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Death Race 2000 (1975)

tomatometer

85

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 5

Death Race 2000 is a fun, campy classic, drawing genuine thrills from its mindless ultra-violence.

80

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

Death Race 2000 is a fun, campy classic, drawing genuine thrills from its mindless ultra-violence.

audience

64

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 25,421

My Rating

Movie Info

Cult hero Paul Bartel directed this low-budget satire in which America's passion for cars, violence, and sporting events are finally brought together in one convenient package. In the not-so-distant future, the United States has become a totalitarian regime overseen by the charming but sinister Mr. President (Sandy McCallum), who, in order to satisfy the masses' need for entertainment (and to quench their thirst for violence), has created a new national sport -- the Death Race, a nationwide road

Jul 13, 2010

New World Pictures

Watch It Now

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September 26, 2008:
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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (5) | DVD (21)

Behold the power of cheese!

June 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The story, about a road race in the not-too-distant future for which the drivers are given points for running down pedestrians, becomes an elaborate and telling fantasy about our peculiar popular entertainments. Fine work carved from minimal materials.

March 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Script, from an Ib Melchior story, makes its satirical points economically, and director Paul Bartel keeps the film moving quickly.

March 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Overall the movie isn't as synchromeshed as it might be; the rivalry between champions Carradine and Stallone isn't very interesting, and some of the gags aren't sick or funny enough. But it's a great audience film.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the end, it reveals itself to have nothing to say beyond the superficial about government or rebellion. And in the absence of such a statement, it becomes what it seems to have mocked -- a spectacle glorifying the car is an instrument of violence.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comment (1)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A movie that has a little bit of everything, and it's easily the best version of itself that could possibly be put together.

April 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

A goofy piece of over-the-top mayhem with half a brain.

January 9, 2011 Full Review Source: FEARnet
FEARnet

A terrifically entertaining movie, and a sharp, funny social commentary from start to finish.

October 16, 2010 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

Roger Corman is the master of doing a lot with a little, and Death Race 2000 is but one shining example of the filmmaker's know-how.

August 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Dread Central

Director Paul Bartel perfected his brand of blackhearted humor on this ragged production, overcoming budgetary restraint with inspired moments of B movie spectacle...

June 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Seanax.com
Seanax.com

The conception and execution are top-notch low-budget trash.

August 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Death Race 2000 is as Corman as his B-grade action pics come, with cars flying through the frame, blood spilling behind them, and overnight pit-stops for some sex ("navigators" in each car keep their drivers juiced up).

June 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

One of King Corman's finest pictures.

May 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

It has a comic strip premise which is neverthless wholly credible in a sick sort of way.

May 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Unwatchable car wreck of an exploitation film.

January 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Fun, fun, fun!

August 26, 2007
ColeSmithey.com

Superior drive-in exploitation fare, this violent, campy action flick presents Carradine as Frankenstein, a scarred road warrior in black leather suit and cape.

March 28, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Time has tamed it somewhat, but it's still loads of fun.

March 31, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

a must see for so many people - science fiction fans, satirists, action movie buffs, 70s film aficionados and anyone who likes an over-the-top film

February 4, 2006 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

...a mindlessly entertaining, thoroughly campy piece of work...

January 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Corman didn't direct the drive-in hit Death Race 2000, but it bears his imprint of economic utilitarianism.

December 23, 2005 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Death Race 2000

Mr. President: The drivers are ready, the world is watching. Once more, I give you what you want.

"A Cross Country Road Wreck!"

Death Race 2000 is another Roger Corman produced film. It has a pretty good cult following and why, I don't really know. It's also another dystopian film that uses sporting events to control the masses and also to spread the love of violence. The dialogue is beyond bad, the acting(besides Carradine is awful), and the movie is just down right stupid. I can see why some people would have fun with it and I did for about 20 minutes, but as it ran on, the fun diminished for me more each second. Luckily the movie only comes in at an hour and nineteen minutes, which allows the film to have easy watchability.

As with any Corman produced film you know what he's selling. He's going to rip-off other movies, he's going to show breasts, it's going to be bloody, and it's going to be bad. For some reason though, a lot of people actually think this is a good movie. In Corman standards, it's a lot better than most, but it's also less fun than most in my mind.I wouldn't go as far as to say I hated the movie completely. It had its moments and there were some funny parts. I still didn't like it though.
June 4, 2013
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

This is the pinnacle of Roger Corman's exploitative, bombastic serial films and of them all, this is for sure the most entertaining. Corman made his money capitalizing on making films similar to ones already made or in production, and this film is no different. It doesn't show, but this film found publicity by copying the concept for "Rollerball" and for some reason has gained a cult following unlike its inspiration. The film is set in a dystopian 2000, where racers go transcontinental on a killing spree and rack up points in an almost "Hunger Games" like scenario, except without the emotional tumult but all the reality show gravitas. Though there are some gratuitous uses of blood, gore, and nudity, there's intrinsic value to this film. It spawned its own following leading to a poorly made remake and several sequels. Though it's not a terrible film it is cheaply made, reflected in the principal photography mostly being of the road where much of the film takes place and the same warehouse being used as a set for various hotel rooms. Besides the sets being downright hokey, the acting comes is stilted time and again, as the supporting characters come off as shady and over the top. One of the drivers, in this dystopian setting, is a Nazi, in this world glorified to reflect the changing values of the society, but it does not come into play more than a goofy German accent and a swastika on her helmet. The navigators, who ride with the drivers to tell them the fastest routes, are usually there to enliven the script, but often just become extra bodies to murder along the road. The best part about this film is the lead drivers, who are portrayed by exploitation fixation David Carradine as the complex and murderous Frankenstein, and Sylvester Stallone still acting as an unknown in this film. Still, even with the ripening thanks to old age, this film does not have the amazing script or original concept to be memorable. It does have some twists and turns, especially with Frankenstein's character and his plot against the rest of the drivers, but it's so offhandedly mentioned and not grown enough over time, keeping it relegated to the Corman oeuvre.
April 8, 2013
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

Death Race 2000 is a fun action film that has a good cast and a very good premise. This is a fun, thrilling action film with hints of dark humor and plenty of blood. Director Peter Bartel crafts a memorable Dystopian Sci Fi actioner that is a must see for genre fans. Death Race is an entertaining flick with a very young Sylvester Stallone (Pre-Rocky fame). He really gives a good performance here, as well as David Carradine. The acting is good for this type of film, and this is not the type of film to take seriously. The film is a nonstop thrill ride, and it delivers some stellar action. If you love Roger Corman, you're sure to enjoy this. This is a fine low-budget B movie that is constantly entertaining and fun. The humor included in its script makes it more enjoyable and over the top, considering that the films plot surrounds a race where the drivers run over pedestrians for points. For such a simplistic film, Death Race 2000 is more exciting than most action films that come out today. Director Peter Bartel succeeds at crafting at crafting a fun film, even if it's absolutely ridiculous. However that's what makes this film a must see. This film delivers a mindless hour and a half of awesome entertainment. If you watch the film, don't expect anything brilliant, expect a good popcorn action film, because that's what Death Race 2000 is. For all it's worth, this is a film that delivers mindless entertainment and succeeds because it's not one of those serious action films. This is a film that includes dark humor in its action, and it's what makes this film good, and very original. If you want to see one of Sylvester Stallone's earliest roles, check this one out; he really brings something great to the screen. Death Race 2000 may be a flawed film, but it delivers some memorable action and thrills.
June 25, 2012
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Paul Bartel's Death Race 2000 is everything it is cracked up to be.Behind all the gratuitous violence, dark humor, attractive women, and driving, which sums up the title nicely, there is more to the story than just racing across America killing people. While it isn't much, it gives this picture a little more to work with. The movie itself wastes no time at getting started, as it jumps right into character introductions and starting off the race, while letting the multiple TV personalities unveil the race details as it goes along.Ultimately, the highlight of the film is the race. The deaths are brutal, a little cheesy, and there are many fast motion camera effects to add some death defying speed to the driving scenes. The fun continues between the race segments with some nudity, sexuality, and even more violence in the pits stops.David Carradine finds himself with a suitable lead character and Sylvester Stallone proves to be a befitting rival racer that provides most of the humor.Death Race 2000 isn't a masterpiece of a movie, but its brief run time of just under 80 minutes is enough to make it a watchable action comedy from start to finish.
January 6, 2011
skactopus
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

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