Death Race 2000 (1975)

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Death Race 2000 (1975)

Post  BoG on Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:50 pm

Preeee-SENTING: The Race of the Century!
DAVID  Twisted Evil  Twisted Evil  Twisted Evil  Twisted Evil  Twisted Evil DEATH  Twisted Evil  Twisted Evil  SYLVESTER
CARRADINE  Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil   RACE  Twisted Evil  Twisted Evil Twisted Evil STALLONE Frankenstein  Exclamation  Exclamation  Exclamation   2000 ExclamationExclamation  is Machine Gun Viterbo

A new Death Race film was released in 2008; here is a look at the original Death Race
-   Arrow Death Race 2000 !

also starring SIMONE GRIFFETH Like a Star @ heaven  MARY WORONOV Like a Star @ heaven  ROBERTA COLLINS Like a Star @ heaven  MARTIN KOVE
Directed by PAUL BARTEL
the Trailer:
This film has been released on DVD a couple of times:

From Roger Corman and New World Pictures, the sadistic and satiric racing picture of the future. A sideways look at gladiatorial sports seemed in vogue in '75; Rollerball was released that same year - the serious version of this topic. But, Death Race 2000 may have an advantage over such perceived stuffy efforts; it zips along much better, some would say - flashy, irreverent and glorifying its low-budget, exploitation roots. The dark humor is blatant; director Bartel was a satirist, not a science fiction filmmaker.
The 'future' year in the title is arbitrary - just there to make it sound better. This is essentially a political satire, poking fun at our politicians, our crass news media and at the populace itself, which needs that 'fix' of grisly sports night to get by. The government here is very anti-European, for example, especially when it comes to the French, preconfiguring the current political climate to some extent at least 20 years beforehand. Brutal killings are greeted with glee by reporters and spectators alike, suggesting a sharp devolution.
Click  Arrow for Racing and Bloody Death:

The characters, the racers here may be the strongest asset of the film: Frankenstein is supposedly a cyborg-like star racer (when I first saw this in the seventies, I was perplexed by the name; I expected revelations related to the old Frankenstein monster movies, but it has nothing to do with that), but he's not who he seems to be; Stallone is a hoot as Joe Viterbo, Frankenstein's main competing racer, bellowing at everyone like one of those TV wrestling stars gone amok (he and Carradine have a lengthy fistfight where Stallone, though tough, shows he's not yet Rambo); Woronov was the director's wife and frequent star of his films and she's great as always; Collins is the female Aryan cutie who follows Nazi principles; and Kove is patterned on self-absorbed Roman emperors. There is also a batch of TV newscasters who are very amusing, patterned on Howard Cossell and other overbearing TV personalities.
The fine points of the race are not for the timid. It's a cross country race where the racers get extra points for running down pedestrians; I think elderly people and infants are worth the most points. Bartel & Corman do not shy away from showing the bloody results of the racers scoring; the crazy racecars are equipped with blades, for example, to help the racers in their work. It all sounds nuts, but in the context of this wild, nearly anarchic world of the film, it works. It shows us what might happen, in that heavy satirical manner, if our society continues to degrade towards such gross mass spectacle indulged by a modern Roman Empire and the inexorable lean towards a fascistic state.
There's a subplot about a small group of revolutionaries trying to sabotage the race. However, the story doesn't portray them as heroic and even the ending tells us there are no easy, pat solutions to such a society. The dark (but funny) tone remains to the very end and I applaud that. There is also frequent nudity, mostly involving a few of the female characters. This picture seems to have something for everyone - if you can stomach it.  Twisted Evil  BoG's Score: 8 out of 10

Death Trivia: rated #1 in magazine Maxim's rundown of the best 50 'B' movies (Feb.2000 issue)
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