Blood Drive, SyFy’s new series, isn’t a television show so much as a mashup of everything that’s ever offended the Parents Television Council. Shocking violence? You got it. Graphic sex? Naturally. Car engines that grind up whimpering human victims into high-octane fuel for a demented car race? That’s a new one, but it’s fairly easy to predict that L. Brent Bozell wouldn’t love it.
Created by James Roland, Blood Drive (which debuts Wednesday) is tweaked-out grindhouse, a cornucopia of shlock and gore that crams an estimable number of influences into each 40-minute episode: video games, dystopian sci-fi, George Miller, and the more depraved imaginings of Ryan Murphy. Set in the “distant future” of 1999, where oil costs $2,000 a barrel and law and order has mostly disintegrated thanks to the privatization of the police forces, the show stars Alan Ritchson as Arthur, a “good” cop working for “Contracrime.” (Their slogan: “We kill because we care.”)
After beating a tip out of a junkie, Arthur finds himself in a giant warehouse that’s the official start of the “meanest, nastiest, filthiest road race in the world” with a $10 million cash prize: the Blood Drive. No, it’s never explained how cars have been engineered to pulverize humans and convert them into an energy source, although the process isn’t exactly fuel-efficient, given how much bloods spurts everywhere every time another unlucky soul gets fed into the machine. Nor is it elaborated why the emcee, a steampunk Frank-N-Furter type named Julian Slink, chooses at this particularly filthy rave to play the French national anthem. Or where the drivers “Clown Dick” and “Bad Sushi” got their names. Perhaps some things are better left unsaid.