Two space hunters track an A.I. escaping its spaceship as a female ghost in the visually-dazzling trailer for the sci-fi film Blood Machines. The 50-minute movie is a sequel to the 2016 music video "Turbo Killer", which marked the first collaboration for Seth Ickerman (the alias used by the French artistic duo of Raphaël Hernandez and Savitri Joly-Gonfard).
Created for the synthwave artist Carpenter Brut, "Turbo Killer" has amassed more than 7 million views on YouTube to date, and draws its inspiration from '80s B-movies by the likes of John Carpenter (a la Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China) and cyberpunk classics like Blade Runner. Fittingly, the sequel Blood Machines follows a pair of "blade runners" as they pursue the Mima, a spaceship piloted by a renegade A.I. However, when the being frees itself from the ship and takes on the form of a ghostly woman, the two trackers must come to terms with the possibility that these machines have a soul.
The Blood Machines trailer offers a quick glimpse at the film's main characters, including Anders Heinrichsen as the ambitious and fearless space hunter Vascan, and Christian Erickson as his older, wiser, and more kindly partner, Lago. Joëlle Berckmans also shows up here as Mimi's "Ghost in the Shell", which takes on the form of an ethereal woman with a glowing crucifix upon her chest. The results are a fairly spectacular-loooking technofuturistic vision, as you can see from the promo below.
While it was co-produced by U.S. streaming platform Shudder, Blood Machines only became possible in the first place thanks to a pair of lucrative Kickstarter campaigns that raised about $350K among 6,000 backers. It's now set to make its stateside debut at this month's Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, which will get underway beginning next week on Thursday, September 19.
With its neon-infused imagery and synthesized soundtrack (which takes inspiration from '80s sci-fi films and video games), Blood Machines should be a feast for the eyes and ears in the same way that something like TRON: Legacy was. Its themes are far more routinue by comparison, but Blood Machines' slender runtime will make it easier for the film's thin plot to avoid wearing out its welcome. Fantastic Fest is known for hosting a blend of off-beat studio films (this year's lineup includes Taika Waititi's Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit and Rian Johnson's whodunnit Knives Out, for example) and truly indepedent projects, which makes it the perfect festival for Blood Machines to kick-off its U.S. tour with.
Blood Machines will premiere in the U.S. at Fantastic Fest 2019.