Herbie goes bananas

Mike Brune stars in Blood Car.

Looks like they should have called it Bloody Drivers.

Release Date: 24 February 2012
18 | 76 minutes
Distributor: Left Films
Director: Alex Orr
Mike Brune, Anna Chlumsky, Katie Rowlett, Matt Hutchinson, Marla Malcolm

Inspired satire or self-indulgent guff? Whether absurdist mumblecore dystopian grindhouse gore flick Blood Car titillates or irritates will likely depend on your tolerance for super-cheap horror and (pseudo-?) smart laughs. Loved Hobo With A Shotgun, Rubber and Repo Man? Then this one’s for you.

Set in the future (“like, two weeks from now”), where soaring gas prices have driven cars off the road entirely, scrawny vegan school teacher Archie (Mike Brune) attempts to perfect his wheat-grass engine with help from speccy veggie stall owner Lorraine (“My Girl”’s Anna Chlumsky). Turns out the green stuff’s no good and only fresh blood will fire up Archie’s motor, turning the snivelling nice guy into an unwilling psycho descending into hell to feed his machine’s blood lust and his own compulsions for increasingly dirty sex at the hands of car-crazed meat stall temptress Denise (Katie Rowlett).

A first feature from Alex Orr (who picked up a handful of awards from its rounds of the festival circuit in 2007), Blood Car‘s shaky production values, super-saturated palette and winking-at-the-audience performances will alienate those used to having their bargain-basement horror packed with teens, tits and torture. Whatever your preferences, though, Blood Car is undeniably inventive, unconventional and occasionally very witty in its oil-black gags and bumper-sticker one-liners – not least those from Rowlett’s gorgeously gobby meat merchant (“Why don’t you think about that when you go home and write haikus about my box?”). Cult classic or car crash: Christine would be turning in her scrapyard.

Rosie Fletcher

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