Blood, Guts, Bullets, and Octane

Photo Courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival

The makers of Blood Guts Bullets & Octane encapsulate their kick-ass flick, "When your lemon lot hits the skids, you glom the gig no matter what the smell." Or, as car broker Ray says toward the end, "It's a hit-and-run world, Bob -- savage, swallow-you-whole, spit-out-the-bones."

Whatever. This made-for-next-to-nothing opus ($7,300 got it in the can), with its blood and bullets and bargain price tag, may suggest influences from both Quentin Tarentino and Roberto Rodriguez. But this shot-entirely-in-Sacramento effort, although partly inspired by those two gents (according to writer/editor/director/ actor Joe Carnahan), is anything but derivative. Carnahan slices and dices his crime-and-mayhem yarn with a whole new set of knives (Benihana, eat your heart out!) and comes up with a bracing, exhilarating piece of filmmaking that doesn't stop. The plot? Let's just say it involves two down-on-their-luck used-car dealers who stand to gain a healthy influx of cash if they just let a 1963 Pontiac LeMans convertible sit in their lot for two days. Beyond that--why spoil the trip? There are guaranteed surprises all along the way.

Much praise, beyond the multicredited Carnahan, to all who worked on this film--with special kudos to cinematographer John Jiminez, a sharp casting eye, no-nonsense acting, and a raw, postmodern, gutbucket score. Enjoy!

-Robert Hawk

Directed by: Pål Sletaune
Starring: Joe Carnaham

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