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March 03, 2015

Blood Car

blood car 1.jpg

Alex Orr - 2007
Horizon Movies Region 1 DVD

I try to give novice filmmakers, especially those working with extremely limited funds, a wide berth. Based on the pull quotes, I was looking forward to seeing Blood Car. The film played in various festivals which seemed to indicate there was something worth checking out. Whatever it was that struck the Variety critic as "fresh and funny" or earned raves from Time Out London and Sight and Sound is lost on me.

On paper, the concept would seem promising. In a future where gas costs over thirty dollars a gallon, people have stopped driving. A grade school teacher, Archie, attempts to create an engine that runs on wheat grass, but accidentally finds that his engine works with human blood. He drives around with a car with a special motor in the trunk that grinds those unlucky enough to be shoved in. A dedicated vegan, Archie also becomes the occasional lover of Denise, who runs a small butcher stand, and the object of longing for Lorraine, who sells wheat grass drinks. There also some generous exhibition of breasts on the part of several females, and a bit of gore involving the car with appetite for human blood.

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The premise would seem like something that Roger Corman might have made about forty years ago. Alex Orr isn't Roger Corman. Alex Orr isn't even Corman protege Jim Wynorski. I know that the budget was reportedly on $25,000. When finances are limited, much more careful planning is required, especially if the film demands special effects. Some of the problems may be budget related, but too frequently the action is cut so that there is only one scene where we see one victim ground up by the chopping blades in the trunk. Where there might have been some humor in a few sight gags is lost with badly thought out framing. Even the raunchy humor wears thin quickly. The sight of horny teens having sex in cars in automobile graveyards is neither funny nor erotic. When Denise declares to Archie that she wants a taco in her mouth and a dick in her ass, it's enough to make me long for the double entendres lobbed between characters in a pre-Code film the the Thirties.

The DVD comes with a couple of shorts directed by Mike Brune, the actor who plays Archie. The Adventure is the stronger of the two. An older couple are stopped on their road trip by a mime standing in the middle of the highway. The mime performs, and is killed by another mime whose weapon in an invisible, that is to say, mimed, gun. The performer dies on the hood of the couple's car. The polish and composition of the shots would indicate to me that Brune maybe should have directed Blood Car as well.

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Posted by Peter Nellhaus at March 3, 2015 06:59 AM