Blood, Guts, Bullets&Octane review

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Bob (Leis) and Sid (Carnahan) are two motormouth used-car salesman spiralling into bankruptcy. That is until ultra-slack car broker Ray (Salter) offers them a no-questions-asked deal: they baby-sit a cool Pontiac LeMans convertible for two days, and he'll pay 'em an even cooler quarter mil for their troubles. But something nasty is lurking in the trunk, and soon they find both the FBI and a whole bunch of hitmen closing in on them.

With Blood, Guts, Bullets&Octane, first-time director Joe Carnahan pays his respects to both Robert Rodriguez (for El Mariachi) and Quentin Tarantino (for Pulp Fiction). Firstly, his shoestring-budget caper cost a frankly offensive $7,300 to make, yet it's so slick and stylish that it looks like it set him back a million or two in places. And secondly, Blood, Guts involves the same non-linear style of storytelling used so effectively in Pulp. The result makes for a pumped-up, super-irreverent US indie flick which boasts some morbidly funny verbals and plenty of innovative visuals.

Now and again, the lack of big money behind the production shows. But, considering the loose-change outlay, this Sundance-celebrated crime caper is an exceptionally accomplished debut.

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