Oooohhh...that'll knacker the suspension...
In a dystopian society in the distant future (At the time
) of the year 2000
, a new national sport was 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, the competitors are required to score points by running over as many people as possible
, with different levels of points allocated to different age groups (Guess which type gets the second-highest addition to your score...
). The competitor with the highest score wins. Sound familiar?Death Race 2000
is a 1975 action movie from the mind of the king of B-movies
himself, Roger Corman
, based off the short story The Racer
by Ib Melchior. Although Roger Ebert
gave this movie zero stars when he reviewed it, the campy style, over-the-top mayhem and fantastic actors (David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone
for starters) have made this movie into one of the definitive examples of a Cult Classic
, and should definitely be watched by anyone with the slightest interest in just sitting back, relaxing and just enjoying some mindless fun with some wonderful set-pieces in play.
Received a remake
in 2008, which went for the Darker and Edgier
option, and set itself up as a semi-prequel. The cinematic Spiritual Successor
to Death Race 2000
, however, was not the official remake, but The Asylum
's Mockbuster Death Racers
, which retained the dark comedy of Death Race 2000
Examples within the film:
- Artificial Limbs: Frankenstein has supposedly been in so many wrecks, he's more machine now, than man.
- Ax-Crazy: Joe Viterbo.
- Baby Boomers
- Badass Cape: Frankenstein
- Black Comedy: 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.
- Blood Sport: Issued by THE GOVERNMENT, no less!
- California Doubling: Literally. Highways recognizably constructed in California stand in for other parts of the nation.
- Car Fu
- Catch Phrase: Grace Pander speaks of everyone as a "dear friend of mine."
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: The French are the government's scapegoats for the disruptions in the race La Résistance are responsible for.
- Double Entendre: Used at least once.
Matilda the Hun: Whoever named your car The Bull, was only half right!
- Epic Race
- 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.
- Fictional Political Party: 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.
- Fight Scene: You'd never guess, but Kwai Chang Caine can kick Rocky's ass.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: 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, the brevity of the gorn increases the impact.
- Groin Attack
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Machine Gun Joe machine guns the audience at the start, just for booing him.
- Happily Married
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Averted. David Carradine refused to wear leather for the movie, so a fabric that would look like leather on screen was used instead.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: La Résistance seems to always just miss Frankenstein's car, until a lucky shot strikes.
- 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. Frankenstein decides to run over the caretakers instead.
- La Résistance
- Legacy Character: Frankenstein is revealed to be one.
- Meaningful Name: Frankenstein. See also Names to Run Away From Really Fast
- Mauve Shirt: Nero, Matilda the Hun, and Calamity Jane (as well as their navigators).
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Frankenstein and "Machine Gun" Joe Viterbo. And rightfully so.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Junior is pretty obviously based on Howard Cossell's style.
- One World Order: Implied by the President having a summer house in Moscow and another in Peking.
- Pretty in Mink: Myra's white mink jacket and helmet.
- Shirtless Scene
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Soft jazz for a love scene? Makes sense. Soft jazz while careening towards a cliff, not so much.
- Spiritual Successor: Of the video game variety. Carmageddon bares a striking similarity to this movie. Death Racers also applies.
- Stealth Pun: Frankenstein's right hand, which he keeps hidden under a glove for much of the movie, is actually a grenade that he plans on detonating when he shakes hands with the President after the race... or a hand grenade, if you will.
- Space-Filling Empire: 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).
- Technology Marches On: The use of matte paintings to create futuristic settings when integrating them with 1975-era sets is... sometimes less than realistic.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Matilda The Hun and her navigator pretty much embody this trope for stylistic purposes. Said navigator went on to become a congressman in Real Life.
- Emphasis on the "stylistic". There are several black spectators cheering in her section.
- Trope 2000
- Vehicular Combat
- Weaponized Car
- Would Hit a Girl: Machine Gun Joe