Death Race 2000 - Special Edition
3 out of 10
6 out of 10
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David Carradine as Frankenstein
Simone Griffeth as Annie Smith
Sylvester Stallone as Machine Gun Joe
Mary Woronov as Calamity Jane
Roberta Collins as Matilda the Hun
Martin Kove as Nero the Hero
Louisa Moritz as Myra
Don Steele as Junior Bruce
Joyce Jameson as Grace Pander
Carle Bensen as Harold
Sandy McCallum as Mr. President
Paul Laurence as Special agent
Harriet Medin as Thomasina Paine
Vince Trankina as Lt. Fury
Bill Morey as Deacon
"Playing The Game: Looking Back At Death Race 2000" -- A compelling look at the Corman classic featuring current interviews with Roger Corman, actor Martin Kove, actress Mary Woronov, and writer Charles Griffith.
Audio Commentary -- With Roger Corman and Mary Woronov
Original Theatrical Trailer
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono Sound
Running Time: 78 Minutes
Death Race 2000 was originally released in 1975. The following text is from the DVD cover:
""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.
If you look up "B-Movie" in the dictionary, you'll probably find an IMDb link to Death Race 2000 next to a photo of Roger Corman. This cult film has everything you would expect from a B-movie. It has cheap sets, low production value, gratuitous nudity, graphic violence, a silly plot, poor acting, and an underlying sense of humor so you know the cast and crew aren't taking it seriously.
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.