About ten years ago, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez collaborated on a double-feature film called Grindhouse, where they created two separate exploitation-homage movies – Planet Terror and Death Proof – along with various trailers for films like Werewolf Women of the S.S., Hobo with a Shotgun, and Machete – and released it in theaters. You might remember the film, the Planet Terror pic had Rose McGowan as a freedom fighter whose leg is replaced with a machine gun; and Kurt Russell was a stuntman who drove a car that was death-proof for him – but not for his passengers.
You could see grindhouse films in sleazy exploitation theaters and “all films till dawn” drive-in cinemas. The films were packed to the sprockets with action, blood, gore, sex, violence, sex, blasphemy, danger, sex, zombies, vampires, and sex. And although none of these films would ever be Oscar-worthy material, they still conceived lots of bucks for low-budget film companies, and were a nice diversion for couples at the drive-in who were busy with their own form of conceiving.
Last night, I decided to watch a new show on the Syfy channel, the first in a 13-part limited series called Blood Drive. I’m not even going to ATTEMPT to explain the trailer … just watch it. I will warn you that the trailer is a bit NSFW, so don’t have your speakers cranked up at work.
Holy phlebotomy, Batman … you mean to tell me that the show’s called “Blood Drive” because the cars are fueled with HUMAN BLOOD?!?
Okay, near as I can gather from the first episode, here’s what’s going on.
Grace – the girl with the red blood-guzzling sportscar – is involved in a transcontinental road race, similar to Death Race 2000, I presume. Her partner in the race is Arthur, a cop who stumbled upon the race and is forced to join Grace in the race by the sadistic, clown-faced Julian Slink. Arthur and Grace have nano-probes injected in their necks – similar to the explosive nano-probes Snake Plissken received in Escape From New York. If they finish a race in last place … the nano-probes will detonate. Eww…
This TV show borrows from plenty of midnight-movie tropes and standbys, even to the point where Grace and Arthur have to improvise a way to circumvent the nano-probes as they finish the first leg of their death race in last place. Let’s put it this way. I wasn’t expecting that as their solution … nor did I imagine it would be a successful solution.
The show promises to honor all the different and unique forms of grindhouse movies – heck, watching the first episode of Blood Drive would have been awesome at one of the Capital District’s long-shuttered outdoor theaters like the Mohawk on Central Avenue or the Super 50 in Burnt Hills.
And there’s twelve more episodes of this.
Now I will warn you. This show is NOT for the squeamish. This is NOT a family show. This is the kind of show that, if this aired in the 1970’s on cable TV, it would have been shown at 3:00 on a scrambled HBO channel. Yeah, like most of us didn’t know how to press the proper combination of cable converter buttons to countermand the scramble anyways … 😀
Blood Drive airs Wednesday nights at 10pm on the Syfy channel.
I’m definitely watching next week’s episode… this stuff is awesome, man…