Blood Car
BLOOD CAR. 2007
Director: Alex Orr

MONSTER MAN. 2003
Director: Michael Davis

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



Blood Car It's the future, about two weeks from now, when gas costs over $30 a gallon. No one drives anymore. Teens still have sex in cars, but only in automobile graveyards.

The favorite book of elementary school teacher Archie Andrews (Mike Brune) is The Little Engine Who Could, & he wears a t-shirt that asserts "Meat is Murder." He's the world's biggest wuss & he's even named after the star of Archie Comics.

He has naive dreams of helping the world by coming up with an alternative fuel. Unfortunately he's such a dufus he can't even tell the girl (Anna Chlumsky) who sells him wheat grass wants to blow him.

The comedy of Blood Car (2007) is only a couple times laugh-out-loud, but it's almost always just good enough. And as the story progresses, it gets stranger & stranger.

Archie has been trying to develop an engine that runs on his personal favorite drink, wheat grass juice, but so far he hasn't had any luck.

Then one night he gets snockered on vodka, accidently cuts his hand, & voila he discovers his engine can run on human blood.

Blood CarA nice vegetarian guy like him doesn't want to kill people so he sets out after animals, ends up through incompetence torturing a puppy, weeping copious tears of regret, only to discover animal blood won't do the trick. So no getting around it, he has to kill people to feed his vehicle.

A film that's intentionally goofy isn't going to stand up to logic or consistency, but I was momentarily thrown out of the film when one of the victims is a car-jacker. It's a world where perfectly good cars are abandoned in the junk yard, & while I could imagine gasoline-jackers, there wouldn't be car-jackers in this scenario for the near future.

Such inabilities to project this world credibly disappointed me a little, since some of it is subtly dead-on. Businesses, for instance, are no longer in strip malls down the road, or downtown in the cities, but a walk down the road a piece in stalls & sheds. In a world without many vehicles in motion, of course businesses would be set up nearby in clapboard sheds.

But the point of the film is its gross-out humor, & the integrity of the "scientifiction" vision isn't consequential, whether for the weaknesses or the strengths. A review that called this "the retarded good-time movie of the year" ended up quoted on the poster, as that's a very good discription.

After making it into a shitload of film festivals, the critics were generally raving about how much they loved this no-budget horror comedy. It does do a lot on no budget, & while far too many horror comedies are too adolescent in their misguided notions of what's funny, Blood Car is quite a different critter, possessing authentic wit.



Monster ManMonster Man (2003) kicks off with a non-character who gets his head squished in a vice. It's not all that graphic or convincing, but it provides a promise of "better" to come, to encourage us to bare the dull stuff to which we're next subjected.

Two dorks are on a road journey. They're Jack Black & Giovanni Rabisi, or, rather, dimestore versions, Justin Urich as the anti-friend Harley & Eric Jungmann as the constantly abused dumbass Adam.

The low concept or main gag of the film is that a monstrously deformed freak drives a monster truck. It's obviously not to be taken as serious horror, but if you wanted to take seriously anyway, the freak is a thoroughly creepy monster design.

After almost an hour of disliking the revolting characters of Harley & Adam, it'll be easy laughs to see them wacked, & maybe even a disappointment if they survive.

Monster ManThese two guys are so cretinish it's impossible to care if they live or die. For too long the "humor" that passes between them is outweighed by the hatefulness that passes between them.

On the other hand, though it takes forever, eventually they do get us on their sides, however unappealingly clownish they remain. The actors seem to be striving to be the Laurel & Hardy of horror but barely achieving Dumber & Dumberer.

When at long last they experience their first run-in with the rusty, humping, ferocious monster truck, it's pretty damned creepy & thrilling, & the tedium of Dumber & Dumberer's relationship becomes less a burden. Their relentless unlikeability even becomes oddly mesmerizing, though it'd still be kind of nice to have them tortured.

They pick up a babe hitchhiker (Aimee Brooks) who momentarily lends an unexpectedly romantic tingue to the tale. Neither of these dumbasses are worthy of her attention, however, & you don't have to have seen a lot of horror movies to guess right away that she's probably the sister of the freak in that truck, or something similar.

Monster ManThe saloon of hillbilly amputees was pretty extreme, & the revelations about the supernatural origin of the freak they're now calling Fuckface ain't bad either. Fuckface really is quite a make-up design, & is brought to life inside the costume by Michael Bailey Smith, who even under all the make-up & costuming manages to express at least as much character as Adam & Harley drum up.

When the big money scenes occur near the end, they're great. We find out Fuckface aka Bob has a brother, Fred (Joe Goodrich), who is as much a freak as Bob, & since vastly more loquatious, a veritable comedian. Gross, gory, witchcraft-inspired slashing begins, & though never the least bit original, it is in the final analysis pure delight.

It comes finally to a climax & coda that are pure camp of goofy gutsy horror, & ultimately a very rewarding film of the sicko variety. Those of us disappointed time & again by our folly-ridden love of seedy cheapy horror cinema do get rewarded now & then by really good crap like Monster Man, a fact that'll keep be patient through the next twenty-five waste-of-time movies in quest for another one just this successful.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



[ Film Home ] - [ Film Reviews Index ]
[ Where to Send DVDs for Review ] - [ Paghat's Giftshop ]