Sci-fi, dirty synthesizers, technicolor visuals – If you like any singular aforementioned entity, you’re in for a treat. If you subscribe as a fan to the holy trifecta of all aforementioned elements- Blood Machines is going to be a ‘gasm of a sensory experience for you. And I’m jealous of that. But happy for you in spite of my jealousy.
Admittedly this isn’t entirely my sort of thing, but I do love me some dirty synth and Carpenter Brut’s shining glory of a soundtrack/score, works hand in hand with stunning other worldly visuals for a full on multi-sensory feast. These synths aren’t just dirty, they are filthy. The soundtrack itself works as a standalone album, you’d feel things and see things, and much of what you saw would probably be quite similar to the Blood Machines imagery- futuristic, drenched in rich crimsons and blues. A mix of past, present and future, things that have yet to be seen, and things that lived only in the minds of Seth Ickerman (which is actually two French dudes, not one singular person) and Carpenter Brut and would never be seen if they hadn’t brought it to life. Blood Machines is absolutely the love child of Brut and Ickerman.
If the movie feels like an extended epic music video for the album, that’s because essentially, it is. Carpenter Brut and directors Seth Ickerman first teamed up in 2015 for the “Turbo Killer” music video. Blood Machines is a sequel to that video, done on a much more epic and grandiose scale. “Turbo Killer” essentially feels like Giallo had a baby with Grand Theft Auto, toss in a bit of grindhouse and add a shit ton of gritty 80s synth. Blood Machines is an extension of that, taken to another level quite literally- out of this world, hinted at during the finale of “Turbo”. Touted as “a three part, cyber punk space opera”, the fifty minute mini movie/music-video-on-performance-enhancing-drugs is split into three bite-sized parts and is best consumed all at once as appetizer, main course, and a dessert that does not disappoint.
It’s weird and beautiful and artistic and brings to the surface questions regarding AI we already find ourselves asking, and will undoubtedly find ourselves addressing more prominently in the not so distant future. The story conjures up morality notions reminiscent of Philip K Dick. It pays a bit of homage to classics while simultaneously remaining wholly fresh and original. This is all done in an artistic operatic fashion, not the way a traditional narrative film would lay out the elements. So go dive into the sensory feast that is Blood Machines. My only regret is not being able to watch this on a bigger screen with a bigger sound system. The sound and the visuals really lend themselves to an ultimate drenching and dousing of the senses in a theatrical setting. Maybe eventually we’ll be attending special midnight Blood Machines screenings, with pristine projection quality and choice sound equipment. Or, better yet… a screening with a live Carpenter Brut accompaniment. Until then, crank up your home system, and enjoy the feast you are about to partake in.
Blood Machines is now streaming on Shudder
(If you’re not already subscribed, use promo code SHUTIN for 30 days free)
In some regions, you can also stream via Vimeo On Demand
Wet your whistle with a four minute introduction via “Turbo Killer”: