Plot: What’s it about?
“In the year hit and run isn’t just a felony:it’s the national sport!” With a tag line like that, you know Death Race 2000 is gonna be one bad mother trucker. Each year, the best of the best, or at least the best of the survivors, unite to engage in the greatest sports event all of time, The Trans-Continental Road Race! (I wanted to have an echo on that, but it’s hard to do when typing) 5 racers each drive their own signature cars, specially designed for their style of driving and maiming. Calamity Jane, a nympho cow-girl drives a bitchin’ beast with bull-horns on the hood, while the blond haired/blue eyed Aryan, Matilda The Hun, chooses The Buzzbomb, a swaztika-labeled vehicle. Nero The Hero, a Roman send-up, drives a car decadent enough for Caligula himself. “Machine Gun” Joe Viterbo (Sly Stallone) is behind the wheel of a mobster-styled car with a huge knife on the hood, along with two Thompson Sub-Machine guns. The star of the race, however, is Frankenstein (David Carradine), who wears a leather suit and mask to hide his “racing scars”, which include dismembered arms, gashed head, and scarred up face.
How does one win this road-race? Easy, finish first, pick up points, and SURVIVE! Points, you say? Yep, by running over different age/sex people, the drivers can rack up some big totals. Babies are worth 70, for example. So, blood and guts reign supreme in this one, although the camp level i super high, so don’t expect realism. This movie is balls-to-the-wall excitement, and packed with action and driving stunts. The acting is DR2K is so-so, with the women being there for only reason, their looks. The movie also shows off the female character’s assets, as almost every female in the film is shown topless at some point. While the movie is short on story and realism, it is high on fun, and that’s what a movie like DR2K is all about.
Helping mix things up a bit are a few commentators for the road-race, most entertaining being Junior Bruce, who keeps things going in a humorous vein. A small rebellion mounts to try to stop the road-race, and that adds suspense to an otherwise violence and T&A driven flick. But don’t confuse what I mean, DR2K is a film for people who enjoy nudity, violence, and crude humor. The film has a huge cult following, and certainly is a very welcome addition to my DVD collection. If you’re an easy-going movie maniac who loves the sound of tires ripping flesh, buckle up, and put the pedal to the metal with Death Race 2000!
Video: How does it look?
This movie has never been given a decent print before the digital remastering for the Corman collection release. So, for a die-hard DR2K fan like myself, this print is gorgeous, because previous prints looked like old stock footage or something. But to regular movie watchers, the print would seem old, worn, and in need of help. But, it is what it is, and I doubt it’s gonna get any better than this print. Also, no widescreen, so full-frame is the ratio of the day here.
Audio: How does it sound?
Again, a vast improvement over pre-releases of the film, but lack-luster when compared to other movies. You can hear everything fine, so I will take what I can get with this title.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Theatrical Trailer, Cast Bios, and an interview between Roger Corman and Leonard Maltin. The interview is cool, better than nothing, but that damn Maltin annoys the piss out of me.