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Death Race 2000 (1975)

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In a dystopian future, a cross country automobile race requires contestants to run down innocent pedestrians to gain points that are tallied based on each kill's brutality.

Director:

Paul Bartel

Writers:

Robert Thom (screenplay), Charles B. Griffith (screenplay) (as Charles Griffith) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Carradine ... Frankenstein
Simone Griffeth ... Annie Smith
Sylvester Stallone ... Machine Gun Joe Viterbo
Mary Woronov ... Calamity Jane
Roberta Collins ... Matilda the Hun
Martin Kove ... Nero the Hero
Louisa Moritz ... Myra
Don Steele ... Junior Bruce (as The Real Don Steele)
Joyce Jameson ... Grace Pander
Carle Bensen Carle Bensen ... Harold
Sandy McCallum Sandy McCallum ... Mr. President
Paul L. Ehrmann Paul L. Ehrmann ... Special Agent (as Paul Laurence)
Harriet Medin ... Thomasina Paine
Vince Trankina Vince Trankina ... Lt. Fury
Bill Morey Bill Morey ... Deacon
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Storyline

In the year 2000--against the backdrop of social turmoil, political unrest, and rampant anarchy--a now-totalitarian United States of America supports a brutal annual event to pacify the masses: the infamous Transcontinental Road Race. Scoring points simply by running over unsuspecting pedestrians, the national champion driver, Frankenstein, has to race against fast contestants such as the beautiful cowgirl killer, Calamity Jane; the neo-Nazi, Matilda the Hun; the Roman gladiator, Nero the Hero, and, first and foremost, the Chicago thug and ambitious challenger, Machine Gun Joe. Who will score the most points in the violent Death Race 2000? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In The Year 2000 Hit And Run Driving Is No Longer A Felony. It's The National Sport! See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Sci-Fi | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

28 November 1975 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Frankensteins Todesrennen See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New World Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo | Dolby | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The racetrack used for the opening track and grandstand scenes is the Ontario Motor Speedway near Los Angeles. See more »

Goofs

When the "bullifighter" challenges Calamity Jane, there is a quick close-up of a spinning wheel whose rim different than those on Jane's car. See more »

Quotes

[Opening; The United Provinces version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" is played at the fictional New York Memorial Raceway]
[first lines]
Deacon: O, great American multitude and sports fans everywhere, today we inaugurate the 20th Annual Trans-Continental Road Race. Today, the five bravest young men and women in this greatest of nations will risk their lives in the greatest sporting event since the day the Sparticus! Three days hence, a new American champion will be crowned for all the world to behold, in...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to remove a head crushing scene and to edit shots of blood spurts from the car killings and a man's groin being stabbed with Joe's bayonet. All later releases were uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Looking Back at 'The Hills Have Eyes' (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cult at gazillion miles per hour
24 January 2005 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Death Race 2000 is the finest example to show how easy it actually was back in the seventies to come up with a timeless cult film. Honestly, anyone could have invented an outrageously exaggerated premise like this but the fact that it was actually Roger Corman who dealt with it just proves how eminently he ruled the B-movie circuit back then. Death Race 2000 is one of the most entertaining films ever made and I, for one, can't imagine someone not loving the severely ridicule story of a coast-to-coast car race where the contesters score points by wiping pedestrians off the road. Silly, yes…but even more ingenious, flamboyant and offensive. Pure cult, in other words, and fundamental viewing for every soul who ever showed interest in extravagant film-making! The script is stuffed with imaginative findings (euthanasia day at the hospital!) and downright UNsubtle protest towards the American way of life (a factor that determines Death Race 2000 as cult even more). Considering it's a Corman production, the film also contains explicit violence, provoking messages and a truckload of sleaze! All the elements that guarantee untamed cult success! Of course it has to be said that it could have been an even better film if Corman and director Paul Bartel focused on a more proper elaboration of the versatile idea. The rivalry between Carradine and Stallone, for example, should have resulted in a more intriguing sub plot and even though DR 2000 already contains much absurdity as it is, the premise surely had potential enough to add even more sick jokes and cynical situations. David Carradine acts deliciously as always and Stallone is excellent as well. Death Race 2000 is cinema that separates the men from the boys, people! Stop exploring the cult genre in case you didn't had the time of your life watching this film.


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