out of Five
Running time: 76
Frequently hilarious, gleefully non-pc black comedy-slash-horror that gets the gore-sex-comedy balance exactly right, thanks to astute direction, a witty script and perfectly pitched comic performances from its two leads.
What's it all about?
Co-written and directed by Alex Orr, Blood Car is set in a future where petrol is incredibly expensive (i.e. the present, since the film was actually made in 2007) and stars Mike Brune as Archie Andrews, a vegan primary school teacher who is trying to invent a car that will run on wheatgrass. Instead he accidentally invents one that runs on human blood (not, unfortunately, animal blood, which he only discovers after he's slaughtered a sackful of cute puppies). Even more unfortunately, the car tends to run out of fuel pretty quick, so he's constantly topping up, in order to impress slutty Meat Stand employee Denise (Orr's real-life then girlfriend, now wife - Katie Rowlett). Meanwhile, shady government agents get wind of Archie's invention and attempt to steal it, with predictably messy results.
Brune is terrific as Archie, a nice guy driven slowly insane by the insatiable demands of both his blood-hungry car and his insatiable, sex-mad (and car-loving) girlfriend. Rowlett is equally good as Denise and there's strong support from My Girl's Anna Chlumsky as sweet-natured and besotted vegan Lorraine, who sells Archie his wheatgrass juice every morning.
Orr (a self-confessed film geek) gets the tone of the film exactly right, striking the perfect balance between gore, sex and laugh-out-loud comedy; as a result, the film is frequently reminiscent of the early work of both Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) and Peter Jackson (Brain Dead, Bad Taste), while a sequence featuring a busty hitch-hiker could have come straight out of a Russ Meyer movie.
The clever script is frequently hilarious, with several extremely rude and outrageous gags, plus sex scenes that are perhaps a little more risqué than you might ordinarily expect. The film is also gleefully non-pc and Orr manages to get big laughs from unexpected and genuinely shocking sources (though to spoil those scenes would be to give away some of the best moments). And the fact that it also manages to work in both a viable eco-message and a sort of apocalyptic this-is-where-we're-all-headed vibe is just the icing on an already amazing cake.
Impressively directed and superbly written, Blood Car is a hilarious black comedy-horror that deserves to become a cult hit on the midnight movie circuit and should find its natural home on DVD after this brief theatrical release. Highly recommended.