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2/24/13

DEATH RACE 2000 - REVIEW


What do you get when you cross Mad Max with The Cannonball Run, Wacky Races and Rollerball?

I'll tell you what: the best thing ever!

AKA: Death Race 2000.

In the dystopian future of... the year 2000, a super-violent race takes place between nutty drivers in silly costumes and goofy-ass cars during which you're expected to score points through multiple hit-and-runs. It's a cruel, messed-up world where the US President approves of and promotes a mindless, murderous sport, where euthanasia is performed by wheeling patients onto the road and waiting for Sylvester Stallone to run them over in a knife-wielding car and where David Carradine walks around in tight, leather overalls, a mask and a cape under the name Frankenstein.

Sorry Grand Theft Auto but you've got nothing on this one.

Here's a cult 70's flick which doesn't stop being bonkers from start to finish. It's a cartoon and it knows it, occasionally going off into Wile E. Coyote tangents to the point where its unique vision of the future simply can't be taken seriously at all and instead you're left waiting for the next bit of carsploitation to hit you in the face: a crash, a kill, unmotivated nudity, it's all good. Trashy as hell, Death Race 2000 knows how silly it is and enjoys the hell out of its own nonsense, but it's made well enough and is so damn entertaining throughout that you're just on the edge of your seat for the entire ride. Carradine is as monotone as ever and gets to look brilliantly ridiculous the whole time while Stallone sports a pink tie and gives a surprisingly decent pre-Rocky performance as Frankenstein's temperamental opponent.

Death Race 2000 is a cult classic and fans of the genre will have a ball. Very funny, very random, fast-paced, kickass absurdity all the way.

Think Troma meets Hanna Barbera.

Unmissable.

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