Blood Machines is proof that is easier now to make a film than it ever has been. The sequel to the 2016 music video “Turbo Killer,” (over nine million views on YouTube alone) the almost hour long follow up was crowdfunded through Kickstarter. The homage to 1980s music and science fiction follows two space hunters as they chase an AI ghost.
The film is told in a series of three chapters. Still, it would not be entirely correct to call Blood Machines an anthology. The typical narrative structure is simply broken down into segments. This makes Blood Machines far more palatable. The story is visually stunning. Imbued with reds and plenty of neon, the movie looks like it came straight out of the 1980s. The artificial beauty rivals big budget blockbusters.
The flip side is there is not much of a narrative. What Blood Machines does give is vague. (There are definite messages about sensuality and control, however.) In the place of a layered plot, Carpenter Brut is back to deliver a killer soundtrack that attacks the senses. His music does not so much add to the story as it is the story. The synth based beats are as colorful as the direction and match the retro tone.
Just when it seems like it is time to write the whole endeavor off as style over substance, the breathtaking finale takes place. Up until then, Blood Machines is an exciting ride. It is also obviously a music video stretched out to movie length. The last moments bring everything together in a fun pseudo musical number. While it does not make the story any stronger, it does bring a sense of closure.
Blood Machines is an auditory and visual thrill roller coaster that simply wants to entertain. There is a story, but it is made up of a thin plot. Instead, director Seth Ickerman (Raphaël Hernandez and Savitri Joly-Gonfard) are more concerned with giving the audience an experience. They succeed in a retro infused treat for the eyes and ears.