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Blood Car

Film One Star

I knew from reading the blurb that this was going to be a bit of a sit back and relax kind of film, after all the story about a man who makes a car run on blood wasn't going to be too intellectually challenging.

The film from Alex Orr tells the story of the near future where petrol/gas is at an all time high, only the mega rich can afford to run cars. One man is working on an engine powered by wheat grass, but it's just not working. Not until he drops some blood into it.

BloodCar.jpgThe story is rather silly from the outset, although it does contain a little social commentary, there isn't that much to it other than silliness, a bit of blood, and a few sniggers.

The film starts off with a character introduction talking direct to the audience, something that feels very wrong and uncomfortable. He describes the film to come, setting the scene, but the comic timing is very poor and it doesn't set the film up well at all. The jokes fall flat and a couple attempts at social commentary don't hit the mark at all and turn out rather flat.

The actual film opened much better though and provided a few moments of comedy and social commentary, although both were very light and favoured the more unsubtle commentary with a few sexual jokes thrown in for good measure, which to be fair, worked really well because they were such a contrast to the main character.

The opening with the crane shot lifting us over the car graveyard looked really promising, and the couple going hard at it in a broken down wreck brought a laugh from the audience of critics, and from myself, but with a harsh and ill-timed edit we're yanked into the middle of a classroom with a school teacher reading a story. The kids listen intently as music, almost too loud for the scene and at total odds with the previous track, plays out over the top of them. It's a pretty hard rip, and it does feel like you've just entered another style of film.

The idea for Blood Car is a good one, the future rise of oil prices and unaffordable gas, the attempts to find another solution only coming from a small town teacher, the idea that the cars need our blood to run and like a drug we can't give them up, it all has a decent amount of promise.

The actors are rather good too, some performances better than others with the female leads providing good comic timing and some life to their off kilter and stereotypical characters.

Yet the film doesn't always hit the mark and despite the few not bad comic moments that raise a snigger or two, the strength of the original idea begins to fade and the power of the film and the message it attempts to give soon slides downhill.

Of course messages aside the film tries to rely on it's comic strength, and apart from some bizarre moments where the lead character is put at odds with everything he stands for - like the sex scenes, shooting small animals for the car, or his decisions to kill - it doesn't manage to do that either.

Sadly I realised that half way through the film I was struggling with it so much that I started checking my watch to see when the next showing was on, and that's definitely not a good sign.

In defense of the film though there are some nicely shot scenes and some cool, amusing moments. However I do think the film could have done with another edit and perhaps a conscious effort to build the characters and story a bit better.

Release Dates: Currently out on DVD in U.S..

Filmstalker's Edinburgh International Film Festival 2008 page
UK IMDB Film Details

This article was posted using 3G Mobile Broadband as part of a product review.



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