Start up your engines, and feed them a bloody limb, Blood Drive is ready to roll.
Syfy’s new twisted series is full-throttle on mayhem and B-grade horror, fusing hot cars, sexy stars and excess gore. With camp humour and strong production values, this is a show that knows its audience.
The setting is the “distant future of 1999” where society faces both a fuel and water shortage. Hunky young cop Arthur Bailey (Alan Ritchson) who works for ContraCop is one of the few LA cops not to digress into cynicism, and maintains a sense of order.
But his optimism will prove to be his weak spot. When he stumbles onto a rogue tribe of illegal street racers Arthur gets more than he bargained for.
Flamboyant, grinning MC Julian Slink (Colin Cunningham) spares his life but throws him together with sexy, bad-ass girl Grace (Christina Ochoa) in a car race that leaves The Wacky Races for dead (literally). With competitors named Rib Bone, The Gentleman & The Scholar, Clown D*ck and Fat Elvis, they hit the road for the “meanest, nastiest, filthiest road race in the world,” eager to win a $10m prize at all costs.
Embedded in Arthur’s neck is an implant that inflicts pain should he try to flee, but the biggest surprise of all is that under the hoods of the cars is a gnashing carburettor and piston teeth that chomp human bodies like a mince meat grinder.
“These cars run on human blood?” asks a shocked Arthur.
“Have you seen gas prices lately? Grace quips.
From there it’s a no-holds barred race to the finish line skewered with a fight for survival, as Arthur and Grace steam up a blood-spattered screen.
Created by James Roland, a production assistant on Weeds, Mad Men & Hustle, and gaudily directed by David Straiton (Bates Motel, Grimm, Fringe) this is handsomely shot in South Africa and confidently sticking its tongue in its cheek (or into the engine).
Alan Ritchson strides through his scenes with alpha-male bravado and a commitment to the genre while Christina Ochoa matches him with gnarly determination.
Visually the show borrows plenty from the Max Max universe with its post-apocalyptic-meets-Vegas styling. There’s even a line that nods to a “road warrior.” Later episodes promise cannibals, monsters, cults, lawmen, and nymphos and amazons.
Blood Drive may not match the legacy of The Cars that Ate Paris nor Christine, but you’ll enjoy the ride if you can stay alive.
Blood Drive 8:40pm Saturday June 17 on Syfy.