Or Nah? is a feature where we watch and review the first episode of a new TV show. We’ll let you know if it’s worth checking out. As always, these reviews are the opinion of the reviewer, but we’ll try to adequately explain why you should or shouldn’t give the show a chance and provide shows for comparison.
Blood Drive | Wednesdays at 10pm on Syfy | Alan Ritchson, Christina Ochoa, Thomas Dominique, Marama Corlett, Colin Cunningham | Created by: James Roland
What’s It About?
The year is 1999… Due to an economic or environmental catastrophe, the United States of America is in disarray. Resources like water and oil are scant, there’s a mighty big chasm that separates most of the country, and chaos essentially reigns. Save for a few shadowy one-percenters that lord over the last vestiges of “order” across the nation, most citizens have foregone their compassion and sense of morality to maintain their place within the twisted hierarchy that dominates society.
While the world appears to be circling down the drain, a lone hero cop by the name of Arthur Bailey (Alan Ritchson) goes against the new order and attempts to right wrongs the old fashioned way. Unfortunately for him and his partner Carson (Thomas Dominique), Bailey’s good guy routine gets them in all kinds of trouble and ultimately, in the middle of a cross-country race featuring the worst humanity has to offer.
Oh, did we mention that their cars are fueled by the flesh and blood of hapless victims they abduct during their travels?
It’s pretty damn obvious that Blood Drive is a show that’s unlike anything Syfy has aired in its nearly 25-year history. The first true mature series in Syfy’s programming, Blood Drive’s premiere made its audience immediately aware that is wasn’t going to pull any punches. In fact, it’ll follow through and kick you into a corner until you’re wheezing blood. Any fans of the grindhouse format probably had few expectations during Blood Drive’s very active campaign, as the cable network was an unlikely home for a genre known primarily for its heaps of graphic violence and extraneous displays of female nudity.
Surprise, surprise… practically everything associated with grindhouse was present, right down to the exorbitant, towering streams of blood and the occasional smash cut of extras railing one another on or against muscle cars (with black censor bars covering up most of the naughtiness). In other words, Blood Drive is absolute overkill and bloody friggin’ excellent. The best part of all is it has a solid (yet tonally familiar) plot: a good guy is thrust into a den of sin and reluctantly partners up with a murderous sexpot that buries her heart deep to survive in this cold world.
Although Ritchson served his role well as the by-the-book idealist Arthur, who never gives in to the terrors witnessed at every turn, Christina Ochoa – as the co-lead Grace – firmly established the devil may care attitude that’s shared amongst most of the characters, in their respective ways. From the moment she turned the tables on her would-be rapist and made petrol out of his quivering mass, we knew this was a woman who wasn’t going to take any kind of shit.
Coupled with Officer Cooper’s side-story about discovering the whereabouts of his missing partner, and the startling connection between the Drive’s charismatic front man Slink (Colin Cunningham) and THE conglomerate that essentially owns the country, Blood Drive could fulfill all your sleazy little needs while providing sufficient depth once the shock factor subsides.
If you aren’t into the grindhouse genre and heaping amounts of gore, sex and visuals that feature crusty-looking eccentrics who went to Burning Man soon after filming the latest Mad Max sequel, then Blood Drive likely isn’t for you. It’s perverse, abrasive, surprisingly graphic and all kinds of lurid. Although it’s exactly the kind of untrodden territory folks have been waiting to watch on Syfy, some viewers may find it too crude or offensive for their tastes.
If you enjoy killer robots, low blows, high adventure, the gross and the sleazy, the T and the A (from guys as well as girls), prolific amounts of blood and raw sexual charisma all wrapped up in a pretty little bow, Blood Drive is certainly your cup of octane. If anything, it’s different and that’s usually a good thing when viewers are inundated with similarly themed programming year round.