There’s quirky, and then there’s Blood Car. Set in a near-future where petrol costs the earth, one nerd (Mike Brune) stumbles across experimenting with human blood as new fuel source.
While that in itself is intriguing, what kept me watching until I eventually fell asleep (I need to stop starting these movies so late) was the tone: classical music layered over painfully awkward social misadventures of said nerd (Archie Andrews, I shit you not) as he navigates his daily interactions with the cute, perma-crazy-eyed cactus juice stall owner (Anna Chlumsky). The price of cactus juice is, apparently, also at an all-time high.
It’s all so deliciously amateur that it’s funny in a way that movies like The Greasy Strangler could never do as sweetly. The characters are mostly earnest and simple; and, as in a scene where a government agent flimsily slaps someone he’s arguing with, it’s hard to tell if someone’s being deadpan, improv-ing terribly, or just unable to deliver their lines. The fact that everybody appearing to have graduated from the Napoleon Dynamite school of acting lends Blood Car an unpolished charm.
Actually, this extends to the whole film: the moment Archie empties half his left arm into his gas tank and realises it works, he instantly passes out on the steering wheel from blood loss. From there it just gets weirder, more shocking, yet somehow more implausible. It’s like the entire movie is a gawky amateur that is just stumbling its way towards either a car crash or the finish line, and it’s oddly fun to watch either way.