Blood Guts Bullets And Octane

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Joe Carnahan, Dan Leis, Mike Maas
Director: Joe Carnahan

With a title like this one you have to expect one of two things, either a totally over the top exploitation picture made purely to make a quick box office hit and then go straight to video, or a small budget indie movie trying its best to be well made and launch a few careers. Fortunately here we get the latter of the two. It’s about as small a budget as you can get, $7,300 to be exact, and the unknown filmmakers try as hard as they can to beat Hollywood at their own game and bring to the screen an action genre movie with a twist in the tale.

Set in a second-rate used car lot, the main characters Bob (Dan Leis) and Sid (Joe Carnahan) are also the producer and director of the film, and play two very dubious salesmen who are owners in the failing business, and will say or rather sell any car they can by using any lie necessary. Just like real life salesmen really!

With their business about to shutdown, they are offered an opportunity to make $200,000 in a few days, simply by allowing a mint condition Pontiac LeMans to be parked on their lot, with the instructions being that they do not touch the car, they do not move it, and especially do not look in the trunk (boot).

Meanwhile the FBI are on the trail of a series of brutal murders, the only link between the crimes being a Pontiac LeMans seen at each of the shootings.

Of course in the face of such easy money, the two now increasingly nervous and suspicious salesmen can’t resist breaking the rules and taking a peak inside the car parked on their lot, and that’s where the fun really starts.

BLOOD, GUTS, BULLETS & OCTANE is obviously a low budget movie from the look of the grainy film, to the home made ID that the FBI agents flash whenever necessary, but that aside the filmmakers have cleverly used very ordinary locations in such a way that the lack of budget really doesn’t matter. With pretty decent camerawork, a clever little storyline, and minimal lines for the supporting cast, who apparently were friends and acquaintances of the filmmakers, mixed together with pretty good performances from the main cast, and you actually get a very entertaining movie that challenges much of what Hollywood has to offer.

If the filmmakers can achieve this with $7,300 just what would they do with $730,000 or $7,300,000? It really makes you think, and maybe it should make the big studios think as well!

Forget about special effects, CGI and famous actors for 87 minutes and go see BLOOD, GUTS, BULLETS & OCTANE. You’ll see tomorrow’s filmmakers in the making.

4 out of 6 stars