Syfy has not been known to produce anything remotely close to top-quality when it comes to their original productions, and frankly, that’s fine. It’s Syfy for crying out loud, the television channel that spawned production companies like The Asylum. However, with their latest venture into shock value entertainment, Blood Drive, they may just have a gem on their hands. With a title that promises violence, Syfy delivers the blood in bulk, and that is not the only good thing to say about this production.
Metroplague is proud to cover recaps of this show for its dear readers without spoiling any of the gory details. So, for the first episode, titled The F…ing Cop, here is a brief rundown of the story.
The setting for Blood Drive is a dystopian 1999. Seemingly most of humanity has gone to hell in a handbasket and even the cops perform their duties with an air of bloodlust. Enter Arthur (Alan Ritchson), the “last good cop in Los Angeles,” who stumbles upon the opening ceremonies of the nastiest race in the nation, Blood Drive.
One scene leads to another and Arthur is forced against his will to participate in the race with his equally unwilling partner, badass, sailor-mouthed, Grace D’Argento (Christina Ochoa). The two must now race to the finish of the competition, where human body parts are used for fuel, and one of the main rules is “do what you like to the competition, just don’t purposely kill them.”
The inaugural episode finds our two protagonists on their first race from Los Angeles to Arizona. On the way, Arthur and Grace share some witty banter that is placed just to show Arthur is the “good guy” and Grace is our anti-hero that we are all going to root for. The two characters cross paths with fellow competition, “The Gentleman” and “The Scholar,” cheesy dialogue and more insanity ensue, with a climax that really pushes this show to an extreme that most audiences may see coming but still be surprised about.
The Good: For a Syfy produced show, it is obvious that some care was put into the production value of Blood Drive. This show looks, for the most part, like a movie of the Grindhouse genre that it is striving to fall under. With over-the-top characters that have names like “Slink,” and “Fat Elvis,” Blood Drive really blends into the genre with ease.
The special effects are also top notch, and audiences will find themselves wincing with gross-out pleasure throughout.
Grace and Slink (the ringleader played devilishly by Colin Cunningham), are two characters that are sure to be developed in some interesting ways as the show drives along.
The Bad: At first glance of the synopsis, Blood Drive really seems like The Asylum’s version of Death Race 2000 or its more modern re-boots. From the racing theme in general to some of the devices used to keep racers in line with the rules, the similarities could throw some people out of the show’s overall originality, and turn them off completely.
This is meant to be a Grindhouse show, but some of the acting from the supporting characters, one of which is sure to be recurring, was just flat-out bad. Fortunately, the showrunners were intelligent enough to keep these poorly acted pieces to a minimum, taking up 5-7 minutes of the hour-long spectacle.
The Ugly: Okay, this is it, let’s talk violence and language. The lengths that Syfy is able to go with both areas in Blood Drive are astounding. This show really straddles the line between standard cable and premium pay channel content. In the first episode alone, 7 F-bombs were dropped, multiple faces were mutilated, and there were no less than 4 sexual situations. This show is definitely not one to watch with the kids, and viewers really ought to know what they are getting into before jumping into the passenger seat of this show. Sex, Blood, and Rock n’ Roll are what Blood Drive is all about, and if Grindhouse entertainment is what viewers are scrambling for, the first episode delivers in bulk.
Look out for weekly recaps and thoughts as Blood Drive plays out its first season. Be sure to catch the show on Syfy Wednesday nights at 10 PM EST/9 PM CST.