Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane Reviews

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½ December 1, 2013
Fait avec la somme derisoire de 16.000 dollars, le premier film de l'excellent Joe Carnahan est une comedie tres noire et souvent tres drole, tres bien ecrite un peu trop ambitieuse par moments, mais traversee par des scenes particulierement hilarantes et bien interpretee par des acteurs non-professionnels. Joe Carnahan lui-meme interprete un premier role et se trouve etre un acteur tres divertissant. Une tres bonne surprise.
March 28, 2013
Joe Carnahan's first low budget indie flick is a mess...thank god he went on to direct NARC.
January 7, 2012
An indie film that aims for Tarantino but ends up no better than a student film.
December 17, 2011
The Tarantino comparison is valid but let's get over that please. Tarantino did something fresh and new, we don't have to put his name on it every damn time. If I see a movie that uses camera movement or tricks i don't say "well it's obviously an F.W. Murnau rip off, i mean have you seen The Last Laugh?"

But on to the actual movie. The reason to see this is for the dialogue, especially in the first half. Joe Carnahan can really act! He's yelling, shouting or telling someone to shut up and listen to him the entire time yet he never goes over the top. The story is pretty fast paced, before you know it you're 40 minutes in. What really sucks is Carnahan later made Smokin Aces which is half as good with 100 times the budget and caliber of actors.
October 25, 2011
Not great as a stand-alone film, but a must for cinephiles, if only for the back story.
½ January 21, 2010
Extremely low budget, Acting...eh. But somehow just a great film. the plot was interesting. the directing and editing unique and also a first time directors so props to him. I enjoyed watching this. Quality was terrible but still pushed me and kept me interested. A almost hidden classic, I recomend it and believe it is a must see but also a bullet practice sheet for critism. Funny, Original and action packed.
May 18, 2009
An indie film that aims for Tarantino but ends up no better than a student film.
December 23, 2008
The Tarantino comparison is valid but let's get over that please. Tarantino did something fresh and new, we don't have to put his name on it every damn time. If I see a movie that uses camera movement or tricks i don't say "well it's obviously an F.W. Murnau rip off, i mean have you seen The Last Laugh?"

But on to the actual movie. The reason to see this is for the dialogue, especially in the first half. Joe Carnahan can really act! He's yelling, shouting or telling someone to shut up and listen to him the entire time yet he never goes over the top. The story is pretty fast paced, before you know it you're 40 minutes in. What really sucks is Carnahan later made Smokin Aces which is half as good with 100 times the budget and caliber of actors.
½ July 20, 2008
Joe Carnahan's Great First Try. Who the hell is Joe Carnahan? That's the very question I asked myself when I saw his name lumped in with other monster talents (John Woo, Tony Scott, Ang

Lee, Guy Ritchie & Wong Kar-Wai) as one of the directors of the BMW short film series, 'The Hire'. He got the BMW gig because of his breakthrough 2002 film, 'Narc'. But four years earlier, he made his first feature, 'Blood, Guts, Bullets & Octane'. It's a low-budget indie flick shot on what looks like the cheapest 16mm film stock you can buy. The camera work is amateurish. The acting is amateurish (but fun to watch). The actors' skills aren't fully developed, but they all have presence. Joe Carnahan, who also has a major role in the film, is very fun to listen to, even if his performance is often too heavy-handed and self conscious. The thing that really stands out here is the dialogue. It sounds like a very good meld between Quentin Tarantino & David Mammet. Too bad the story wasn't better. It definitely needed more twists and turns. But, if you're a lover of independent cinema or an aspiring filmmaker, this is definitely a good one to watch. Joe Carnahan is definitely a rising talent.
½ July 8, 2008
When Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi came out in 1992, everyone was so dazzled by what Rodriguez could do for $7,500. Blood Guts Bullets & Octane was released in 1999, and everyone found it to be a simple Tarantino rip-off. Well, frankly, Blood Guts Bullets & Octane is at least three times the film El Mariachi is, because not only was Joe Carnahan able to make a feature-length film with choreographed violence and creative freedom like Rodriguez did, but he also wrote a very tight, extremely smart, creative script. Rodriguez wrote a laughable little direct-to-video fluff where the dialogue is stilted in the worst way and the story hardly works. Why when someone detects even the slightest acknowledgment of Tarantino in a film do they decide to fire criticism at it when maybe it could be more than a simple clone?

I don't believe Quentin Tarantino had any influence on this film. Yes, you could say he did, because the story flashes back and the dialogue is earthy and clever. But is he the only filmmaker to have ever told a nonlinear story with earthy, clever dialogue? No. Far from it. In fact, I think it's extremely injust and unfair to protect so ardently from imitation a filmmaker like Tarantino, who admittedly steals from every other filmmaker in existence, even ones that came after him. And those who criticize this film for being a Tarantino clone may not be as well-versed in film as Tarantino or Carnahan himself to the point where you would realize that the dialogue is not at all like Tarantino's. QT writes dialogue with the intention of sounding realistic. He acts as recorder while his characters segue into natural conversations irrelevant to the plot. Carnahan's characters speak like satirizations of car dealers and people you would only find in movies. His dialogue is written to be quick, jazzy, clever, and even a little poetic, because sometimes lines will be alliterative, contain similes and metaphors, and other such things. If you would like to zero in on Carnahan's influence---and every writer, filmmaker, or any other artist has their influences---then perhaps David Mamet is a better candidate. Even so, who cares? Carnahan's script is loaded with razor-sharp wit and his own knack for the pace and rhythm of a film.

I think for a film made for $8,000 and bags of Doritos the cast is quite convincing. Whether they are professional or trained actors I don't know, but whoever they are, they have natural penchants for acting. Carnahan himself is excellent, and perhaps the best of the performances comes from Dan Leis, who plays opposite him.

The cinematography and editing get a bit gimmicky and overexerted, especially in terms of the unpatterned switching off between color and black-and-white and title cards for each scene. It seems corny and gratuitous, and considering it as a movie despite its budget and circumstances, it definitely is, but Carnahan is a smart and practical director, and he made this film to pack a shattering punch of all that he can do and more with just that much money (and Doritos).
½ February 12, 2008
I thought it was great for a directorial debut. I wish "Smokin' Aces" had been this good.
½ January 16, 2008
Although I definitely see the problems with it and it suffers from tons of Indie Movie syndrome, Joe Carnahan's debut feature is a testament to what can be done to make an entertaining and watchable film for only around $7,300. That's pretty special, really. There's some good jokes, some good character stuff, and Joe himself as an actor is quite engaging. I'm also glad to see where Smokin' Aces came from in many ways. Wish he'd remake this with a $30mil budget.
October 26, 2007
No!! Carnahan is really going downhill for me, even with this POS. WAY TOO MUCH DIALOGUE. Go watch Narc, its his best easily.
½ October 6, 2007
The dialogue just flies off the screen and a great debut showing a lot of promise from Carnahan, which he proved with Smokin' Aces.
August 27, 2007
What kind of movie can you make for eight grand? This is an excellent example of how a young director/writer/actor puts together a very good cast of characters for nothing more than bags of nacho chips.

Basically, you have two guys who worked for one of the biggest car lots on the west coast and decided to start their own lot. Big mistake. They are 80+ grand in the hole and a foreclosure on the business is eminent. Then, their wholesaler 'Ray' comes to them with a deal. Park this Pontiac on your lot for two days and you get a quarter million in cash. Oh, don't touch, start, or open the trunk or your either shot or blown to bits. If that is not enough, a string of dead bodies going all the way to central America and the FBI hot on the trail of the car and it's owners are added for spice.

The dialog was good, however he almost lost me at the beginning. The yelling and screaming as they tried to close a car deal and at the same time get better cars delivered from their wholesaler was a bit much.

The low budget ride gets better and the final scene was OK for a wrap up. No big surprises here, but not bad for a first effort.
½ August 11, 2007
I can't believe I actually seen this movie.
July 19, 2007
I wanted to review "Blood an Guts" - a body building film featuring Dorian Yates but it not on facebook, so my review will have to go under this lucky film. Despite being all filmed in black and white, its not rubbish. Dorian lifts with his Northern friend in his basement. Notable quote: "Lets get nasty"
July 9, 2007
This movie couldn't possibly be any more of a direct rip-off of Tarantino but I am not really complaining. This movie is really an independent film so it does have its drawbacks. The acting isn't great and the dialog tries to maintain that Tarantinoesque style but falls short. In the end this movie is interesting and it does keep you in suspense until the end. If you are a huge Tarantino fan or a fan of independent films than you won't want to miss this one but otherwise it probably is not worth your hassle.
June 28, 2007
Insane movie. You get drawn into the story enough to forget the bad production values.
June 10, 2007
Cheesy, low-budget, but exciting and interesting sums up Blood, etc. for me. The car salesmen are awesome and it's amazing what Carnahan pulls off for so little.
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