Blood Drive Series On Syfy Is Strictly For Grindhouse Addicts

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 29: Actor Derek Theler (L) and Christina Ochoa attend Audi celebrates the world premiere of 'Ant-Man' at The Dolby Theatre on June 29, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Audi)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 29: Actor Derek Theler (L) and Christina Ochoa attend Audi celebrates the world premiere of 'Ant-Man' at The Dolby Theatre on June 29, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Audi) /

Put Death Race, Death Proof and a bin full of old-school grindhouse, exploitation movies into a blender, switch it on and completely forget about it. That’s Syfy’s Blood Drive series.

I haven’t watch enough TV series or movies which fall under the category of grindhouse. The exploitation genre wasn’t in my list of favorite movie categories. But the ones which I’ve watched, like Death Race 2000 and even the Grindhouse double-feature (Planet Terror, Death Proof) did get me hooked. Heck, I even enjoyed Machete and Machete Returns. They have these intentionally-poorly-made, extremely violent, and loaded with guns-and-girls vibe. And Syfy’s new series – Blood Drive – is almost all of that, plus lots of cars.

Welcome to a dystopian future world of 1999, with a crime-infested America struggling to cope with a major climate change, oil and water crisis and heading towards a Mad Max-like setting. The only way to earn fame and fortune is to win the Blood Drive – a literally blood-fueled cross-country rally – which has colorful yet vicious characters as contenders.

Here’s the official synopsis.

"Los Angeles 1999 – The Future: where water is a scarce as oil, and climate change keeps the temperature at a cool 115 in the shade. It’s a place where crime is so rampant that only the worst violence is punished, and where Arthur Bailey — the city’s last good cop — runs afoul of the dirtiest and meanest underground car rally in the world, Blood Drive. The master of ceremonies is a vaudevillian nightmare, The drivers are homicidal deviants, and the cars run on human blood."

Blood Drive has the right dose of vehicular action, cheap thrills, violence and nudity that’ll keep grindhouse fans coming for more.

Blood Drive’s leads comprise of a supremely-hot, femme fatale played by Christina Ochoa and a boy scout cop played by Alan Ritchson, who get thrown into the competition. Now, why is it so awful? Well, the contender cars run on human blood and the last ones to finish a leg gets his or her head blown up by tiny little bombs that are injected into the head. Yep, we’ve seen that thing in Suicide Squad.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. By some random, unexplained TV-verse science, the technology that exists in the world of Blood Drive chose human blood as an alternate fuel. And the cars which participate in the titular Blood Drive run on that alone, with competitors literally throwing live humans into the engines of their machines. And the engines tear the victims apart to extract the blood needed to keep running. It’s quite a grotesque sight and one that sits perfectly well in an exploitation series.

The F*cking Cop – the first episode of season 1 opens with our femme fatale serving her fiery red first-generation Chevrolet Camaro with a rice boy racer who tried a bit too hard to get under her skirt. Trust me, the idea of a muscle car engine opening up to reveal shredders and jaws that can reduce a full-grown human to pulp is disturbing. But then again, you and I wouldn’t sign on for this show, unless there is an appetite for grindhouse-grade insanity.

It remains to be seen on how long Blood Drive can keep the audiences captivated during its 13-episode-long first season.

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And if you in for the nudity and sex, Blood Drive has that too and of course in true sexploitation fashion, the fun is not in how the camera lingers over the bodies. It’s more about the ridiculous reasons that the writers have to come up with to tuck in the customary sex scene. You’re going to laugh out loud when one of the highlight “scenes” in the first episode plays out during the climax of the series opener. It’s outright silly. But then again, we digested something similar in Crank: High Voltage when Jason Statham resorted to sex to stay alive.

The show doesn’t seem to be keen in slowing down the body count or toning down the gratuitous nudity and violence as the racers floor the pedals, gun their engines and embark on a blood-soaked cross-country rally across the American landscape.

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Since the chase sequences are decently-executed and as the show is adhering to its grindhouse aesthetics, I’m going to continue watching it until it runs out of gas… or blood.

Blood Drive airs on Syfy on Wednesdays, 10/9c.