Blood Car review

Originally shot in 2007, low-budget black comedy Blood Car gets a theatrical release in the UK. Dave finds out if it’s been worth the wait...

Blood Car is the story of Archie Andrews (Mike Brune), a clean living kindergarten teacher and all round nice guy. He lives in the near future, where petrol prices mean that nobody drives and cars fill up car graveyards, where teenagers do what teenagers do.

When he’s not educating children or being the unrequited love interest of the owner of the Veg-Table, a little food shack in the middle of nowhere, he’s an inventor, working on a wheat-grass engine. It’s not coming along very well, so he decides to down bottle after bottle of vodka, accidentally cutting himself and discovering his engine works when he supplies it with blood.

Finally, able to fuel his car for the first time, the women are throwing themselves at him – well, the only two women in the film, thus far – Lorraine (of Veg-Table) and her business- and love-rival, Denise (of Meat, a meat shack.) Lorraine is virtuous, being a vegetarian, whilst meat-eater Denise is a vampy temptress.

Realising the potential of the blood fuelled car, Archie modifies the design in order to secure yet another encounter with the strumpet, Denise, blissfully unaware of Lorraine’s affections. Creating an engine designed to efficiently process blood and killing local pets with a ball bearing gun, he soon discovers that the car doesn’t run on animal blood. Thankfully, serendipity pays a visit and Archie finds his neighbour has passed away, giving him the fuel he needs.

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Little does he realise whilst he’s a-lovin’ and a-killin’, the government are following him and want to secure the car for their own uses, what with it being the only vehicle on the road and his design being the only serviceable engine in these times of ridiculous petrol prices.

With the car seized, it’s up to Archie to retrieve his vehicle before evils can be committed by the government. After all, there’s something patriotic about killing people for fuel. However, this isn’t the Archie from the start of the film, this is a morally bankrupt Archie who may just be in it all for himself.

The term black comedy is a fitting one for this type of film. It’s not a comedy where tried and tested techniques are rolled out in order to get you laughing away; it’s a black comedy where you’ll probably raise a smile but you’re more likely to occasionally wonder if you’re missing the joke. It’s not to say that the film is unfunny, it’s just that most of the jokes do seem rather laboured after you’ve got over the premise of the blood-fuelled car.

Made in 2007, with a running time of 75 minutes, Blood Car was obviously made on a shoestring of a budget, the acting is sub-par, the script varies from humorously bad to blatantly terrible, and the camera work ranges from shockingly pedestrian to shockingly bad. From a technical point of view, the film is appalling in places with grainy and poorly lit scenes. To add to the low budget feel, the stereo sound is tinny in places and has that built-in microphone sound that anyone who has shot their own home movies will know.

Where Blood Car fails technically, it partially succeeds with its humour, its preposterous premise and plain bizarreness. There’s ample overacting from the lead characters, liberal use of stereotyping, ridiculous moments (including the aforementioned ball-bearing gun massacre, complete with tugging-at-the-heartstrings instrumental), and horrendous sex scenes that are shoehorned in as a pastiche to the genre (at least, that’s what I hope they were aiming to achieve).

If you can get past the fact that the film looks like a poor student film, you’ll find an occasionally funny, if somewhat messy, affair that satirises the importance of fuel in a heavily-reliant American society. That said, very much like the car, it is a one-joke premise that quickly runs out of gas.

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2 out of 5