, is that in addition to the action in "Day Shift," there's also plenty of comedy and horror, as Perry melds all three film genres together to create a fresh, frightening, and fun film experience.

New on Netflix, "Day Shift" stars Jamie Foxx as vampire hunter Bud Jablonski, who uses his pool cleaning business as a front for his real day job. Since Bud is a habitual rule-breaker, though, he's lost his membership in the international union of vampire hunters, which costs him a pretty penny when he cashes in on his non-union endeavors. Incentivized by pressing financial obligations that threaten to break his family apart, Bud finds his way back into the union on a probationary basis, but there's a catch: He's required to let Seth (Dave Franco) — a geeky desk clerk — tag along with him and report all group violations to his boss.

While Perry had the action part of "Day Shift" well-covered and relied on Foxx and Franco to help him with the comedy, the director decided to dig deep into his history as a horror movie fan to help bolster the film's horror element. Interestingly, Perry didn't just rely on the movies as they appeared on the big screen for inspiration — he also took note of the way they were made to help bring "Day Shift" to life.

Perry took cues from Raimi with in-camera effects

In an exclusive interview with Looper, J.J. Perry said when conceptualizing the way the action and horror would be presented in "Day Shift," he looked back to some of his favorite movies from his youth for inspiration. Even better, the director zeroed in on the way the films were made.

"I graduated from high school in '86, so 'Big Trouble in Little China,' 'The Lost Boys,' 'Evil Dead' and 'Fright Night' were my favorite films of — maybe not of all time, but they're right up there. They're in the same action comedy horror [genre of 'Day Shift']," Perry explained. "Those ingredients are the same in the movie I did. Sam Raimi is a genius ... I was a big fan because he did everything in-camera. I learned this business before you could say, 'Let's fix it in post.' Everything in 'Day Shift' was done in-camera, [and] visual effects [were used] just to augment. [There were] never visual effects takeovers. I didn't want to make that movie."

Perry was happy to employ the old-school approach to movie magic when it came to "Day Shift," and he pointed to the success of "Top Gun: Maverick" to illustrate that audiences still want their visual effects to be practical.

"Look at [the practical work in] 'Top Gun.' It did great. I think people want to see that again," Perry said. "I'm tired of the opaque, half-cartoon-half-real movies. When you see people in gravity and it has to work, it's better for me. That's the school I learned in. In about 10 years, they won't have to do car chases anymore. They'll animate them. But I'll be long gone by then ... I'll be out fishing and playing golf!"

"Day Shift" is streaming exclusively on Netflix.