‘Are gas prices killing you?’
Blood Car is a 2007 American dark comedy horror feature film directed by Alex Orr.
In the near future where rising fuel prices have forced most cars off the road (the electric car presumably not existing in this universe), Archie Andrews (Mike Brune) is experimenting with a wheatgrass fuel for his new engine, only to find – after an accident – that the car will run on human blood.
Ignoring cute and wholesome roadside veggie food seller Lorraine (Anna Chlumsky) in favour of voracious, man-eating meat seller Denise (Katie Rowlett), Archie finds himself on a downward spiral of murder, meat-eating and exchanging bodily fluids.
Andrews then tests his car out and offers a ride to Denise, who runs a meat stand and is a rival to Lorraine. After Denise expresses an interest in Archie (believing he can afford 30+ dollars a gallon gasoline), he drives her home, but runs out of fuel. Archie turns to hunting animals, but they do not provide sufficient blood. He turns to larger prey such as predatory people, and eventually, settles for any victim after rebuilding a more efficient blood engine…
Cult movies are born, not made. That is to say, genuine cult films build their following slowly – they are often attempts at mainstream filmmaking that never really worked for a mass audience, but over a period of years, found a devoted following of people who could see something unique, different and out of the ordinary in that film.
What you can’t do is deliberately make a ‘cult’ film, though God knows, enough people have tried. Troma are the biggest, most cynical culprits here, though the fact that their godawful, soulless exercises in marketing are now being hailed as cult classics (because apparently, all a film has to do is age in order to be a classic these days) is dispiriting evidence that you really can fool the masses. And the fact that some clueless critics seem to have no qualms about labelling Blood Car as a ‘cult movie’ suggests that the whole term is rapidly becoming redundant.
I’m sure director Alex Orr is more than happy to see his film labelled as a ‘cult movie’, because that was clearly what he was aiming at, just as cynically as any Troma movie. And you also suspect this film was deliberately designed to appeal to festival critics, who Iit was hoped would take its smug coolness as being the real thing. More fool them if they fell for it. In reality, Blood Car is a one-joke film stretched out to 75 minutes (it feels longer) with piss-poor production values and ‘variable’ performances.
There’s possibly an amusing short film in here somewhere, but this film feels very long, and the less-than-subtle narrative messages are both relentless and annoying. Brune has all the charisma of a log, former child-star Chlumsky, the only cast-member to come close to being an actor, is wasted and Rowlett makes for an unconvincing would-be slut. A sub-plot about shady government agents – most of whom look about fifteen – doesn’t help things along.
Blood Car has some gratuitous nudity and cheesy gore – but not enough of either to compensate for the lack of humour (this film is nowhere near as funny as it thinks it is), sloppy filmmaking and lousy acting.
David Flint, MOVIES & MANIA
“First and foremost, the film is genuinely funny. It’s smart without being smug, it’s amusing without ever forcing the issue. The cast pitch their performances just right, and Orr keeps the pace brisk (the film is only 75 minutes in length) but allows breathing space in-between the enjoyable, late 80s-style set-pieces.” Stuart Willis, Sex Gore Mutants
“Come on, you can’t f*ck in the bathroom of a Mexican restaurant sober.”
Main cast and characters:
Mike Brune … Archie Andrews
Anna Chlumsky … Lorraine
Katie Rowlett … Denise
Though filmed in 2007, Blood Car was only released in the United Kingdom on 23 February 2012.