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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Review: Blood Car (2007)

Every so often the B-movie world jettisons into our midst little gems of absurdity.  While viewing Alex Orr's Blood Car I couldn't help think of other little films that "could" such as Eating Raoul, Basket Case, Bad Taste and the like.  In serving up equal parts social commentary and satirical farce, this slapstick horror film never takes its tongue too far out of cheek to overstate its flaws.  Amateurish acting: check.  Low production values: roger that.  Spirited and good-naturedly offensive: yup.  Shits and grins: you betcha!

We are set up with the premise that in the not-too-distant-future gas prices have soared to over 30 dollars a gallon; resulting in the population retiring their vehicles to 'car graveyards' en masse.

Enter one, Archie Andrews, earnest kindergarten teacher by day and tree-hugging vegan by night.  Archie holds dreams of solving the crisis by developing an engine fueled by wheatgrass, but up until now his efforts have been fruitless.  However, after a night of binge drinking he accidentally cuts himself, inadvertently allowing the blood to mix with some of the wheatgrass.  When this results in a successful ignition, Archie decides to take a carpet-cutter to his arm to get the wheels rolling, if you will.  Consequently, he decides to ignore his personal ethics toward the betterment of humanity and modifies his vehicle with a blood delivery system installed discreetly into the trunk.

Firmly in Archie's corner is the cute, bubbly wheatgrass peddler, Lorraine.  She spends her time daydreaming of the eccentric entrepreneur and becomes troubled when she notices nymphomaniac car-enthusiast Denise (who runs the Meat Stand across the lot) trying to get her own hooks into him.  When dirty Denise shows Archie her talents with his own meat stick, he begins to lose his innocence and sanity; stopping at nothing to quench her perverse desire for the open road.  To complicate matters further, federal agents have begun to monitor Archie’s every move to find out the secret behind his alternative fuel.  Or as I’d like to coin it, his arterial fuel.

The film offers up a number of inventive gags to try to amuse us.  We find out the propelling inadequacies of artificially-limbed veterans, an innocent hitchhiker is lured to her demise by the promise of puppies in the trunk and there's a hilariously over the top sequence involving Archie’s poor unsuspecting dog and a BB-gun; among other zaniness.  Then to further tickle our pink parts, Blood Car also offers up a liberal dose of sexuality and the occasional nod to other films (the Last Tango In Paris homage is particularly inspired) to make the ride as enjoyably outrageous as possible.

Blood Car, in its brief 76 minute running time, never overstays its whimsical welcome.  Alex Orr directs things with real panache and you can tell the entire crew has squeezed the most out of their limited resources; seemingly having a great time doing it, too.  If you have a soft spot for absurd cinema much in the Troma vein, then you might want to give Blood Car a spin.

Awards go to both our enthusiastic female leads: sultry Katie Rowlett as Denise, who delivers lines like “put a taco in my mouth and a dick in my ass” with zeal; and wholesome Anna Chlumsky (of My Girl fame), who loses her innocence and eventually all feeling below the neck in this little tale of blood, fuel and fears.  "It’s a story about society, it's a story about YOU!"

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