Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world's most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory.
Convicted cop-killer Carl Lucas, aka Frankenstein, is a superstar driver in the brutal prison yard demolition derby known as Death Race. Only one victory away from winning freedom for himself and his pit crew.
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Death race, a.k.a. State of Division, was a made for TV movie, that for the time especially, was very well done. The German tank actually had correct markings for one used in North Africa, the P-40 was about the right series, the clothing and weapons were all pretty much correct-except for two glaring goofs. Bridge's character sported a Luger pistol, and while this is an authentic German WWl sidearm, almost no command rank officer carried one, most favored the more modern and reliable Walther P-38. The only other readily apparent wrong is the P-40 supposedly had 20mm cannons as wing guns. No Curtiss P-40 of any series (B through N) was equipped thusly from the New York factory, and the only change the British made to theirs was changing the wing and cowl mount guns to .303 Brownings instead of the standard .30 caliber U.S. I actually enjoyed this movie for the most part, as it really was very authentic, and for someone like me (a confirmed military history buff!), the closer they get it to right, the easier it is to just watch and get lost in the story. I do wish it had been made longer, so more character development could have taken place. McClure's Culpepper starts off as a 'get by' kind of guy, not really caring much about the war or any greater ideal than his next meal or shower. They really rushed his change to a 'now I see why I should care' after a day and a half spent with the Thinne's McMillan, an Eagle squadron pilot, whom he starts taking a liking too through their shared dilemma. McMillan starts to explain why he enlisted with the British, why he put himself into harms way, but never gives the reason. The final 'battle' sequence at the end is pretty exciting, but again feels rushed. The movie runs approx. 90 minutes, so overall, except for the above listed comments, I feel this is an enjoyable movie for both the WWll buff or the action/drama movie watcher.
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