- Writers: Alex Orr, Adam Pinney
- Director: Alex Orr
- Starring: Mike Brune, Anna Chlumsky, Katie Rowlett
- Medium: Shudder (Streaming)
A vegan kindergarten teacher, Archie (Brune), is trying to develop an environmentally friendly alternative fuel in a world where nobody drives cars anymore due to the cost. He has limited success with wheat grass. After an accident mixes his blood with the wheat grass, he realizes his new motor runs on blood. With a new fuel source discovered, the government watches him. Due to the type of fuel, Archie needs to continue to find ways to fill up his tank, which goes against his vegan sensibilities.
It’s an interesting premise and starts out well enough, reminding me of Napoleon Dynamite. The reminder is because everyone’s performance is understated, and it almost sounds like the actors could fall asleep at any time. Does that make sense? Gas prices have risen to $36/gallon, which was more of a concern back when the movie was released than what it is right now. There is some humor like kids going to the car graveyard to have sex in the back of a car because no one drives them anymore or parks them in remote places.
The lead being a vegan is, of course, not a throwaway characteristic, as it leads to much of the humor in the movie, especially when Archie realizes that blood is his alternative fuel, and, in tears, he kills some animals before realizing it is specifically human blood that runs his engine.
After he shows up with his car to the organic stand (where he had been buying his wheat grass), which is run by My Girl Anna Chlumsky, who has a big crush on Archie, the hot girl at the Meat Stand across the way, played by Katie Rowlett (future wife of the co-writer and director), sees her chance at raising her status by being inside a car, so she trades sexual favors for the feeling of superiority, blatantly talked about in a speech she gives at the drive-in.
I checked the time thinking it had to be close to over, but it was only 35 to 40 minutes in, as the movie runs out of steam pretty fast. He is driving and needs to pick up the meat girl. He runs out of fuel. He freaks. He kills someone. He picks up the girl. Repeat. By the time the government aspect really comes in, it’s a little too late to pick up the interest again. This was an instance where I think the low budget hurt a film and also the stretching into a feature length film. It was like a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into a movie that should’ve been kept as a sketch. Maybe turning this into a 30-minute short would’ve been perfect and would’ve kept the interest until the final credits rolled.
Film Rating: 5 Gallons of Wheat Grass out of 10 | If they could do the reverse of the norm and re-film this as a short, I think they would have a success.