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Audio Commentary — With Roger Corman and Mary Woronov
Original Theatrical Trailer
“”Low budget films allow one to experiment, to take chances with a zany idea like Death Race 2000. Paul Bartel had the type of black humor that was required to direct this cross-country racing mayhem; while Chuck Griffith handled 2nd unit direction for the action sequences, featuring futuristic fast cars created by an award-winning designer. To compete with David Carradine’s dark hero, I cast Sylvester Stallone as the heavy, whom I had first noticed with his brilliant performance in The Lords of Flatbush. This combination was particularly effective, and Death Race 2000 remains one of my most successful films of all time.” — Roger Corman
In the year 2000, hit and run has become the national sport. It’s a no-holds barred cross-country race, in which the aim is to kill off not only your opponents, but as many pedestrians as possible. David Carradine takes on Sylvester Stallone in this classic adrenaline thriller that will make you look both ways twice before you cross.”
Death Race 2000 is rated R.
I had seen Death Race 2000 on TV over the years, but it wasn’t until I saw it on this DVD that I realized how heavily edited it was. They took out the blood spurting when people were run over, the heads crushing under tires, and the T&A. None of these made the film any better, but they certainly made it a more intense film. And while this film is labeled as a “special edition”, there’s nothing new added to it.
I actually met David Carradine in person a month ago at a film location in Austin. It was kind of surreal to see him in this over-the-top role. (Then again I interviewed him in a trailer while he wore a caveman outfit, so that was surreal, too.) But it was even more surreal to see a young Sylvester Stallone playing Machine Gun Joe. Who would have thought he would go on to be one of the world’s biggest action stars.
This special edition DVD is a bit light on the bonus features. There’s a “making of” video featuring Roger Corman, actor Martin Kove, actress Mary Woronov, and writer Charles Griffith. (Carradine and Stallone are notably absent.) They talk about everything from the making of the cars to the nude scenes in the film. Also included is a commentary featuring Corman and Woronov.
If you’re in the mood for a B-Movie and you walk into this film knowing full-well how bad it is, then you might enjoy Death Race 2000. It’s certainly good for a few laughs, especially if you’re a fan of Stallone or Carradine.