-Written by Greg B
The plot of the deliciously lurid Blood Car follows a lanky, eco-warrior kindergarten teacher named Archie Andrews (Mike Brune) who cycles to work in t-shirts with anti-meat eating slogans on them and trys to preach about the horrors of Hiroshima to his pre-schoolers. Luckily for Andrew he is living in the moment where his tree hugger ethics may be of use to society at large. You see in the not too distant future (‘like two weeks from now’ according to a Night Gallery- era Rod Serling- like narrator who sets the scene for us at the beginning of the flick), fuel prices have ballooned exponentially. This means that cars are now merely shells that at best function as a place where teen couples can go and have loud sex in peace.
In an effort to save the car from the grave, our tree hugger protagonist attempts to develop an engine that runs off wheat germ juice. However, during a vodka-fuelled late night tinkering in his ‘lab’ (a coffee table at the end of his bed), Archie accidentally spills blood into his miniature engine, causing it to spring to life. And so Archie realizes that the extra ingredient the wheatgrass gloop needs in order to function is blood. Human blood. Upon installing a giant rotating blade into the boot of his car, Archie inadvertently becomes a freakin’ full tank of gas pansexual mac daddy. Initially, Archie uses his own plasma to fill up his tank but when he drives into the wrong neighborhood and is car jacked at gunpoint one, he escapes by feeding his automobile the meaty chunks of his attacker and a concerned gas station attendant.
Eschewing the obvious interest of the nerdy but pretty wheatgrass booth sales lady Lorraine (who spends her day selling all natural organic candy bars that taste like vomit and drawing dirty pictures of herself fellating Archie), Archie instead sets his romantic sights on the trashy meat stand lady Denise (who has a vocabulary that would make joe Pesci blush). Having a car with a full tank of gas is a status symbol and so, with the invention of his grisly engine, Archie suddenly starts to get a lot of attention from the ladies.
Blood Car is a flick that benefits from being aware of exactly what it is. Produced for the miniscule sum of 25,000 dollars, it crams it’s short running time with several memorable pitch black comedy set pieces (including the problem of getting a war vet with plastic legs into the boot and a flashing buxom blond who Archie really wants to see the ‘puppies, candy and makeup’ that he keeps in the trunk. While there are elements of political satire this movie, it doesn’t skimp on the boobs or the blood and isn’t above injecting several scenes of gratuitous nudity to appeal to cat-calling midnight movie fans.
For all its goofy energy, Blood Car doesn’t always succeed in rising above the restraints of its paltry budget, with a handfull of scenes seeming like they had been exposed by a blind person. This coupled with several downright odd casting choices (several of the secret agent henchmen look to be no more than ninteen) and a series of props that are so rickety they look about as convincing as the cockpit from Plan 9 From Outer Space, which adds a film-school-graduate-project feel to it’s proceedings, which is unfortunate as Blood Car does contain some genuinely funny pitch-black comedy. Archie’s ever more desperate attempts to lure victims to the trunk of his car are like something out of Henry if had been written by a Marx Brother. Nevertheless the political metaphors get a little heavy handed if somewhat bizarre towards the final act and the films random quirky tone becomes tiresome in places. It is obvious that the director Alex Orr hoped the film would become a cult hit and sometimes the film and all of its pointless bouncing bosoms and squirting blood makes it seem as if it is trying a little too hard (certain scenes reminded me of the superior if not somewhat hipster-elitist flick Rubber).
However, Blood Car is at its giddy best when charting Archie’s downward spiral after he realises that he has to find more human blood for his car in order to maintain his ever expanding flow of nookie (nothing gets Denise off like a really fast ride in a dusty, black Sedan, apparently). Brune plays the protagonist with a twitchy, schizo energy that perfectly parallels his odd sense of morals and adds to the fun of the flick (his tall frame and nervous mannerisms made me think of Louis Theroux). At one point, after a particulary vicious bout of refuelling his car, Archie, soaked in blood, meets Denise in a BBQ joint and is offended that she would bring him to such a place when she knows good and well that he is a vegan.
The fact that Blood Car actually got made is a feat in of itself and the sleazy, neo-grindhouse look of the film makes it an enjoyable ride. The movie is by no means a classic but as fun little midnight movie double bill, Blood Car delivers the goods. In freakin’ bucket loads.