Monday, January 5, 2015

Death Race 2000 (1975) - 2 stars out of 10

Death Race 2000 (1975) - 2 stars out of 10

“Death Race 2000” is a cult classic, but I wasn’t really buying it.  The entire thing is basically a high-violence rendition of the old “Wacky Races” cartoon show with a little more politics and a little less Dick Dastardly.  I wouldn’t consider this movie to be “good.”  I believe that it is “important” because it pushed the boundaries of violence in movies, but it would be a stretch to refer to it as “entertainment.”  The film features a nonchalant treatment of violence and nudity, and yet there is virtually no swearing.  Much of the action is slapstick and Sylvester Stallone is so over the top that you would think that this was a kids movie… until they start running people over.  David Carradine was pretty emotionless in the lead role, and Stallone’s acting is so bad at times that it’s painful.  This movie made me want to fast-forward his career to “Rocky,” though maybe the overacting was intentional?  Some of the driving sequences are good, but the plot is confusing and not very well written.  Dystopian films are in right now.  “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” are wildly popular with teenagers, but I wouldn’t count on it leading to a resurgence of popularity for “Death Race 2000.”  In fact, the only thing worse than this movie was the 2008 remake!

[Pictured: Yeah, it's as ridiculous as it looks]

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