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A kindergarten teacher invents a car that runs on human blood to combat high gas prices in BLOOD CAR, a horror/comedy from first time director Alex Orr. In the first feature film from Fake Wood Wallpaper Films, narrative conventions and predictable, by-the-book plotlines are left behind in favor of an absurdist look at a future in which no one drives due to $40-a-gallon gasoline prices. Both a satire on our voracious habit for oil as well as a cleverly structured horror film, BLOOD CAR will make you cringe and laugh at the same time.
"What lifts it above most low-budget horror comedies (Troma-tized or not) is the loopy, off-kilter humor director/co-scenarist Alex Orr and collaborators bring to the table. There's something charming about the feature even at its most cheerfully tasteless" --Dennis Harvey, Variety
"A hilarious, well-photographed dark-comedy oddity" --Stina Chyn, Film Threat
"This film looks several times better than its $25,000 budget, the editing is deft and the comic timing is genius, but what it has that is most rare is a certain earnestness that makes it seem downright good-natured and charming even when its humor is over-the-top offensive." --The Metro San Jose
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That being said I wasn’t sure what to expect with BLOOD CAR. The artwork certainly screams drive-in with a woman riding in a topless car, shirt open but nothing quite revealed, holding a Molotov cocktail, the car driven by a man screaming and wielding an axe. For those unaware this is definitely not a movie for the Disney crowd. No, this is a movie made for the millions of exploitation/drive-in/horror crowd. The film goers that love to hit the midnight movie with no hope of catching the highest of cinema. This is a movie made for those who worship at the altar of Joe Bob Briggs and his three B’s of how to value a movie: blood, beasts and breasts. While short on beast there is plenty of the other two B’s to keep that crowd happy.
The story opens in the future where gas prices have truly skyrocketed, averaging in the $30 range per gallon. In response people no longer drive cars with few exceptions. Instead vehicles are parked in junk yards and drive-ins where couples gather to, well, couple, thus satisfying the first B for Joe Bob, breasts. Archie Andrews is teacher and inventor trying to find an alternative to gasoline in bio fuels. He stops by a vegan booth to purchase wheat grass from Lorraine (Anna Chlumsky), a young woman who has a crush on Archie that goes unnoticed.
One night while working on his experiment he accidentally cuts his finger, dropping blood into the mixture. Before you can saw LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, the fuel works and the motor runs. Realizing the potential here, Archie converts his car’s engine to this motor and is soon driving around the city. But he can’t continue to fuel the car with his own blood since doing so leaves him tired and worn out. The solution presents itself in an accident and a victim who is tossed into a converter Archie has installed in his trunk. With enough fuel to drive where he wants, he soon catches the eye of Denise, the hot but low standards girl who operates the meat shack across from Lorraine’s vegan stand.
Archie and Denise begin to see each other regularly with Archie making sure he has plenty of fuel for the car and Denise willingly handling all of Archie’s carnal needs. But she really has no interest in him and is there for the car only. Will Archie finally realize this isn’t the woman for him? Will he ever fulfill the needs of the lovely Lorraine? Will he ever be able to sell the idea of a car driven by human blood to the masses? And just who are these men in black suits that follow his every move, watching on hidden cameras everywhere he goes?
As I said early on this movie it not Oscar material. Not even Oscar Madison material. But it does deliver a certain amount of charm that some will enjoy, especially those late night crowds I mentioned. The gore level is to the extreme with plenty of blood splatter to make those fans happy. Those looking for skin should probably seek out soft core porn if that’s all that matters but there is enough nudity to offend those inclined and satisfy those who aren’t.
The production level of the movie isn’t noteworthy but at the same time the cinematography isn’t a complete waste as are a number of movies made at this budgetary level. The acting ranges from good to poor and one has to wonder how Chlumsky ended up here. My best guess is friendship or knowing someone who worked on the film.
Having seen so many of these types of films, being a fan of the drive-in experience, I didn’t find it offensive and actually had a laugh or two while watching. As I said at the beginning, film makers need to make their bones by actually making a movie to get started. With each new experience they learn, they develop their craft and hopefully they get the chance to keep moving forward with better films each step of the way. Here’s hoping director Alex Orr gets that chance. If you watch this one expecting Oscar material you’ll be enraged. If you know walking in what to expect from this movie then it’s not too bad. So rent/buy this movie, pop open a Miller Lite, gather a group of friends around who know how to have a good laugh and enjoy this one.
In the future gas prices reach $35.00 a gallon. Only the rich drive cars. Even riding in a car is a status symbol. People still have sex in cars except they are now at junkyards. Archie teaches kindergarten. He reads to them about the "Little Engine that Could" while instructing the toddlers on the Kyoto Treaty. Archie is a dedicated vegan who buys wheatgerm as he is attempting to find a way to run his car on it. Anna Chlumsky (can I buy a vowel?) as Lorrain runs the vegan stand and wants Archie, dropping hits and drawing obscene pictures of her and Archie.
Meanwhile Katie Rowlett (Denise) plays a nympho who runs a booth labeled "meat." Likewise she has designs on Archie. During his experiments, Archie cuts himself on a broken vodka bottle and spills some blood into his mixture and discovers that his engine can run on blood. After killing the neighborhood pets with a BB or pellet gun, he discovers only human blood can make the engine go. The status of driving the vehicle, as well as the sex that goes along with it, is an aphrodisiac too powerful for Archie to ignore. Oh yes, the government wants the car and Archie too.
Parental Guide: Frequent use of the f-bomb, MF, nudity, and sex.
The script plays fast and loose with reality, as with gasoline costing over thirty dollars a gallon, vegan elementary school teacher Archie Andrews (Mike Brune), is conducting experiments to try and develop fuel from wheatgrass juice. Andrews bikes to work, and gets his wheatgrass supply from a small stand in the middle of a nowhere, run by Lorraine (Anna Chlumsky). After accidentally discovering that blood causes his small experimental motor to work, he finds that he is able to start his car using his own blood. Rigging up a sword-like rotor blade in his trunk to puree flesh, Archie kills pets and small animals with a BB gun, and converts them to fuel. When a neighbor passes away of natural causes, Archie crosses the line, using a human body to top off his fuel tank. Having wheels, turns the nerdy Andrews into a chick magnet, and he soon hooks up with sexy Denise (Katie Rowlett), who runs the meat stand, next to the vegetable stand. Archie soon discovers that he will do anything, to keep his car running.
Blood Car has tons of gaping plot holes, starting with the premise that pureed flesh can power an internal combustion engine. With the only functioning car around, Archie should be focus of much attention, but remains relatively anonymous, with mostly young women who seem to notice him. One of the most absurd aspects is that the Government has him under surveillance, is aware of his activities, and does nothing when crimes are committed. When the Government does step in, the results are tragic and extreme.
Archie Andrews is one pretty weird guy, and between keeping the blood car fueled up, pursuing his suddenly overactive love life, and taking on Government agents, there's usually enough to hold your interest, no matter how kooky things get. There are few scares, but the film delivers most of its violence in a subdued fashion. Even an axe plunged wound to the chest, doesn't seem very gruesome. Director/co-writer Alex Orr finishes his film in a blaze of violence, that some may find controversial or offensive. Blood Car's low key, off the wall approach, and twisted humor, isn't for everyone. The performances by Brune, Rowlett, and Chlumsky (My Girl), really help to sell the story.
There are extra features, but most are rather unpolished. This includes some behind the scenes footage, and a stitched together commentary track that is semi-informative regarding techniques and influences.
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Quirky horror comedies never get old for me, particularly those with unique premises.Read more