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Death Race 2000 [DVD]  [US Import]
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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.Read more ›
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).Read more ›
The plotline is basically that the favourite entertainment of the day is a car race where anything goes. Extra points are awarded for mowing down civilians so there's plenty of blood and gore in this. Remember that this was made in 1975 so it is a little cheesy and outdated when you watch it now but still great entertainment.
Sylvester Stallone (before he became famous for Rocky) stars alongside David Carradine (Kill Bill) as rivals in the race.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best comedies ever made. I agree with most of what others have written but i just want to add one thing. This is a PAN & SCAN. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Geoffrey Fisher
Difficult to see how this kitsch bit of satire got released as an X rated movie, presumably the BBFC couldn't see beyond the bare boobs and cartoon violence. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Lord Baal