Death Race 2000 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Death Race 2000 Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 28, 2007
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2013
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.
Super Reviewer
½ October 27, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ June 25, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
May 28, 2008
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.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2010
One of my favourite sci-fi action movies of the 70s! It's a Corman produced picture, and has a good cast. It's also a futuristic comedy, which makes it even better. Check it out.
Super Reviewer
December 20, 2007
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2010
Way ahead of its time, a perfect black comedy. David Carradine gives one of his best performances as Frankenstein and Sylvester Stallone is amazing as Machine Gun Joe. What I also love about it is the fact that it's so cheaply made. The cars look hilarious, as if they came out of a cereal box. However, the car stunts look real and that's where it really counts. I think it's quite possibly the only movie to effectively blend cars and sci-fi.
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2008
The movie is a ton of fun but it's not quite as graphic as it's made out to be.
Super Reviewer
½ September 18, 2006
Harold: As the cars roar into Pennsylvania, the cradle of liberty, it seems apparent that our citizens are staying off the streets, which may make scoring particularly difficult, even with this year's rule changes. To recap those revisions: women are still worth 10 points more than men in all age brackets, but teenagers now rack up 40 points, and toddlers under 12 now rate a big 70 points. The big score: anyone, any sex, over 75 years old has been upped to 100 points.

From Roger Corman comes a greatly entertaining movie that features a futuristic America that has an annual cross-country death race.

The race consists of 5 racers, each with their own navigator (doubling as lovers) driving at super fast speeds from New York to LA in a few days time. The added twist is that pedestrians caught on the side of the road can be run over for additional points.

Needless to say this is a cheesy, violent, and darkly hilarious film to watch.

David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone star as rival racers trying to beat each other to the finish.

The whole movie is literally the race, we start at the starting line and end at the finish in a brisk 78 minutes.

Its a lot of fun to watch, with plenty of great cheesy moments, great low budget production design, and hilarious plot twists hinting at some ridiculous deeper social meaning.

Cleopatra: It isn't my fault everyone scored before us. You should have gone after that boy scout camp like I told you!
Nero the Hero: I tried the goddamn boy scout camp. You know how fast those boy scouts move?
Cleopatra: Now here's something more your speed.
Nero the Hero: That'll be at least 200 points!
Cleopatra: If they scatter, go for the baby and the mother.
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2007
entertaining and fun while being silly and rediculous at the same time. the sub plot was interesting, but this movie was mostly absurd. i understand its cult status and know why people like it, but its not for me.
Super Reviewer
½ April 16, 2008
The movie is pretty silly and cheap but has a good story behind all the dumb bits.
The characters are ok and Stallone was pretty funny. You can tell he was taking his role seriously.
Super Reviewer
½ April 2, 2008
Unlike the best Roger Corman-sponsored productions -- Jonathan Demme's "Caged Heat", for instance -- "Death Race 2000" never really rises above its transparently exploitative violence and female nudity. As others have said, it's just like watching "Wacky Races", the only differences being that a) some of the booby traps work in "Death Race 2000" and b) I can't recall Penelope Pitstop ever getting her funbags out (though that's an episode I'd very much like to see!) The movie is technically shoddy and not as entertaining as it should be, not because the humour is too tasteless to laugh at -- if anything, it could have been a bit sicker, for me -- it just isn't very funny. Stallone tries hard to wring a few laughs out of an underwritten rôle in a poor script, but David Carradine is very dull indeed. Disappointing. I did chuckle at the Euthanasia Day bit though.
Super Reviewer
½ July 22, 2007
Just a straight-up fun movie. I love that the DVD cover has a three-star review featured.
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2007
Movie about in the future killing is a national sport basically. David C. makes it good.
Super Reviewer
½ October 25, 2006
Really good in a bad kind of way.
Super Reviewer
½ June 29, 2013
The cult classic '70s exploitation film Death Race 2000 is a provocative, ultra-violent rampage. In a dystopian future an annual cross-country race is put on to entertain the masses in which racers score points by running down and killing pedestrians, but the tables are turned when a rebellion attempts to takeout the racers. The film explores some very interesting issues, such as the culture of violence, the power of the media, and domestic terrorism. David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone lead the cast and give strong performances; especially Stallone, who brings a lot of charisma to the film. However, the production value is extremely low-budget, which is typical for a Roger Corman film. Death Race 2000 is an edgy thriller that tackles some controversial issues, but the filmmaking style holds it back.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2009
Jason Statham's new "Death Race:" is Far from the original, in case that It Stunk! Carradine hasa kept the original head over heels of the new one.
Highly reccomended over the Staham Remake!
Super Reviewer
October 26, 2008
Campy, dated fun.
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2008
I can't believe that this is an actual movie, I mean my God the racers get points for hitting pedestrians (little kids and old people get the highest score). This movie had to be a joke, there is no way to take it seriously, there is a terrible 70s dance music score, David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone overact to an insane degree, and there is a HAND grenade in the literal sense of the word. That only scratches the surface of just how ridiculous this movie is. If you take it as a joke it is kind of enjoyable in a weird sort of way. "JESUS CHRYSLER!"
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