Blood Drive: Season 1 TV Show Review
Written by Nick Ferwerda
Directed by David Straiton
Written and created by James Roland
2017, Rated TV-MA
Season premiered on Syfy on June 14th, 2017
Alan Ritchson as Arthur Bailey
Christina Ochoa as Grace
Colin Cunningham as Slink
Thomas Dominique as Christopher Carson
Marama Corlett as Aki
Darren Kent as The Scholar
Set in an alternate dystopian future of the year 1999, Arthur Bailey, possibly the only good cop left, has a goal to make the world right again. When oil prices are as high as 2000 bucks a barrel and crime is at an all-time high, there is little to no hope for our hero. Arthur gets a lead from a street rat regarding an event that could take down a lot of lawbreakers. This quickly puts Arthur right into the middle of what is known as “The Blood Drive”, a death race where the cars run on blood.
Arthur is paired with unlikely teammate Grace D’Argento, a femme warrior badass who entered the race to get the prize money for her sister so the two of them can start a new life together. With characters named Ribbone, Clowndick and Fat Elvis, this race is sure to be a shit show and all of characters know it.
All I have to say about Blood Drive is BLOOD, BLOOD AND MORE BLOOD! At the beginning I was a little afraid the show would wimp out and try to be something it wasn’t, but I instantly learned Blood Drive knows exactly what it is and isn’t afraid to go there and push its limits even in the slightest.
The first episode is a little rocky. They tried very hard to pack a lot of information into the 45-minute time slot. Some of it would’ve been better saved for the second and even third episode.
The show’s creator (James Roland) said one the main goal of the series was to start each episode off in a different subgenre of horror, which I can see being quite the challenge. How does one fit robots into the same storyline as cannibals and Amazons without having been god awful? I don’t know how they did it, but they did....and well!
Grindhouse horror isn’t easy. It usually ends up being overly cheesy and yes, I’m very much aware that's what the majority of this genre is. It’s very campy, but at the same time not at all. To do it well and in a way where you keep your audience engaged and wanting more is challenging. I give the entire cast and crew a round of applause for turning what I thought would be another “White Noise” show into something that kept me from looking away. Except when the Amazons showed up... For our male readers, be prepared to cringe if you cherish what you have downstairs (if you know what I mean). Blood Drive has every aspect a Grindhouse flick should have! From the witty humor, excessive amounts of blood and my favorite part, the washed out and grainy colors.
James Roland did a superb job creating original characters that have not been overdone on television and for the most part is very successful. Stand out performances go to Christina Oacha (Grace), Colin Cunningham (Slink) and Darren Kent (The Scholar). I was surprisingly impressed with their performances. They were all able to keep me captivated and wanting to see more of them on screen.
While it’s nice to see Alan Ritchson outside of his buddy comedy element, he doesn’t impress me to the same extent the rest of the cast does. He isn’t bad, but is more one-dimensional than I like. He is incredibly predictable and I got bored of the character Arthur after a while.
I cannot help but also give a shout out to Jenny Stead and Craig Jackson, who play married psycho serial killer couple Domi and Cliff. They are filler characters who are in the blood drive competing against Arthur and Grace. Every time they showed up, I was extremely entertained and they always left me wanting more. Come on! They drive a Prius in a death race where cars run on blood. How can you not love that?
Even though it has a slow start, the show quickly corrects its mistakes. Between the Grindhouse style of the show, blood and witty dialogue, Blood Drive is definitely not for the weak hearted. If you get offended easily or don’t like gore, than stick to your stupid online cat videos and don’t watch this series. This show is a must watch for any Grindhouse and horror fan. Add this to your must watch list now!