Edinburgh International Film Festival

Blood Car (2007)

Starring: Mike Brune, Anna Chlumsky, Katie Rowlett, Matt Hutchinson

Directed by: Alex Orr

Rating: 1 2 3 and a half

Mike Brune as Archie in Blood Car

Imagine a world in which petrol has become so expensive, no-one can afford to drive any more. Not that hard to do, really, is it?

But while cars lies abandoned in driveways and junkyards, dorky vegan eco warrior/schoolteacher Archie (Mike Brune) dreams of running a car on wheatgrass, a green sludge which he purchases from geeky hippy Lorraine (Anna Chlumsky – has she been in anything since My Girl and My Girl 2?). But when he accidentally cuts himself while working on his engine, Archie realises that his car craves a very different liquid diet: blood.

Next thing we know, our mild-mannered, dolphin friendly hero is out in the woods bagging any unfortunate critter that crosses his path. A shame, then, that his car is a cannibal, and doesn't do squirrel (or, indeed, puppy…)

Anna Chlumsky as Lorraine in Blood Car

But as a car driver in a bicycle world, Archie is transformed into a sex god, fuelled by lust for slutty meat vending siren Denise (Katie Rowlett), and it's only a matter of time before the body count starts to mount. Just as well, then, that he's under surveillance from cinema's most implausible FBI agents ever (think a bunch of slacker film students in suits and ear pieces), who, in their inept quest to get their hands on the revolutionary 'blood car', provide the perfect fuel fodder.

Have you cottoned on yet? Blood Car is a very silly film, a low budget horror romp through everything that is crass and dubious. Packed with slasher-style silicone enhanced nudity and suspiciously orange-looking gore, Blood Car is a cheesily cheap, good ol' fashioned tasteless horror flick, in the manner of Peter Jackson's early films that we're no longer supposed to remember. Shades of The Toxic Avenger abound as our gentle, geeky zero hero mutates into a sex-crazed, bloodthirsty monster, shambling haplessly from one messy murder to the next, so high on blood and sex he's practically hallucinating (cue a psychedelic scene that's reminiscent of the cemetery trip in Easy Rider).

Blood and guts aside, there are some nice touches in the background (make sure you always read the blackboard in the classroom scenes) and a great use of classical music – as Hannibal Lecter has always known, Rob Zombie style nu-metal is for amateurs: real killers do it to Mozart.

And lurking beneath the carnage is a cautionary tale. True, the over extended skit-like nature of the film hardly pounds the message home in biting satire – it's more Eat the Rich than Fight Club – but nevertheless, spelled out hilariously in a Pythonesque apocalyptic ending that pisses all over the American Dream is a pertinent moral: man's love affair with the combustion engine will destroy us in the end.

So next time you pull up onto the forecourt cursing the rising price of fuel, count yourself lucky – it's better than liquidising your next door neighbour…

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