In a dystopian future, America hosts a cross-country automobile race
where the racers gain points by brutally running over pedestrians.
Death Race 2000 (1975)
Directed by Paul Bartel
Written by Robert Thorn and Charles Griffith
Starring David Carradine, Sylvester Stallone, Simone Griffeth,
Louis Moritz, Don Steele, Harriet Medin, Mary Woronov,
Roberta Collins, Martin Kove, Joyce Jameson
Based on the short story "The Racer" by Ib Melchior
If you're looking for a balls-out, violently fun movie, then look no further. Death Race 2000 is one of the most campy, over-the-top, and hilariously excessive sci-fi films of all time. The film takes place in a world where running people over is basically the national sport, acting as a satire on the future of America in the year 2000. Thankfully, they were wrong.
The main racers in this film are Frankenstein played by David Carradine and "Machine Gun" Joe Viterbo played by a young Sylvester Stallone. Their rivalry is one of the driving forces of the film and makes for some hilariously campy scenes. Their fight scene, for example, is so ridiculous and awesome at the same time. Of course, the meat of the movie comes from the epic driving scenes which still hold up. The Transcontinental Road Race comes alive through the stuntmen of the day and it's easy to get mesmerized by the epic road scenes that seem like they were the inspiration for The Road Warrior.
Legendary B-movie producer Roger Corman is partly the reason why this film has achieved cult status and has lived on. The cast is clearly enjoying themselves and help bring this ridiculous premise to life without creating a bad movie. On the contrary, Death Race 2000 is a very entertaining and exciting film.