SERIES “Blood Drive”
WHEN | WHERE Premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. on Syfy
WHAT IT’S ABOUT Blood. And guts. And severed limbs. Tied-up cheerleaders. Six-pack beefcake. Motors with teeth. Chicks with fists. Food with fingernails. And sex of all persuasions.
Did I mention it’s also a corporate satire?
If you can stomach it. Because the satire is fierce, tackling fuel fracking, conglomerate clout, ultraviolent viewing, and leaving pets locked in hot cars.
“Blood Drive” itself is gore galore, spewing gushers of the title’s first word. Which just happens to fuel the cars of the second word. Its dystopian road race throws together such peculiar pairs as Los Angeles’ most upright police officer (Alan Ritchson, “Blue Mountain State,” “Smallville”), determined to put a stop to it all, and a personally desperate babe (Christina Ochoa, “Animal Kingdom”) who’s got a way with a stick shift.
That her name is Grace D’Argento — a salute to horror film thrillmeister Dario Argento — is one clue to influences here. Another is the name of the cop’s back-home partner: Christopher Carpenter (played by ripped Thomas Dominique, BBC’s “Undercover”), saluting “Escape From New York” director John Carpenter.
The most obvious clues, however, are visual, and immediate, so it won’t take long to see if this road is one you’d rather detour past. As the race’s nutty demonic-goth host/emcee (Colin Cunningham, “Falling Skies”) promises “the meanest, nastiest, filthiest road race in the world,” the pilot hour delivers with blood-soaked gusto.
MY SAY The second hour gets more amusing. And wit can be the saving grace for casual viewers of the grindhouse genre, named after the all-hours B-flick theaters that specialized in graphic violence-and-sexploitation fare. These movies were much loved by mayhem-mad filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, who honored them with their 2007 homage “Grindhouse.” And, obviously, too, by Syfy series creator James Roland (graduating from crew work on “Weeds” and “Mad Men”) and director David Straiton, arriving from “Grimm” and Netflix’s “Hemlock Grove.”
Why let streaming services swipe your viewers with extreme shows when you can provide them yourself? To its credit here, Syfy really goes for the throat. (And myriad other body parts.)
BOTTOM LINE Kinky, witty, winking gorefest.