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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With half a face and half a chest, and all the guts in the world, he's back!
I've ridiculed many a Roger Corman film in my time, but I have nothing but love for his 1975 B-movie triumph Death Race 2000 (although, to be fair, most of the credit should go to director Paul Bartel). In this brilliant black comedy satire, Corman gives us what we want - fast cars, hot naked gals, and lots of glorified violence, not to mention brilliant performances by...
Published on 18 Aug 2008 by Daniel Jolley

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 4:3 Cropped TV Version Very Poor Picture Quality
A classic science fiction film from the mid 70's that is deserving of much better DVD treatment than this version provides.
This Universal DVD (White poster cover DVD 822 205 4 .11) is a full screen 4:3 version taken directly from a TV broadcast. The film was originally shot as 1.85:1 so this 4:3 (1.33:1) version is heavily cropped with information missing on the...
Published 5 months ago by England Calling


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With half a face and half a chest, and all the guts in the world, he's back!, 18 Aug 2008
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Death Race 2000 [1975] [DVD] (DVD)
I've ridiculed many a Roger Corman film in my time, but I have nothing but love for his 1975 B-movie triumph Death Race 2000 (although, to be fair, most of the credit should go to director Paul Bartel). In this brilliant black comedy satire, Corman gives us what we want - fast cars, hot naked gals, and lots of glorified violence, not to mention brilliant performances by David Carradine and a pre-Rambo Sylvester Stallone - and all with a budget of only 300 grand.

In this futuristic vision of the year 2000, America has devolved into something of a fascist police state called the United Provinces, ruled from overseas by Mr. President (Sandy McCallum) who, like all good dictators, has established an external outlet for whatever bloodlust, anger, and general discontent that may exist among the populace. Enter the Transcontinental Road Race, better known as the Death Race. Now in its 20th iteration, this fierce competition pits the greatest, most fearless drivers in the land racing from New York to New Los Angeles. Lest any visions of Cannonball Run threaten to run your head, know this: the beauty of the Death Race is the fact that extra points are awarded for any and all innocent spectators you kill along the way, with children and seniors bringing in the most points (if you don't think this is great fun, you haven't played any of the games in the Carmageddon series, which count among my favorite games of all time).

This year's contestants are Nero the Hero, Matilda the Hun (with Representative Fred "Gopher" Grandy as her navigator Herman the German), Calamity Jane Kelly, Machine-Gun Joe Viterbo (Sylvester Stallone), and the fan favorite, Frankenstein (David Carradine). Frankenstein is something of a mystery man, his mask and cowl hiding a body that has had more parts replaced than your grandfather's beat-up old pickup. He and Machine-Gun Joe are bitter rivals, but this year the greatest threat Frankenstein faces is a plot by the Resistance, led by Thomasina Paine (Harriet Medin), to put an end to the barbaric race once and for all (using - wouldn't you know it? - barbaric methods of their own).

From euthanasia day at the hospital to the wickedly tripped-out cars designed for human carnage as well as speed, Death Race 2000 is a tour de force of B-movie entertainment. The sociopolitical statement the film makes is also very real and important, but I'll leave the interpretation of all that to the individual viewer. Carradine's amazing, Stallone's a brilliant bonus, the supporting cast make hay with even the smallest of parts (The Real Don Steele, anyone?), and Simone Griffeth is fun to watch both in and out of her clothes (and I haven't even mentioned the whole French Air Force thing). Death Race 2000 is the epitome of cult classic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death race 2000 - Cool cars, sex and death: what more do you want from a film?, 2 May 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death Race 2000 [1975] [DVD] (DVD)
A little while ago I had occasion to watch Deathrace, a remake of this film starring Jason Statham. I was impressed, and determined to watch the original. I have to say I was equally impressed, though for totally different reasons!

This is an almost perfect example of cheap seventies film making. And I don't mean cheap in a pejorative sense, in this case it is an accolade, as they managed to do so much with a limited budget and I am seriously impressed.

It's a brilliant concept. In the near dystopic future, America is ruled by a dictator. Like all good dictators he needs an outlet for the rage of the masses, and so we have the Death Race. Drivers in souped up roadsters take off across America, scoring points for people killed along the way. Just the story of the race itself would have made for a brilliant film, with plenty of scope for fast car chases and grisly deaths. But the producers added in a layer of intrigue for those who need more - there are rebels lurking about, and not all of the drivers and navigators are exactly what they seem. And what is the story of the mysterious Frankenstein, the masked champion?

A ridiculous script is played out as straight as possible by the actors, who all seem to get into the spirit of it and inject it with a real sense of fun. At its heart that's what this film is, a fun film. There are scenes straight out of the Whacky Races and Roadrunner cartoons, played out live action and transferring across brilliantly. There is the odd bit of social commentary, and a few jabs at chat show hosts and the press, these aren't (in the main) too overplayed and add to the sense of fun.

David Carradine is a little flat as the lead, but Sylvester Stallone makes up for it by overacting his part enough for two. It's a cartoonish performance, totally fitting with the ethos of the film.

It's a classic from the stable of Roger Corman, surely one of the greatest film makers in Hollywood?

The version I have is the 2004 DVD release, ASIN B0001E5T7E. This has a widescreen print, which has undergone little or no remastering. The print is a little scratchy and jumpy in places, but you have to be looking for it to spot it. The sound is mono, and clear if a little quiet. The extras are limited to some biographies of cast and crew. A decent budget presentation (pretty much in keeping with Corman's entire working ethic!). 4 stars, I feel a bigger budget release of this classic with some decent extras and a restored print would be worth 5.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death Race 2000, 11 Feb 2004
Death Race 2000 was recommended to me by a friend who said that it was a similar film to Rollerball. It is not similar at all, apart from the emotionally cold distopian setting and a desensitised, almost comic, attitude to extreme violence. Rollerball is a dark masterpiece, DR2000 is a fun throwaway classic. The film is very amateurishly made, but that's most of it's charm.
The setting of DR2000 is a futuristic society in the year 2000. Mr President keeps the emotionally cold population of America happy by running the Annual Transcontinental Death Race across America. Champions Frankenstein, Machine Gun Joe Viterbo (young Sylvester Stallone) and Calamity Jane compete to acquire the most points and win the game. Meanwhile rebel forces try to sabotage the race and destroy the president's rein. It's far too clumsy to work as a social satire, but it's still a very memorable and enjoyable film. DR2000 has been frequently compared to an adult version of Wacky Races, and it's easy to see why. You get ludicrous characters with silly names driving sillier cars, big explosions, and bad acting. Some parts seem to be stolen directly from a Roadrunner cartoon.
Death Race 2000 is one of the best exploitation films of the 1970's. The horrifying idea of running over pedestrians for points has now passed into legend, and the whole high camp look of this film - the unreal bright red paint for blood, the 70's porn funk soundtrack, the sped up shots of cars fitted with horns, spikes and go faster stripes rushing past the camera make this the greatest B movie ever made. It's not in the least subtle, but it's excellent entertainment, and I will never tire of watching this film. At only 78 minutes long it's a great movie to stick on with friends while waiting to go out and get some good laughs, without outstaying it's welcome. If you want thoughtful sci fi satire - steer clear. However if you enjoy entertaining 1970's sci fi films like Westworld, or the Omega Man, or if you want some dumb 1970's low budget thrills then you can't go wrong with Death Race 2000.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining, 15 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Death Race 2000 [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Although the effects aren't great, and nor is the acting, this film has what many lack - fun. it is entertaining for the duration of the movie, and its an original idea. definitely worth seeing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Created a stir...., 25 Jan 2008
By 
Graham Kidd "Arcade" (Wiltshire, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death Race 2000 [DVD] (DVD)
A cracking little film!
Created a great deal of press attention at the time of its cinema release...back in the days when a 6 week hype campaign were the norm.
Even that bastion of trash 'Titbits' magazine ran a colour spread!
Stallone excells as Machine Gun Joe Viterbo, as does Carradine as Frankenstein.
Even the dreadful continuity ( check the attack scene, involving the French air force) doesn't detract from the films energy and gusto.
Don't expect a digitally remastered version on DVD though...its still as grainy as a bag of rice.
Apparently, a new version of this film..imaginatively titled Death Race 3000 is due to grace our screens soon, but it'll have to go some to beat the cornball splendour of this gem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 4:3 Cropped TV Version Very Poor Picture Quality, 9 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Death Race 2000 [DVD] (DVD)
A classic science fiction film from the mid 70's that is deserving of much better DVD treatment than this version provides.
This Universal DVD (White poster cover DVD 822 205 4 .11) is a full screen 4:3 version taken directly from a TV broadcast. The film was originally shot as 1.85:1 so this 4:3 (1.33:1) version is heavily cropped with information missing on the left and right.

Furthermore the actual picture suffers from combing artefacts (multiple thin lines around the edges of all objects).
Essentially this looks as though Universal took an old VHS TV recording of the film then just transferred the result to a DVD. There are several DVD (and now Blu-ray) versions of Death Race 2000 available so I would avoid this particular version.

I purchased this from Zoverstocks who always offer excellent customer service so I will now look for a better version.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Low Budget Satire With Plenty of Action, 4 Feb 2013
This review is from: Death Race 2000 [1975] [DVD] (DVD)
The biggest surprise about Death Race 2000 is that it was directed by Paul Bartel, a fine director working out of his genre.

The movie is set in the then future, where a government holds the nation of America with an iron fist. Life is worthless apart from- The race.

The plot with his black humor, social commentary and satire had me sold. Its completely over the top, at times mayhem. It's interesting that the film is only a 15- because at times this is pretty ultra violent (check out that head squeeze).

David Carradine plays the lead here to utter perfection, a loner that has given up on life, his only joy is the race. Also starring is Slyvester Stallone who was on the brink of stardom. He is great here, screaming and shouting his way through the movie in a manic way.

The film is produced by Roger Corman and the dvd comes with a 5 min inteview as an extra. It may not seem like much, but the interviewer Leonard Maltin asks him some interesting questions, and as ever it's always a joy to hear Roger speak.

Death Race 2000 certaintly will not be for everyone- for me it's a blistering movie, directed well and part of 1970s American cinema.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Memory...! Death Race 2000 ......., 30 April 2003
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This review is from: Death Race 2000 [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I remember watching this when I was younger and I still think it's great now. Basically, it was similar to the Cannonball Run series where a race took place in cars to get across the USA the fastest. Except this time, the competitors put huge great big spikes etc. on the front of their cars and had to run people over for points. Babies and Old people were worth the most, some 200 points. It sounds really bad and sick but it is actually quite funny to watch and a real classic for all you movie collectors. Get it now whilst it is still available and enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars DEATHRACE!!, 12 April 2009
By 
B. Cousins "The Eternal Noob" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death Race 2000 (DVD) (DVD)
Although this film was made in the 70s, it is worth watching, it is a darkly comic view of life in the year 2000, this quote says it all:

In The Year 2000 Hit And Run Driving Is No Longer A Felony. It's The National Sport!

This film includes actors such as David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone, there are political overtones to the film which add to the storyline and what makes this a great film. I had been after it for years after watching it on tv late one evening, and amazon came to the rescue for suppling it. The models used for the cars i.e one has a knife as a hood ornament are going to make you laugh but that is what makes the film good. The reporter of the race is going to make you laugh out loud as he cheerfully states when people have been run over and how many points have been awarded to the driver. Hmmm, can you say carmageddon? This is the film that has sparked off such popular games on the PC and other formats.

There has even been a 2008 Death Race film which you can see they got the intial idea from this and turned the remake into quite an enjoyable film. I would recommend Death Race 2000 and Death Race to be bought, they are both good films and from very different eras. DR 2000 is retro fun and DR is good ole 2008 effects and Jason Statham as lead role, with Ian McShane! - good ole LoveJoy!!
Order this film, you wont be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Women are worth 10 points more than men, toddlers rate 70 points and anyone over 75 years old has been upped to 100 points", 25 Jun 2014
By 
Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death Race 2000 [1975] [DVD] (DVD)
I finally discovered this legendary, grotesque and disturbing 1975 Roger Corman production and I must say I am glad that I did - although I wouldn't go as far as saying that I liked it because it is not exactly a film you like..))) Below, more of my impressions, with some SPOILERS.

In an alternate reality timeline, in the Year of Disgrace 2000, USA are an oppressive totalitarian dictatorship known us United Provinces of America (UPA), ruled by a unique party formed by a fusion of Republicans and Democrats and known as "Bipartisan Party". At the head of the state is Mr President - it is his official title and official name and nobody uses his real name.

In order to provide entertainment in 1980 the Bipartisan Party created "the Annual Transcontinental Road Race", a competition between teams composed each of one driver and one navigator, who operate specially decorated and armed cars. In order to win however it is not enough to arrive first to the finish line - it is also necessary to score a maximum of points, by chasing and killing innocent pedestrians...

This film tells the story of Death Race 2000, in which five teams will compete. The drivers, who are the main stars, are all well known veterans of previous editions:

- "Frankenstein" (David Carradine), mutilated, disfigured champion in title, always wearing a mask.
- "Machine Gun" Joe Viterbo (Sylvester Stallone), "loved by thousands, hated by millions", challenger for the title
- "Matilda the Hun" (Roberta Collins), "America's little svastika honey" (she drives a car looking like a V-1 flying bomb)
- "Calamity" Jane Kelly (Mary Woronov), a hot babe dressed as a cowgirl
- "Nero the Hero" Lonagan (Martin Kove), a guy trying to look as a Roman gladiator

The only recognizable actors in this film are of course post-Kung Fu David Carradine and pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone. "Sly" was in this time in fact still a struggling young actor and it was only his second real role ever, after appearing as Frank Nitti in "Capone" earlier the same year (before that he made just cameos, mostly uncredited).

I will not say much here about the story, other than this is a quite typical low-budget Roger Corman film, so you can expect cheap decorations, lame special effects, bad taste jokes, graphic violence, some sex and nudity (but not strong language and no F-bombs), acting taken directly from porn movies and last but not least actresses who got their roles for their looks (and possibly some services rendered) rather than for any kind of talent...

And yet, SURPRISE, SURPRISE, here this coctail actually somehow WORKS, mostly because of the darkest kind of black humour which keeps all this together. The completely over the top, outrageous scenario makes this film of course quite disturbing by moments, but all in all also quite watchable. I must admit that when the final credits started rolling to my surprise I found myself quite content - in fact that was a quite satisfactory, although funny tasting, viewing experience...

If you didn't see this movie yet, I really recommend it, as it is a kind of cult film - and honestly, it deserves this status...
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Death Race 2000 [DVD]
Death Race 2000 [DVD] by Paul Bartel (DVD - 2004)
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