Death Race 2000

Death Race 2000

4.0 2
Director: Paul Bartel

Cast: David Carradine, Simone Griffeth, Sylvester Stallone

     
 

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Cult hero Paul Bartel directed this low-budget satire in which America's passion for cars, violence, and sporting events are finally brought together in one convenient package. In the not-so-distant future, the United States has become a totalitarian regime overseen by the charming but sinister Mr. President (Sandy McCallum), who, inSee more details below

Overview

Cult hero Paul Bartel directed this low-budget satire in which America's passion for cars, violence, and sporting events are finally brought together in one convenient package. In the not-so-distant future, the United States has become a totalitarian regime overseen by the charming but sinister Mr. President (Sandy McCallum), who, in order to satisfy the masses' need for entertainment (and to quench their thirst for violence), has created a new national sport -- the Death Race, a nationwide road rally in which the winner is not determined by who finishes first, but by who scores the most points along the way by running over hapless pedestrians. Aspiring champions Machine Gun Joe Viterbo (Sylvester Stallone), Calamity Jane (Mary Woronov), Nero the Hero (Martin Kove), and Matilda the Hun (Roberta Collins) are all looking to take the top honors away from Frankenstein (David Carradine), a half-man/half-machine who has been built to be the best racer on Earth and can outrun and outkill anyone on the circuit. However, not everyone likes the Death Race, and revolutionary leader Thomasina Paine (Harriet Medin) wants to sabotage the event in the name of restoring democracy; her plan is to foil Frankenstein's expected victory by smuggling her daughter Annie (Simone Griffeth) into Frankenstein's race car as his navigator. Featuring David Carradine at the height of his Kung Fu fame (and Sylvester Stallone a year before Rocky), Death Race 2000 was a major drive-in hit in 1975; Bartel and Carradine teamed up for another road race movie, Cannonball, a year later, and a semi-sequel, Death Sport, appeared in 1978.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Death Race 2000 is the type of bad movie that can be very good, or, at least, a whole lot of fun -- the formula for a cult classic. It offers a surprisingly effective mix of violence, sex, and humor, all the more impressive given its modest budget. B-movie veteran David Carradine is appropriately gruff as the weary Frankenstein, and a pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone is cast with comic perfection as -- what else? -- an Italian thug. Rounding out the extensive group of bizarre competitors is cult favorite Mary Woronov, as the cowgirl Calamity Jane. The gore gets a little excessive, perhaps not surprising given that the film was produced by Roger Corman, legendary for high-quality, low-budget exploitation films. The movie is not entirely without redeeming moral value, however. Like 1987's The Running Man, it does a good job of satirizing the blood lust of professional sports and the TV shows that enable and encourage it. Maybe this is a film that one shouldn't think too much about. But if you can handle spurious accusations against the "treacherous French," and you don't mind assigning point values to pedestrians, Death Race 2000 is a heck of a trip.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/22/2010
UPC:
0826663119053
Original Release:
1975
Rating:
NR
Source:
Shout Factory
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:18:00
Sales rank:
21,095

Special Features

David on death race: interview with David Carradine; Audio commentary with Roger Corman and Mary Woronov; New audio commentary with assistant director Lewis Teague and editor Tina Hirsh; Playing the game: looking back at Death Race 2000; Ready to wear: interview with costume designer Jane Ruhm; Designing dystopia: a detailed look at the design of the film's now-legendary race cars, costumes and futuristic landscapes with members of the production, design and costume crew; Star your engines: interview with author Ib Melchoir; Killer score: an all-new interview with composer Paul Chihara on the creation of the film's eclectic score; Leonard Maltin interviews Roger Corman about Death Race 2000; Theatrical trailer; Theatrical trailer commentary by John Landis, courtesy of trailersfromhell.com; TV and radio spots; 12-page booklet; New world trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
David Carradine Frankenstein
Simone Griffeth Annie
Sylvester Stallone Machine Gun Joe Viterbo
Mary Woronov Calamity Jane
Roberta Collins Mathilda The Hun
Martin Kove Nero the Hero
Louisa Moritz Myra
Don Steele Junior Bruce
Joyce Jameson Grace Pander
Paul Laurence Special Agent
Harriet Medin Thomasina Paine
Bill Morey Deacon
Fred Grandy Herman the German
William Shephard Pete
Sandy Ignon FBI Agent
Roger Rook Radio Operator

Technical Credits
Paul Bartel Director
Paul Chihara Score Composer
Roger Corman Producer
Tak Fujimoto Cinematographer
Charles B. Griffith Screenwriter
Tina Hirsch Editor
Dennis Jones Asst. Director
Richard MacLean Special Effects
Ib Melchior Original Story
Beala Neel Production Designer
B.B. Neel Art Director
Robin Royce Art Director
Jane Ruhm Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Thom Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Death Race 2000
1. Main Credits [6:50]
2. Navigator Needed [2:05]
3. Race Begins [4:07]
4. Unmasked [3:16]
5. How To Score [3:01]
6. Thomasina Paine [11:15]
7. Seduction [14:27]
8. Hun's Detour [10:59]
9. Undressed [4:47]
10. Jane's Farewell [10:30]
11. Race's End [5:02]
12. New World Order [3:20]

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