Blood Drive Season 1 Episode 2: “Welcome to Pixie Swallow”
Directed by David Straiton
Written by Marc Halsey
Created by James Roland
Starring Alan Ritchson, Christina Ochoa, Thomas Dominique, Marama Corlett, Colin Cunningham, Andrew Hall, Darren Kent Syfy
Air Date: Wednesday, June 21st, 2017, 10pm
SyFy’s latest series Blood Drive is the lovechild of James Roland, a tearful ode to grindhouse exploitation cinema of the 70s and 80s. Last week on the series premiere, we were dropped head first into the rotating gears of a dystopian future after a huge fracking earthquake rips the US apart, resulting in a world where gas is obscenely expensive, and cars run on blood. There is an evil all-powerful corporation, Heart Enterprises, and when two cops stumble onto Julian Slink (Colin Cunningham) and his Blood Drive death race, things do not end up well for them. Arthur is thrown into the race, while Christopher ends up knee deep in robot clones.
Arthur Bailey (Alan Ritchson) and Grace Argento (Christina Ochoa) are exhausted and hungry. As Race Day 2 comes to a close in the Arizona Desert, they stop into the small town of Pixie Swallow. This is the type of town where the diner is full of patrons eagerly awaiting their meaty food, and where the chef shoves legs into the meat grinder. The two indulge on the fine cuisine, while others like Fat Elvis become the next serving. Right next door is the Pixie Swallow motel where all the Blood Drivers are staying. This leads to a hilarious back and forth at the diner counter between Arthur and The Scholar (Darren Kent);
“Does she make you wear the cock-chain while she’s spanking you?” I almost spit out my coffee during that line.
Meanwhile, Arthur’s partner Christopher (Thomas Dominique) is given a very exposition-y video to watch showing how Heart Enterprises took over and made their immense fortune. He is lectured by BDSM dressed cyborg Aki (Marama Corlett), and then freed to wander the underground lair. Back in Pixie Swallow, the diner is running low on meat, and they call in the cannibals to attack leading to a full blown bloodbath between cannibals and Blood Drivers. Art, Grace and The Gentlemen (Andrew Hall) realize they need the Scholar alive to fix their cars, but he’s missing and may be up next on the menu. More bloody chases ensue, and by “hook” or by crook, Grace gets the blood she needs to rev the engine some more.
At Heart Enterprises, Slink is chastised by another robotic Aki as Marama Corlett manages to be subtly creepy, in maybe the least subtle show on television. They discuss the possibilities of taking Blood Drive from a sleazy underground broadcast to a worldwide event. Arthur is able to contact Christopher finding out info about the asylum where Grace’s sister is being kept. And wouldn’t you know it? They’ll be passing through that town next week.
This show is the literal definition of TV guilty pleasure. The acting is so tongue-in-cheek, with the actors doing everything but staring down the lens and winking at the viewers, and the gore and bloodshed are too over the top to be truly offensive. James Roland has created a love note to grindhouse horror and 80s VHS culture. No better scene encapsulates this show so far than a crazed Blood Driver (Caligula) bringing the driver/cannibal fight to a standstill because someone locked their dog in the car without rolling the windows down. The images of a bloodsoaked biker dude lovingly clutching a tiny white chihuahua is pure awesome sauce!
Blood Drive returns to Syfy with a new episode Wednesday night at 10:00pm ET.