Okay it’s true. You can put a bunch of busty, scantily clad women swinging a bloody axe on the cover of a movie, tell me there’s a muscle car in it, and I’ll bite. That’s what happened with Machine Head. Perhaps I should tell you what I expected to see before I tell you what I actually saw. Expected to see: Bad ass girls on spring break, parting like rock stars with all sorts of excellent dialogue completed with an epic car chase or five, some tight clothes, fast cars and a fantastic soundtrack featuring older garage rock. Their adversary would drive a classic black muscle car, would have widowmaker loads of charisma and would most likely be my hero even if he IS the bad guy. FUCK! I just described Death Proof… sort of. Guess what Machine Head was? Not Death Proof. I think that it was heavily marketed to the crowd that enjoyed half of the double feature, Grindhouse directed by Quentin Tarantino, but it ain’t no Tarantino movie. It isn’t a stripper with one leg. It’s a stripper with no legs, no pole and no music.
Synopsis from Anchor Bay:
The deserts of Los Ranchos, CA isn’t your standard spring break destination, but it’s p-a-r-t-y time when a young girl's wealthy father gives her the keys to his amazing desert ranch house. She and her hot girlfriends plan a wild spring break vacation getaway to take full advantage of this lavish vacation oasis. But like all good intentions, the road it paves becomes a living hell…
During the drive to the house, the girls find themselves terrorized by a mysterious black muscle car on the highway. They soon realize they have been lured into a sick game of high-octane terror.
What did I actually find in Machine Head? Some not-so-great acting, a not-so-muscle car with a shit soundtrack, standard dialogue that left me uninspired and a baddy bad guy who Michael Knight could track down in a thirty minute episode of Knightrider (with commercials!). There’s a hefty lead up for an 82 minute movie that needed to be balls to the wall action from stem to stern. I’m afraid that Machine Head didn’t realize that it had a whole history of auto-horror to catch up with. It lacks suspense (or suspension). It lacks a killer soundtrack. This was compounded by the fact that every time I hear the title in my head I want to listen to the metal band of the same name only reminding me of this fault in the film.
Perhaps I set my expectations too high by indulging in the trailer. I must’ve though there would be more to the whole thing, but to describe Machine Head as ordinary would be accurate. Nothing much to see. Not much to remember, and it doesn’t remember what works about the car horror genre at all.
You can give Machine Head a test drive now, but make sure to check your state’s Lemon Laws first. Releases March 25th.