Movies promised us a lot of things in the 21st Century: first contact with aliens, Los Angeles as a prison island, televised death penalty game shows. But missing those things is nowhere near as disappointing as Death Race 2000’s unfulfilled promise of hit-and-run racing.
This Roger Corman-produced cult classic follows competitors in the Transcontinental Road Race, which awards points to drivers for killing pedestrians. While the film’s prescient undertones (a nation ruled by the theocratic Bipartisan Party with bloodsport used to keep the masses at bay) balance the gratuitous sex and violence, the film is often regarded as a simple schlock-fest. Still, Death Race 2000
is just as good as, maybe better than, the similarly-themed and more highly-regarded Rollerball
, which was released in same year.
It’s okay to cheer when.... Frankenstein gives Mr. President what he has coming.