Blood Drive is a television series on the SyFy channel. It is set in the far dystopian future of 1999 where everything has turned to shit and gas is now 1000$ a gallon. There are food shortages, gas shortages and a helluva morality shortage but one thing there is not a shortage of is blood because every time someone dies, there is a geyser of that stuff.
The plot of the first episode is that a super hot goody two-shoes male cop is forced to team up with a super hot not-so-good female driver in a deadly race across country where all of the cars run on blood instead of gasoline. It is an illegal race run by Julian Slink for a group of lowlifes that also seem to crop up in apocalypses. The prize is ten million dollars but at the end of every day, the last person to cross the finish line gets their heads blown off by bombs implanted in their heads. Carnage and hilarity ensues.
It is an interesting show. When Rodriguez and Tarantino did their Grindhouse Double Feature, I thought they were ushering in a new wave of genre movies. I thought that as an audience, we were smart enough and at the same time, hungry for a sort of pseduo-grindhouse style where we embrace the crazy spectacle and mock the stupidity of the genre while still creating material that would fit in the genre. It was a big inspiration for my own novel, Pusse’ and Cox and I patiently waited for the rest of the world to do the same. Other than Hobo with a Shotgun, and a few other movies, it didn’t really happen. The closest we got was Jack Shear’s excellent Planet Terror, the RPG.
Now here we are, ten years later and we have one of the true inheritors of Rodriquez and Tarantino’s vision. The plot is stupid but gloriously entertaining. The references to previous genre movies are as endless as they were in Planet Terror or Death Proof. The characters are ridiculously hot and instead of indulging in will-they or won’t-they, the two main characters fuck in the first episode to save their lives. This is a show that knows what their audience wants and it gives it to them in bucket loads of blood, gore and sex.
Having said that, I had a small problem with the show. The cars need blood to drive so all of the racers are looking for victims to kill. At one point, a car full of smiling cheerleaders gets hijacked. It was disconcerting as a viewer to watch the cheerleaders tied up, crying and screaming. The cop stops it but you know, I was taken a bit out of the show. Up until this point, with the exception of the cop, we had seen only really nasty people in a nasty world. Even the cop’s police force maintains a quota of teeth that they beat out of citizens. It is easier to accept gore and violence when you accept that everyone is a piece of shit anyway and probably deserve what they get. The cheerleaders break that concept and get me distracted thinking about to really deserves to get fed into a hungry engine rather than sitting back and enjoying the violence.
Funny enough, I am three episodes in and a similar situation has yet to happen again. I hope the show runners learned from that.
ContraCrime, the police force owned by a corporation has as their motto, “We kill because we care.” Fuck, that is pretty much our police in the real world, isn’t it?
Julian Slink runs the race and I didn’t say much about him because you really have to see him to appreciate how awesome he is. He has the pacing of a DJ, the humor of a horror host and the menace of a promotion broker who really just wants to make some money this time. he is played by the amazing Colin Cummingham and he is a delight in every scene.
How weird is this world? We got engines that look like something out of Hellraiser drinking blood, androids posing as people, a Murderous Clown driver, cops who carry computers that instantly assess crime penalties and pulse bombs in the back of your necks.
Did I mention how ridiculously sexy everyone is? Christ, even the male cop is supernaturally sexy.