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Deathsport (1978)

Futuristic Science Fiction about a sport to the death, using "destructocycles".


Allan Arkush, Nicholas Niciphor (as Henry Suso) | 1 more credit »


Frances Doel (story), Nicholas Niciphor (screenplay) (as Henry Suso) | 1 more credit »

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Karen wants more action out of life and quits her job at the cannery to become a skater in the roller derby. She encounters friction from the other skaters - especially Mickey, the current ... See full summary »

Director: Vernon Zimmerman
Stars: Claudia Jennings, Louis Quinn, Betty Anne Rees


Cast overview, first billed only:
David Carradine ... Kaz Oshay
Claudia Jennings ... Deneer
Richard Lynch ... Ankar Moor
William Smithers ... Dr. Karl
Will Walker Will Walker ... Marcus Karl
David McLean ... Lord Zirpola
Jesse Vint ... Polna
H.B. Haggerty ... Jailer
John Himes John Himes ... Tritan President
Jim Galante Jim Galante ... Tritan Guard
Peter Hooper Peter Hooper ... Mr. Bakkar
Brenda Venus Brenda Venus ... Adriann
Gene Hartline Gene Hartline ... Enforcer Sergeant
Chris Howell Chris Howell ... Stateman Officer
Valerie Rae Clark Valerie Rae Clark ... Dancer


Futuristic Science Fiction about a sport to the death, using "destructocycles".

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


DeathSport isn't just a game. In the year 3000, it's the only way to survive! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

April 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death Race 2050 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New World Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Nicholas Niciphor had recently graduated from USC when he was hired to co-write and direct the film. He ended up being fired and replaced by Allan Arkush, who later admitted that he had no way of saving the picture. Niciphor is credited under the pseudonym Henry Suso. See more »


After Kaz is attacked at the start the tip of his sword is coated in blood, seconds later it is completely clean. See more »


Ankar Moor: [to Kaz Oshay] As much as I would enjoy killing you here tonight, I will enjoy watching you die more in the Deathsport tomorrow.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The print used for Shout Factory's 2011 DVD was a composite version consisting of an interpostive created for TV showings, missing all the violence and nudity, so a splicy 35mm theatrical print containing all of said material had to be reinstated into the print filling in the missing footage. See more »


Edited into Saturday the 14th Strikes Back (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Farewell Grasshopper...
9 June 2009 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

"Deathsport" is one of those films that have been lying on my DVD-shelf unwatched since years already because, quite frankly, it always looked like a really stupid movie and I have to be in a rare and specific mood to enjoy really stupid movies. But right now I was in urgent need of a movie starring David Carradine and this was the only one within reach. Come to think of it, I ought to have selected a much better movie for my tribute to this terrific cult/action cinema legend that sadly passed away this week (3rd of June 2009). "Deathsport" is a prototypic Roger Corman product from the late 70's. Obviously cheap and rapidly put together in order to further cash in on the unexpected but giant success of the previous "Death Race 2000"; also starring Carradine and also set in a crazed futuristic setting. But apart from this handful of superficial elements (also including the similar title), there's actually no real connection between "Death Race" and "Deathsport". This is merely an attempt to imitate "Star Wars", with a lot of cheesy light-and-laser weaponry, and an unintentional predecessor to post-apocalyptic gladiator movies that became particularly popular during the 80's. In a very distant future, practically the entire world has been destroyed due to nuclear warfare. Only a few big cities are left, surrounded by endless wastelands where cannibalistic mutants are continuously on the prowl. Life inside the big city isn't that much better, though, as Lord Zirpola is slowly going bonkers through brain disease and becomes increasingly obsessed with "Deathsport". This is a Roman-type of arena battle and Zirpola ordered his right hand – the malignant Ankar Moor – to capture the mystically empowered Range Guides Kaz Oshay and Deneer to fight till the death. The Guides are good hearted nomads, however, and rather than to obey and fight, they flee into the wastelands. Okay, admittedly this sounds like a rather complex and ambitious plot, but I can assure you that "Deathsport" is actually a pretty brainless and rudimentary Sci-Fi vehicle. Everybody always complains about the low quality level of early 80's Italian apocalypse movies, but honestly flicks like "The New Gladiators", "The Atlantis Interceptors", "Endgame" and "The New Barbarians" are a whole lot better than this dud. "Deathsport" is boring and repetitive, with really laughable special effects (the vaporizing weapon looks like a vacuum cleaner) and pitiable scenery (the so-called Death Machines are ordinary bikes with a metal plant on the front). The only highlights in the film occur whenever Richard Lynch appears on screen, as he gives away a deliciously over-the-top cheesy performance as the evil and crazy-eyed Ankar Moor. Well okay, other highlights include Claudia Jennings' multiple nude sequences and the scene where a dude drives off of a tremendously high cliff in slow-motion. David Carradine is sadly mundane and uninspired in this lame production and this definitely isn't one of the movies he'll get remembered for. I can list at least two dozen of movies that I rather watched instead. Rest in peace, grasshopper. You were the total definition of cool and handsome.

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