Death Race 2000 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Death Race 2000 Reviews

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April 19, 2017
I enjoyed this way to much.
Super Reviewer
½ February 2, 2017
Kind of film you wish was better as it felt very cheap and rushed and its more silly than anything, Having said that there was some nice violent kills plus Stallones character was brilliant and funny, It's short run time isn't too bad as it does tend to run out of steam quick but it's ok for its time.
June 1, 2016
A road race movie where the drivers get points for hitting people. This twisted 70's cheesy movie could never be done today. Over the top characters: Machine Gun Joe Viteturbo (a young Stallone), Frankenstein (David Carradine) etc are so two dimensional there is a comic predictability in the character's flatness. Death Race 2000 is a mantra of dark humor in a demented style. A over the top story which keeps the viewer watching. A late night movie which keeps one's mind occupied during a bout of insomnia! Three stars!
May 16, 2016
This Roger CORMAN produced movie sits somewhere between Wacky Races, Mad Max and The Running Man. I'm not exactly sure about what is going on, but this is a hell of a ride.
April 23, 2016
Death Race 2000 (1975) ??
Graphic account of racers who compete in a huge race where to score points means running over pedestrians; old ladies 70 points, tykes 50. Nice huh? Terrible.
January 5, 2016
Death Race 2000 is one of those films that you know is shit. But as long as you accept that it is shit you can enjoy it immensely.

The premise is simple. Five drivers race across The United States vying to not only be the first to cross the line, but also to rack up the most points, points which are awarded for killing members of the public by running them over in increasingly gory ways.

Of course there is more to it than that, there is a sub plot to over throw the President of the World (being a film set in the future, the President of the United States is obviously automatically the President of the World :-/ ). To this end one of the resistance fighters has somehow infiltrated the race as one of the navigators in order to sabotage it. Worry not though, as our anti-hero Frankenstein (played by David Carradine) takes her to bed in the second act, and so she soon falls into place working with him rather than against him.

The gore is of course laughable by today's standards but that just adds to the fun. In fact the scariest thing is the big hairy minge of one of the female stars who sits up half way through a naked massage. I know it was filmed in 1974, but surely someone could have CGI'd it out for the DVD release?

There is also a an early appearance by Sylvester Stallone, which rather than being embarrassing, worryingly looks like he filmed it last year, so little has his acting style progressed in 39 years.

More often than not the footage of the cars is sped up and at times resembles the chase at the end of an episode of Benny Hill. Also at one point the resistance positions a cardboard cut out, of the front of a tunnel, next to a cliff and a car drives straight through it and plummets to a fiery explosions. When my wife pointed out this something Wile E Coyote would do to Roadrunner I nearly choked on my popcorn.

So yes it's shit, and yes it's laughable, and yes there was obviously very little budget to work with. And yes, it's a great watch. After all when David Carradine is delivering, with all seriousness, lines like "I lost my taste buds in the crash of 97" how can you not love it?
December 13, 2015
What Indiana Jones is to Adventure, Star Wars is to Sci-Fi, Goodfellas is to Crime, and Apocalypse Now is to War; Death Race 2000 is to B-Movie cinema.

Join legendary "shoot it quick and cheap so you can get paid" producer, Roger Corman, as he takes you to the dystopian future year of 2000, where the dirty French are ruining the economy and fucking up life for Americans everywhere. Fuck all that though, because ratings are through the roof on America's hottest new TV program: Death Race!

Death Race is a race across America using customized futuristic cars like this and this which are so awesome that there was a rush of exotic car designer suicides the year this film came out. Driving the former car is veteran champion and crowd favorite: Frankenstein (David Carradine), who wears a mask to conceal his disgustingly disfigured face. Driving the latter car is his main competition, Machine Gun Joe (a pre-Rocky Sly Stallone), a mafioso out to win the race at all costs - and cause as much havoc as possible while doing it. This works out in his favor, because in the world of Death Race, it's not just about winning the race, but also killing eager spectators, innocent pedestrians, and good-for-nothing old folks trying to cross the road; each valued with their own points that count towards your final score; if you can survive that long.

The film is a mix of Speed Racer races mixed with the brutality of Twisted Metal. At the time of release, the movie was considered so absurd, that veteran critic Roger Ebert awarded it a stunning zero out of four stars. So how does Death Race 2000 hold up?

Extremely well.

The movie was made for future audiences from the year 2000 who thirst for blood and depraved action, brought on by the dystopian struggle of the common man to forget the plight of day-to-day life. The action is well directed. The acting is funny, stupid, and over the top. The plot is absurd, yet tantalizingly intelligent. The corniness is just charming enough to meet the sweet spot without going into the realm of complete ridiculousness. In the end, Death Race 2000 does what few other low-budget movies could do, creating a microcosm of b-movie tropes that give it legendary placement in the world of cinema.

TL;DR - 8/10
If you haven't seen this movie, just go out and watch it already. The film is not only one of the best to come from the Roger Corman production line, but simply one of the finest B-Movies ever made. It's nothing high brow, so feel free to smoke a joint, or have a couple of beers, and enjoy the results of a bunch of people getting together, slapping together some props, a script, and some obscure locations, and crafting this visual banquet for your eye stomachs.
September 16, 2015
Absolutely 5 stars. Infinitely superior to Rollerball, & with both Bartel's & Corman's senses of fantastic humor & shock (also schlock, but very very good schlock!). Iconic & a must-see from the mid-70s.
½ April 26, 2015
this is garbage its just horrible! horrible acting, writing, camera work, its just bad but I guess there is a couple things I liked. the effects are pretty good for the time and there's that announcer guy and he's enjoyably over-the-top but still stay way from this movie!
March 2, 2015
A fun family film about a car race where you try to kill as many pedestrians as possible. I think babies were worth the most points... Long live Frankenstein.
January 5, 2015
"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!
Super Reviewer
January 2, 2015
I saw this movie last week and i had never seen it before but heard about it. It was like a mix of mad max / running man kinda but felt a bit old to watch these days.. I thought it should be better and i guess it was back then. Still watchable tho..
½ December 28, 2014
Political commentary! And umm..things!
December 6, 2014
Wish they still made movies like this
October 21, 2014
Great super cheesy brutality. It is great that it tries to make a political statement, while at the same time having a guy who actually has a "Hand" grenade. Brilliant, in a stupid kind of way.
October 20, 2014
Cult Classic Sci-Fi Action, That By Today's standards Is Sadly Outdated. Great Writing And A Great Plot, Especially For Its Time. An Enjoyable And Well Made B-Movie Which Also Features mild Political Theme Throughout.
September 24, 2014
Sports violence, consumerism, fan idoltry and reality shows (decades before they existed) are brilliantly satirized. As the NFL collapses under his own hubris and pretensions, this is more relevant now than when it was released. Highly recommended.
½ September 21, 2014
Classic B movie with it's tongue planted firmly in it's check. Poorly made, poorly written, poorly acted, yet utterly hilarious. Fantastic entertainment. Worth watching just to se a Pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone.
½ August 27, 2014
Roger Corman is known for making ultra-low-budget, B-grade (or lower) motion pictures that have lots of violence and nudity. DEATH RACE 2000 is no different in that regard. Personally, I haven't seen any other Roger Corman pictures besides this one, but if this is any indication of what they're usually like than I'll just stop here. I know that this film was limited by its low budget, but it still failed to entertain me with what it did have. There was some attempt at social satire, but it was all surface and supported by some of the worst acting I've ever seen. David Carradine is given top billing (as he is the main character), but I thought that Sylvester Stallone's limited, one-note performance was more fun to watch. Overall, the film fails at social satire and only makes up for it a little bit with some decent racing sequences (considering the budget).
August 22, 2014
1975's "Death Race 2000" heralded in my most celebrated guilty pleasure. The total futuristic gore fest dystopia bloodbath films. There are others that should garner more love but for me "Death Race 2000" left the most scarring and fantastical impression. The film gives us a future of cross country racing like no race before. The hit and run becomes a celebrated pass time to appease the masses and bring down the population totals. Points are accumulated and tallied based on pedestrian qualities such as status in society, innocence, health, and all that range between. Things that make our real society focus on proper road edicate are distorted into a festival of cruel brutality. It makes this vision of an unsettled future bizarre and fascinating all while forcing us to question our sensibilities of what is acceptable in society.

David Carradine's character is cold and calculative while maintaining his humanity. While most driver's in the movie go for the easy scoring targets he goes for the higher scoring overlooked targets. This makes his character a more likable representation of a Death Racer. This film kept me captivated as a kid with it's cruelty and psychotic transformation of what I considered society consisted of. A set of rules and moralities that allowed for a safe and orderly existence. This movie threw all that out the window and there was no real reason for it other than society had become filled with blood thirsty madmen held high by corporate/government power and influence. The film took everything about the world as we knew it and threw it into the fire to listen to the sizzling of a fired carcass. To this day this movie runs through my mind as I slow for a red light while some one crosses the street. Even entering a hospital or shopping center parking lot brings images of altered metallic beasts souped up with claws and knives of steel jutting from every available point rushing through the car park wiping out those who where to slow to make it inside or into their cars.

"Death Race 2000" is a total exploitation of violence and lawlessness that brings the gore. The dialog is minimal and the kills are gruesome. It is a fun ride into an apocalyptic hell where hero's are madmen in hot rods of horror. A great film that is easy to watch, filled with death and brutality. There is even a message about being to content with societal standards. For me this was the movie that made me fall in love with futuristic flicks about a near apocalyptic world where anything goes. Truly one of my most indulged guilty pleasures.
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