I don’t know what major malfunction in my way of living caused me to wait 37 years to watch Death Race 2000, because you know what? This movie freakin’ rocks.
Released in 1975, Death Race tells the story of a bleak future when America is no longer a democracy and things are so crappy for the people in general that the government spend much more time finding things to blame and distractions from the general malaise. The Biggest of these distractions being the Death Race, and the star of said Death Race being, Frankenstein (played by David Caradine) – a driver so damaged from accidents that he is covered from head to foot in a black, leather outfit so as not to frighten and disgust the public in general.
This is a silly movie about a race across the United States that has the drivers getting points for taking out pedestrians along the way (different age groups having different points assigned each). Each of the drivers are in semi-futuristic modified weird vehicles that are weaponized and groovy. The drivers battle with each other as well as collecting points.
This year, a rebel group has decided to take out the racers and possible replace Frankenstein with one of their own.. Little do they know that Frankenstein is actually sympathetic to their cause!.
So, this movie is crazy and cheezy, yet is one of the more entertaining things I’ve seen in a while. It also has Sylvester Stalone on an early, but great roll as one of the racers.
Roger Corman is the King of the low budget, high action B-Movie, and this has got to be one of his absolute best films. If you haven’t seen this film (like I hadn’t), then you owe it to yourself to do so.
Check out the trailer here: