[[caption-width-right:288:Oooohhh...that'll knacker the suspension...]]

''Death Race 2000'' is a 1975 action movie directed by Creator/PaulBartel, produced by the king of [[{{BMovie}} B-movies]] himself, Creator/RogerCorman.

It's based off the short story ''The Racer'' by Ib Melchior. In a dystopian society in the distant future ([[{{Zeerust}} at the time]]) of the [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture year 2000]], a new national sport is declared. A group of specifically selected professional race car drivers are recruited to take part in a race...with a twist - instead of seeing who can make it to the finish line first, the competitors are required to score points by [[KillEmAll running over as many people as possible]], with different levels of points allocated to different age groups ([[WouldHurtAChild guess which type gets the second-highest addition to your score...]]). The competitor with the highest score wins.

Although Creator/RogerEbert gave this movie zero stars when he reviewed it, the campy style, over-the-top mayhem and fantastic actors (David Carradine and Creator/SylvesterStallone for starters) have made this movie into one of the definitive examples of a CultClassic.

It received [[Film/DeathRace a remake]] in 2008, which went for the DarkerAndEdgier option and set itself up as a semi-prequel, a SpiritualSuccessor with Creator/TheAsylum's [[TheMockbuster Mockbuster]] ''Film/DeathRacers'', which retained the dark comedy, and then finally in 2017 an official Corman-produced sequel, ''Death Race 2050''.

!!Examples within the film:

* AllGermansAreNazis: German-Americans in this case. Matilda The Hun is announced as being from UsefulNotes/{{Milwaukee}}, a city known for its German heritage.
* ArtificialLimbs: Frankenstein has supposedly been in so many wrecks, he's [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi more machine now, than man]].
* AxCrazy: Joe Viterbo, nicknamed "Machine Gun Joe". The dude fires his machine gun at the audience for booing him.
* BMovie: Low budget and shot on a short schedule like all Corman flicks, and using mostly unknowns.
* BabyBoomers: A bomb disguised as a baby (with other members of LaResistance pretending to be a family on a picnic for bait) is what kills Nero.
* BadassCape: Frankenstein, along with his full cover black outfit cut a really intimidating figure.
* BadPeopleAbuseAnimals: As if he wasn't enough of a murderous psycho jerk on screen, at one point Pander mentions that Machine Gun Joe used to kill animals by running them over with his tricycle when he was young.
* BlackComedy:
** [[CrossesTheLineTwice Babies score the second-highest value]]. The bracket group is referred to as "toddlers under the age of 12," but the graphic used to represent such group is a baby in a diaper.
** A lot of the punchlines are murder, the scene where Frankenstein runs over all those nurses at the senior living home for instance.
** The widow of the first score gets a prize package.
* BloodSport: The point of the race isn't to cross the finish line, but to kill as many pedestrians and fellow racers as possible.
* BreadAndCircuses: The race is hosted by the government to distract everyone from the {{dystopia}} they're living in.
* {{Calvinball}}: Aside from the amounts of points for running over people, the rules of the race or the conditions for victory are never explained, and seem to be changed on a whim.
* CarFu: The entire event centers around killing people with cars. Notable is the scene where a man tried to bull fight one of the cars.
* CatchPhrase:
&& Grace Pander speaks of everyone as a "dear friend of mine."
** And Junior's "All right, all right, ''all riiiight!''"
* CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys: The French are the government's scapegoats for the disruptions in the race LaResistance are responsible for.
* CreatorCameo: Paul Bartel appears as Frankenstein's doctor.
* DoubleEntendre: Used at least once.
-->'''Matilda the Hun:''' Whoever named your car The Bull, was only half right!
* EpicRace: The eponymous Death Race-from one coast to the other, with the winner being ([[{{Calvinball}} apparently]]) whoever has the highest kill score and/or arrives first... or survives.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: The President is always "Mr. President" in news reports and announcements; he doesn't seem to have a surname.
* {{Fanservice}}: Looking for T&A? Just watch the first pit-stop scene! This movie hasn't got ANYTHING to hide! Strangely, all the male drivers and navigators in this scene received towels to cover themselves from the waist down; the women, on the other hand, get absolutely nothing whatsoever.
* FictionalPoliticalParty: Frankenstein runs over "The Deacon of the Bipartisan Party" for 50 points. Apart from both running and sponsoring the titular death race and having religious figures in positions of power in the party, not much is known about this party's platform or political views.
* FightScene: You'd never guess, but [[Series/KungFu Kwai Chang Caine]] can kick [[Creator/SylvesterStallone Rocky's]] ass.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Used at least once.
-->'''Jane Kelly:''' I hope your Buzz Bomb has more juice in its warhead this year.
* {{Gorn}}: The gorier bits are only on screen for a brief moment before cutting over to Junior. Somehow, [[NothingIsScarier the brevity of the gorn increases the impact]].
* GroinAttack:
** Machine Gun Joe's (and the race's) first pedestrian kill has the bad luck of being stabbed in the groin area by the giant knife in Joe's car, followed by being hit by the speeding car itself.
** Machine Gun Joe himself has Frankenstein's [[AwesomeButImpractical hand grenade]] land in his lap.
* HairTriggerTemper: Machine Gun Joe [[MeaningfulName machine guns]] the audience at the start, just for booing him. He later kills a man who was hanging up a banner welcoming Frankenstein.
* HellBentForLeather: David Carradine refused to wear leather for the movie, but a fabric that would look like leather on screen was used instead. Because an intimidating racer figure really ought to be in head-to-toe leather.
* IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten: Frank tests his navigator's commitment by making her drive for a while, and his suspicions are verified when she "misses" a child.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy:
** LaResistance seems to always ''just miss'' Frankenstein's car, until a lucky shot strikes.
** Machine Gun Joe firing a machine gun into the audience does not seem to result in anyone getting hurt.
* {{Irony}}: At one point, the caretakers of a geriatric home put out several old people on the road so that the racers run over them. [[PetTheDog Frankenstein decides to run over the caretakers instead]]. Junior also becomes the last kill of the movie... run over by Frankenstein because he's protesting the abolition of the Death Race.
* LaResistance: The Resistance in this case is trying to replace Frankenstein with a body double to get close to kill the President. They are also trying to get the race shut down with threats and the assassination of several racers.
* LegacyCharacter: Frankenstein is revealed to be one.
* MeaningfulName:
** Frankenstein has (supposedly) been practically rebuilt from his many horrible crashes.
** Commentator Grace Pander panders to the audience with grace.
* MauveShirt: Nero, Matilda the Hun, and Calamity Jane (as well as their navigators).
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Frankenstein and "Machine Gun" Joe Viterbo. And rightfully so.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Harold is pretty obviously based on Howard Cosell's style.
* OhMyGods: Junior's occasional exclamation of "Chrysler!" when something insane happens.
* OneWorldOrder: Implied by the President having a summer house in Moscow and another in Peking.
* PaintedTunnelRealTrain: The rebels take out [[spoiler: Matilda The Hun]] in this fashion, by putting a detour sign on a perfecly good road, pointing to a fake tunnel set just in front of a real cliff...
* PrettyInMink: Myra's white mink jacket and helmet.
* RedBaron: Junior calls Frankenstein "The Indestructible" a couple of times. Considering how many crashes he has ([[LegacyCharacter allegedly]]) survived, he certainly has earned the moniker.
* ShirtlessScene: All the men are topless during the massage scene, but the main event is when Frankenstein's navigator takes all his clothing off to examine the supposed damage his body had undergone.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Soft jazz for a love scene? Makes sense. Soft jazz while careening towards a cliff, not so much.
* SpectatorCasualty: The racers earn points for killing unlucky spectators.
* StealthPun: Frankenstein's right hand, which he keeps hidden under a glove for much of the movie, is actually [[spoiler: a grenade that he plans on detonating when he shakes hands with the President after the race]]... or a [[spoiler: ''hand grenade'']], [[DontExplainTheJoke if you will]].
* SpaceFillingEmpire: Possibly. The US President is stated to be at his "summer palace" in Beijing (called "Peking" in the movie, as was the custom in that era).
* ThoseWackyNazis: ''[[PunnyName Matilda The Hun]]'' and her navigator pretty much embody this trope [[RuleOfCool for stylistic purposes]]. Emphasis on the "stylistic". There are several black spectators cheering in her section.
* {{Trope 2000}}: It is right there on the title.
* {{Tykebomb}}: Frank tells Annie that he, and all previous Frankensteins, had been raised by the government to play the part of death-race champion.
* VehicularCombat: Although for the most part the cars are used to run over people, a couple of scenes on the climax have Frankenstein battling rival cars (one driven by a Resistance driver and the other to take out Machine Gun Joe for good).
* WeaponizedCar: Every car in the Death Race has a few eccentric little extras.
* WeddingsForEveryone: Frankenstein and Annie, at the very end.
* WouldHitAGirl: Machine Gun Joe hit his navigator for talking about Frankenstein.