Blood Drive 1.03: “Steel City Nightfall” episode review

When we last left our intrepid road racers Arthur and Grace, they were racing to Utah with the rest of the Blood Drive teams.  Arthur continued to gather information about the Blood Drive and the participants, while Grace stayed hyper-focused on winning the race to rescue her sister Karma from the mental institution.

Yep, it’s another episdoe of Blood Drive, the homage to 1970’s low-budget drive-in movies.  And this week, we get to visit the “mutation” genre, where a town or village experiences a chemical mutation that turns their people into vicious monsters.

This should be fun.  As always, please note that Blood Drive is rated TV-MA and is only intended for mature audiences.  Seriously.  Don’t watch this show with your kids. 

The show’s main plotline features Grace and Arthur, still on the road, trying to catch up with the rest of the racers.  Arthur sees a possible shortcut through Steel City, an abandoned automobile manufacturing complex.

While in Steel City, their car gets captured by a surviving band of mechanics – who all talk in corporate “team-bonding” jargon, for some reason – and who must avoid the arrival of midnight monsters who will kill them in the dark.

Yep, if you saw the 2007 Grindhouse double feature film Planet Terror / Death Proof, you know that this episode borrows heavily from the Planet Terror half of the film.  The monsters were created by a gasoline chemical additive that turned ordinary people into blood-thirsty night demons.  This, kids, is why you don’t want to mess around with BMTE in your fuel additives. 😀

The rest of the episode finds Grace and Arthur battling their way out of the night demon wars, and as they battle, they discover that the demons explode when exposed to bright light.  Not wanting to check what would happen if the demons ever got wet or were fed after midnight … Grace discovers also that the exploded demon residue, when it splashes into the engine of her blood-sucking Camaro, gives the car a nitrous oxide boost.

So yeah, Grace and Arthur escape Steel City and the demons, and make it back to the race just in time. Of course they do.  There’s ten more episode of this show in the pipeline, you can’t kill off the main characters so quickly…

Other stray plotlines …

The show is dipping into a sort of meta-storytelling feature, where Julian Slink (the operator of the Blood Drive, the guy with the top hat and guyliner) deals with a board meeting of Heart Corporation broadcasting executives, who offer a few little tips on improving the show’s worldwide telecasts.  Just a few little tips.  Yes, I’ve thought about doing many of the things Julian does with the phone during one of those meetings.

Meanwhile, Christopher (Arthur’s cop partner) is still being held prisoner by the Heart Corporation sexbots, who are slowly brainwashing him into turning away from his good-guy heroics and into an evil sycophant.  Side note here – there’s a running gag throughout the show where any form of nudity is covered up with a digital black box.  As the sexbots enter the laboratory, the black box around Christopher’s naked manhood gets larger in every shot.  Ha.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the other racers.  Cliff and Nomi are the newlyweds who drive what looks like a Toyota Prius … and they’re also bringing up the rear against the rest of the drivers.  And they have some marital issues.  Who doesn’t these days?  But they still have fond memories of their honeymoon… um… including their complete vivisection and dissection of the hotel bellhop.  Yeah.  And when they finish the race and return to the Mayhem Party, they share a passionate moment to the dulcet tones of When In Rome’s “The Promise.”  I won’t spoil this scene for you, but I would guess that the producers probably couldn’t get the rights to the Flamingos’ “I Only Have Eyes For You.”  Trust me.  You’ll get the joke.

Next week, Grace and Arthur encounter a mental hospital where the doctors are now the patients, and the patients are the rulers.  Wow.  This could get good.  And creepy.  And creepy good.