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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Blood Car
Blood Car
Kino // Unrated // March 3, 2015
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeremy Biltz | posted March 10, 2015 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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The Movie:
You don't see too many truly effective pitch black comedies / social satires these days, but Alex Orr has certainly served up a pointed serving with Blood Car. This is absolutely not a film that will appeal to everyone, and will turn off quite a few, but it's a treat for those of us with few film scruples and a twisted sense of humor.

It's the near future, and gasoline costs more than $30 a gallon. Only the very, very rich drive cars anymore, and the nation is blanketed with malaise. Enter kindergarten teacher and amateur inventor Archie (Mike Brune). He is a vegan, and dedicated to building an engine that runs on wheat grass. He buys his wheat grass from Lorraine (Anna Chlumsky), who is very obviously smitten with him, though he can't see it, or pretends not to. And right across from Lorraine's vegetable stand is the meat stand, run by Denise (Katie Rowlett). Archie is a little taken with Denise, but as an average schlub he can't catch her eye.

And then the fateful event. Archie cuts his finger and some of his blood gets in the wheat grass mixture. Suddenly, the engine he's been working on for years starts turning. It's the blood that does it. He starts driving his car around, and now Denise is suddenly attracted to him. She pushes him into more and more radical behavior, both thrill seeking and sexual. Soon, he finds that the wheat grass isn't necessary at all. The car runs best on pure blood.

The story of Blood Car is essentially cataloguing Archie's descent into sexual desperation and madness, and his ever less effective efforts to square his actions with his purported ideals. Pointed commentary on sexual politics, the petroleum economy, consumerism and the general state of America are all stuffed into this little film. It was clearly made on a very low budget, but gets a lot of good for the investment, both in terms of production value and onscreen talent. The three leads are all excellent. Chlumsky is by far the best known, but Brune has excellent chemistry with both her and Rowlett. Chlumsky doesn't have the opportunity for the craziness and chaotic goofiness that Brune and Rowlett do, but she gives my favorite performance in the film. She's subtle and funny and perfectly represents the sadness of unrequited love. Some of the smaller parts aren't pulled off quite as well, but this merely adds to the quaint charm.

As noted above, Blood Car will turn a lot of people off. I know of another very fine online critic who stopped watching after just ten minutes. But though it isn't for everyone, it is very much for some. And if you're in that group, you will love it beyond measure. I found it quite enjoyable on multiple viewings. The film was originally released in 2007, and Kino Lorber has re-released it with a nice looking transfer and a few extras. Those not easily offended should make a point to check it out. Highly recommended.

The DVD

Video:
The image is 1.78:1 widescreen, and looks good, though there are some minor issues. There is some grain, and the image is a little dark at times, but these are relatively minor. The bright colors contrast with the dark tone of the goings on quite well.

Sound:
The audio is Dolby digital 2 channel, and is serviceable. The dialogue is always audible and no hiss or other problem can be heard. No subtitles or alternate language tracks are included.

Extras:
There is a trailer for Blood Car included, but the real treats are the two short films: The Adventure and The $100 Short Short. Both are worth a look, but the surreal The Adventure, set in a state park and involving mimes killing each other, is my personal favorite. It moves at a relaxed pace but the entirety of the twenty two minute film is enjoyable and very Zen. Make sure to watch the shorts!

Final Thoughts:
Blood Car is offensive, vulgar, sexually explicit and violent. It also lacks a classic "happy ending". But it is nevertheless an incredibly fun, well made and pointed satire. I'm glad to have it in my collection and I'll be watching it again. If it sounds like something you'd enjoy, you probably will.

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