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Death Race 2000

Death Race 2000 – 1975
In The Year 2000 Hit And Run Driving Is No Longer A Felony. It’s The National Sport!
Paul Bartel

Ib Melchior (story)
Robert Thom and
Charles B. Griffith (as Charles Griffith)

Roger Corman producer
Jim Weatherill ass producer

David Carradine – Frankenstein
Simone Griffeth – Annie Smith
Sylvester Stallone – Machine Gun Joe
Mary Woronov – Calamity Jane
Roberta Collins – Matilda the Hun
Martin Kove – Nero the Hero
Louisa Moritz – Myra
Don Steele – Junior Bruce (as The Real Don Steele)
Joyce Jameson – Grace Pander
Carle Bensen – Harold
Sandy McCallum – Mr. President
Paul Laurence – Special agent
Harriet Medin – Thomasina Paine
Vince Trankina – Lt. Fury
Bill Morey – Deacon
Fred Grandy – Herman the German
William Shephard – Pete
Leslie McRae – Cleopatra (as Leslie McRay)
Wendy Bartel – Laurie
Jack Favorite – Henry
Sandy Ignon – FBI agent
John Landis – Mechanic
Darla McDonnell – Rhonda Bainbridge
Roger Rook – Radio operator
Paul Bartel – Frankenstein’s doctor (uncredited)
David Boyle – (uncredited)

Review by Sven Soetemans

Cult at gazillion miles per hour,
Death Race 2000 is the finest example to show how easy it actually was back in the seventies to come up with a timeless cult film. Honestly, anyone could have invented an outrageously exaggerated premise like this but the fact that it was actually Roger Corman who dealt with it just proves how eminently he ruled the B-movie circuit back then.

Death Race 2000 is one of the most entertaining films ever made and I, for one, can’t imagine someone not loving the severely ridiculous story of a coast-to-coast car race where the contesters score points by wiping pedestrians off the road. Silly, yes…but even more ingenious, flamboyant and offensive. Pure cult, in other words, and fundamental viewing for every soul who ever showed interest in extravagant film-making!

The script is stuffed with imaginative findings (euthanasia day at the hospital!) and downright UNsubtle protest towards the American way of life (a factor that determines Death Race 2000 as cult even more).

Considering it’s a Corman production, the film also contains explicit violence, provoking messages and a truckload of sleaze! All the elements that guarantee untamed cult success! Of course it has to be said that it could have been an even better film if Corman and director Paul Bartel focused on a more proper elaboration of the versatile idea.

The rivalry between Carradine and Stallone, for example, should have resulted in a more intriguing sub plot and even though DR 2000 already contains much absurdity as it is, the premise surely had potential enough to add even more sick jokes and cynical situations. David Carradine acts deliciously as always and Stallone is excellent as well.

Death Race 2000 is cinema that separates the men from the boys, people! Stop exploring the cult genre in case you didn’t had the time of your life watching this film.

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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