Genres: Action, Fantasy

Rated: R

Country: USA

Year: 1975

Runtime: 84 minutes

Studio: New World
Pictures

IMDB Page

Amazon Page
Review done by: Nightmare Child
Starring: David Carradine, Simone Griffeth, Sylvester Stallone, Sandy
McCallum, Louisa Moritz, Don Steele

Director: Paul Bartel

Synopsis: A champion of a brutal cross-country car race of the future where
pedestrians are run down for points has a change of heart while being
hounded by rivals and a conspiracy seeking to stop the race.



Review:

In a world where running over pedestrians becomes the National sport, there
are very little rules. The older you are, the more points you're worth, and
cynical careless drivers are out to run you over with no remorse and no law
to back you up. It was funny then, and it's still funny now. If there's anything
I learned by watching old movies, it's this: You can't judge a movie by its
age. No matter how old, how choppy or how low the picture quality gets as it
ages. Some films are priceless, and stay that way through the decades. This
is one of those movie. It pains me to know that people make judgements on
movies based on how old they are. To them, movies made before the 90s,
80s, 70s and so on are obsolete and unimportant. Especially the ones with
no color. Apparently people get bored easily these days, and they're fast to
make judgement without having to know all the facts. These so called "critics"
that I've mentioned are usually under age and know nothing about the
industry. That is why I'm here, to educate the young and close minded.

As long as movies have action, hot girls and explosions, somebody will be
pleased. No matter how poor the acting or story is. I mean who cares about
substance or plot? This is how Uwe Boll, Michael Bay and Paul W.S. Anderson
make their movies. Sometimes you just want to have a little fun, and I can
understand that. That's how Grindhouse movies are, they're fun. It's
exploitation, so you shouldn't expect depth or substance. It's for
entertainment purposes. Speaking of entertainment, I'm here today to review
one of my favorite movies from the past. While it's poorly made and not of
the best quality, it's a lot of fun, and that's where Death Race 2000
succeeds. Based on the short story "The Racer" by Ib Melc, the movie takes
place in a dystopian American society where hit and run driving becomes the
number one sport. It's the year 2000 and the United States has been
destroyed by a financial crisis and a military coup.

A fascist police state rules the country and keeps its citizens satisfied by
televising a stream of gory gladiatorial entertainment. This "death race" takes
drivers on a cross country trip where each maniac has to score points by
running over pedestrians. Each type of pedestrian is worth a certain amount
of points. For instance, women are worth 40 points (and 10 points more
than men in all age brackets). Toddlers under twelve are worth 70 points,
and anyone over the age of seventy five is worth 100 points (the most you
can get in the race, I think). One of the main focuses of the film (other than
the race itself) is on Frankenstein, the most celebrated racer in the sport
played by David Carradine. Frankenstein has a rivalry with Machine Gun Joe
(played by Sylvester Stallone), a psychopathic nut job who has a bone to
pick his enemy. Frankenstein is the kind of guy who only cares about the race
and making a large impression on his fans. Machine Gun Joe only cares about
beating his rival. He hates people and has a really bad attitude. Oh and he
shoots at crowds with machine guns.

Machine Gun Joe is the most interesting character study (if there ever was
one in this movie). There are so many ways I can dissect this film, but I'm
not going down that route (no pun intended). You can pick at the movie
anyway you want. I still find it to be super entertaining, even to this day. I
still laugh at the entire concept. Just the thought of running over pedestrians
for points is funny. You really can't help but laugh. It's silly at times, and
aggressively violent. The special effects are enough to make you laugh. It's
good for its time being a 70's film and all. You get some nice frames of blood
and gore. Impaling, squishing and random acts of cartoonish violence are all
apart of the formula. Like I said, you can't take this seriously. In fact, you're
not supposed to take this seriously. What more could you expect from a
grind house style motion picture produced by Roger Corman (king of the
b-movies). You just have to take it for what it is; satire.

I could care less about all the politics in the movie. All I care about is the race
and it's over the top announcers. Death Race 2000 is a fun movie. It's not
Shakespeare, and it's not the best in its genre. But hey, that's how most fun
movies are. This is b-rated goodness. There's no way in hell anything like this
could really take place. Even if you try to justify the story by having it take
place in a prison where inmates try to kill each other Twisted Metal style
(wink), you're not supposed to take it seriously. You have to throw out the
rule book. It's mindless entertainment, something I'm not very fond of, but
like life itself, there are always exceptions. This film is one of them. Don't ever
judge it based on its age. Give it a shot, and you may find it to be
entertaining. I sure as hell did. Now if you'll excuse, I gotta go run over some
nurses.


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Overall: 7/10
Online since: February 20th, 2006
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