Carpenter Brut, a horror synthwave musician who just brings the entire house down, doing the score for some trippy sci-fi epic is one of the coolest prospects I could imagine. This teaser for Shudder’s Blood Machines only offers the slimmest hint of what that could mean.
There is unfortunately very little to see here. We have a weird machine with teeth (a blood machine?) and a neon naked lady floating through space. Both are neat but not exactly gobsmacking. The music isn’t too exciting, either, with little more than synth tones and not the sort of high-energy theme I would want from Carpenter Brut.
Also, there’s no blood, so thanks for the false advertising. It’s like when I watched Meatball Machine and didn’t see one single meatball. What a ripoff!
The most troubling bit for me, though, is that not only does the teaser show so little, but it also ends with “Join us on Kickstarter.” Saying, “Here’s something cool. Want to give us money to make it?” is a letdown.
Indeed there is a campaign live for the project with a week left. There are weird disconnects here, as the teaser promises “an epic space opera,” but the Kickstarter says the film will be 50 minutes long. That’s a far cry from an epic. Also, Shudder doesn’t have the money to make a 50 minute movie? It’s all a bit odd.
The campaign also mentions that Blood Machines is meant to be a sequel to Carpenter Brut and director Seth Ickerman’s music video for “Turbo Killer.” A feature-length sequel to a music video might very well be an industry first, so that’s neat.
The aesthetic looks very cool, though, said to be inspired by “the spirit” of 80’s films in a way that very much reminds me of Beyond the Black Rainbow. I’m down for the combination of Satanism and science fiction in this story about “a female ghost who challenges two space hunters to a galactic chase.” The two hunters evidentially find a machine that has a soul, which frees itself, and they pursue it in the hopes of understanding the nature of the entity. That definitely sounds like some weird music video logic to me.
I would probably happily plunk down some cash on the project (which has well-surpassed its funding goal), but with a company like Shudder already holding exclusive rights this all feels a bit greasy. The idea of Kickstarter was supposed to give the power to the people, so whenever a big company sticks its hand in it seems to defeat the purpose and kills my enthusiasm. I don’t even see the point in backing when the cost of getting Blood Machines on DVD is just about as much as a year’s Shudder subscription. I’m sure I’ll want the soundtrack (Carpenter Brut’s Trilogy is on constant repeat for me), but that will be floating on Amazon for around ten bucks after Blood Machines’ release. Kickstarter is supposed to be about helping people without corporate backing achieve their dreams, not about snagging premium-priced merch, but here we are. I’d suggest waiting for it to hit Shudder and not backing, but I’m not your dad.
Still, whatever the weirdness is that surrounds this, I’m very much looking forward to seeing and hearing what seems to be one hell of an experience whenever Blood Machines comes out.