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Death Race 2000 is the America’s version of the gladiatorial games in this dystopian future.  It keeps the public engrossed in sport, violence, and sex so they don’t rebel against the fascist leader Mr. President. Some racers are content to play the game, but others are ready to change it. Join Cory the “Crown Prince” and John the “Justice” as they race the Triplecast to New Los Angeles!

Death Race 2000:

The world has gone crazy and America is quite different.  Mr. President (Sandy McCallum) has been in power for 20 years.  To keep the population quiet while he rules (from Russia & China) he puts on a yearly Transcontinental Road Race from New York to New Los Angeles.  There are 5 cars with a driver and a navigator. The big winner and crowd favorite is Frankenstein (David Carradine) who has won many times and suffered accidents and been reconstructed.  This year his navigator/mechanic/lover is Annie Smith (Simone Griffeth). His big rival is Machine Gun Joe Viterbo (Sylvester Stallone). Each car is themed and so are the drivers. Matilda the Hun (Roberta Collins) and Calamity Jane (Mary Woronov) race just a hard a the guys. It is not only about finishing first.  The drivers get points for killing people with their cars along the way.

But there is a resistance lead by Thomasina Paine (Harriet Medin). She wants the race ended and her forces manage to take out several drivers along the way. Their big plan is to replace Frankenstein, hold him hostage and have Mr. President agree to stop the race to free him.  They are using Annie (Thomasina’s granddaughter) as their double agent. Annie finds out that Frankenstein is different driver each year. She and the current one become lovers. He fills her in that he wants to win the race to shake Mr. President’s hand. He has a literal hand grenade and wants to end the race.

The racers fight each other, rack up kills, trade info and more along the race route.  The resistance plans fail due to Frankenstein’s driving and Annie’s help.  The race comes down to just Frankenstein and Joe.  The resistance takes out Joe but Frankenstein and Annie survive.  Without his hand grenade, Annie has to tag in.  She dresses up as him and has a knife to take out Mr. President. She is shot and injured by Thomasina (who thought she was dead). Frankenstein runs the car into the podium and kills Mr. President to the cheers of the crowd. Frankenstein and Annie marry and lead the nation. They abolish the race and start to make changes.

Summary:

I know this film is a product of the era but I found it silly over the top with violence and use of nudity. It is over the top and crazy, think Hanna Barbera’s Wacky Races and Cannonball Run with an R rating.  Yes their is social commentary there and very telling nods to the fall of Rome, but does it work. Not for me.

Add It To Your Library:

Get the movie from Amazon

Music:

The score was done by Paul Chihara but we can’t find it online for purchase or even to listen to it.

Name That Movie:

The clue this week was:  Starting at “Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2″ that film co-stars Kurt Russell. Kurt also starred alongside Jimmy Stewart and George Kennedy in the 1971 film about a group of West Virginia prisoners who want to start a legitimate business but are up against a crooked police officer and a bad banker.
Which lead us to the following trilogy: The movie is  “Fool’s Parade.”

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