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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Death Race can be found here.
Death Race is a remake of the 1975 film Death Race 2000 with a new script written by English director Paul W.S. Anderson. It is not based on the 1976 arcade game Death Race, which was inspired by the 1975 film.
It isn't exactly stated when Death race takes place. It is stated in the prologue that in 2012 the economy collapsed and that before Death Race there were Gladiator type battles. So it can be assumed that it is at least a decade after the Cage Fights started which was probably around 2015, so we can assume this takes place in 2025.
In the DVD commentary, Paul W.S. Anderson describes the original concept as a "reimagining" of Paul Bartel's Death Race 2000, so in that sense it's a remake. However, David Carradine's voice cameo as Frankenstein at the beginning of the film suggests that it could also be seen as a sequel. Anderson also says that when he was making the film, he thought of it as a prequel to Death Race 2000, showing how the Death Race began in a prison before it went on to become the cross-country race seen in Bartel's film. However, the film can't literally be a prequel since it takes place an indeterminate time after 2012 and Death Race 2000 is set in (of course) 2000. Or it could mean that it was the 2000th race and has nothing to do with the year.
(1) Jensen Ames: Ford Mustang, (2) Grimm: Chrysler 300C, (3) 14K: 1988 Porsche 911, (4) Colt: Jaguar XJS, (5) Riggins: Buick Riviera 'boat-tail' (early 1970's), (6) Carson: Pontiac Trans AM, (7) Siad: BMW 7 Series (E32), (8) Pachenko: 1966 Buick Riviera (chop top), (9) Machine Gun Joe: Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 Pickup, and (10) "The Dreadnought" is a Peterbilt Tractor with a modified tanker trailer.
The electric kill switches are in the weapons. All they do is deactivate the weapons so they can't use them to escape.
"Warmest regards, your monster."
The R-rated theatrical version was not cut to obtain the rating. The unrated edition extends some fights and action scenes and runs more than 4 minutes longer. A detailed comparison between both versions can be found here.
In the prequel-sequels Death Race 2 and Death Race: Inferno; we find out that the original Frankenstein was Carl Lucas who was horribly burned in a crash. However, advancements in experimental plastic surgery eventually managed to heal Lucas and give him back his face. He later escapes from prison along with his co-pilot and pit crewmember. But not before framing the cold-hearted and tyrannical Company Man Niles York who assumed control of Death Race. York gets horribly burned in a crash caused by Lucas in which it's announced that Katrina and York were killed. However York was only horribly burned and Lucas and Katrina had escaped. Lists confirms York is Frankenstein and so he is forced to don the mask and compete in the races. It's likely he was the one killed on the track in the beginning of this film.
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