Five long decades after Death Race 2000 (1975), in the overpopulated United Corporations of America, the annual Death Race is about to begin. This time, Frankenstein is up against no-nonsense challengers. How many points will he score?
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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A group of women prisoners were brought to some Asian island where there is nothing but the colony. This colony run by a very cruel woman who practice torture, murder, torture, humiliation.... See full summary »
In the year 2050 the planet has become overpopulated, to help control population the government develops a "Death Race." Annually competitors race across the country scoring points for killing people with their vehicles.
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Trashy and incredibly cheap; - even for Roger Corman standards!
Entertainment, much like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder In case you manage to entirely switch off all brain functions as well as your sense for good taste, there's a fair chance you'll find entertainment in "Death Race 2050". If, however, the tiniest bit of intellect remains active, the incompetence and stupidity of the overall production is most likely to quickly overpower the entertainment factor. I'm a big fan of the original "Death Race 2000", and it actually was one of the very first true cult classics I ever watched. It was a uniquely satirical and eccentric adventure, especially for its time, and given its enormous success and cult following it is rather incredible that Roger Corman didn't produce a whole bunch of sequels. He sponsored a handful of imitations (like "Deathsport", "Cannonball!,...) and there was a sort of big-budgeted remake in 2008 (which also spawned two sequels) but for some strange reason it took forty years to come up with a direct sequel. "Death Race 2050" pretends like the Paul W.S. Anderson remake never existed and attempts to reinstall the satire and flamboyance of the almighty Paul Bartel original. But the unknown and inexperienced writer/director G.J. Echternkamp also immediately wants to surpass the original, which basically means that everything about "Death Race 2050" is tremendously over-the-top and ridiculous. In the year 2050, the United States of America turned into the United Corporations of America – with its headquarters located in a new Washington where Dubai used to be – and 99, 3% of the population is unemployed because machines take care of everything. In order to entertain the masses, and simultaneously tackle the problem of overpopulation a bit, the Chairman of the UCA introduced the coast- to-coast Death Race in which the crazed participants also receive points for running over pedestrians. The robust rally pilot and public's favorite Frankenstein has won previous all editions, but this year he has a couple of tough challengers including a genetically engineered racer called Jeb Perfectus and a political spy as his co-pilot.
Roger Corman became legendary as a producer for many reasons, for example because he launched the careers of several brilliant people (Francis Ford Coppola, Jack Nicholson, James Cameron, ) and he gained the nickname "King of the B's" because all his films are extremely low-budgeted. Back in the old days this formed less of a problem because the lack of budget always got widely compensated through imaginative plotting and creative usage of atmosphere, humor and suspense. That was also the case for the original "Death Race 2000", but here the cheapness practically ruins the entire film. "Death Race 2050" truly looks amateurish and pitiable, with lousy editing, uninspired decors and poor computer-generated effects. This movie is supposed to revolve around a hi-tech and futuristic rally, but the participants' cars look like soapboxes with handmade and paper- mâché decorations. Since everything looks so damn fake and phony, the rally as well as the entire film quickly becomes dull and irritating. Manu Bennett tries very hard to act tough and cool, but he clearly knows that he can't hold a candle to David Carradine who depicted Frankenstein in the original film. Marci Miller is a natural beauty and certainly not a bad actress, but her role is a misfit in the overall imbecilic scenario. The action sequences and wannabe controversial themes in "Death Race 2050" are a complete failure. The only things that are more or less entertaining are the exaggeratedly OTT performance by Burt Grinstead (Perfectus) and the more subtle humorist references, like for example the new names for the States. Oh, and perhaps "Death Race 2050" will also be remembered as (one of) the first films to mock the persona of Donald Trump. In 2050, the new big leader is a megalomaniac businessman with a peculiar hairpiece. Hmm, I wonder who he's modeled after...
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