Death Race 2000 (1975)
Ranking: Fuck Yeah
Holy shit. This movie was fucking amazing. It was, like, nine hundred times better than the remake. That's not saying a lot, actually, but whatever. This movie rocked my socks.
In the year 2000, the US economy has collapsed, the government is run by a total whacko (Sandy McCallum) called simply 'Mr. President' who lives overseas and blames everything on the French and the nation watches the transcontinental death race, where people drive crazy cars across the country and get points for running people over (points are dependant upon the age of the person. For example, children under 12 are worth 40 points but people over 75 are worth 100. Awesome). Meanwhile, 'the resistance' tries to stop the senseless waste of life by blowing up the racers.
The film centres on the driver known as Frankenstein (David Carradine) and his beautiful navigator (Simone Griffeth) who is secretly working for the resistance. Righteous.
Unlike the remake, which was all very uptight and serious (what with the Stath's wife being dead and all), this movie has a ridiculous/morbid sense of humour and was totally fuckin out there. I mean, it was really dated but, rather than being held back and embarrassed by its own datedness, it seems to revel in it. I mean, the cars were fucking awesome, it was like 70s-central. And everybody wears a cool helmet.
And fuck, David Carradine's get up is amazing. In addition to having an extra cool helmet, he wears a black rubber mask (a little bit like the one Michael Jackson has been wearing lately) and dresses like something out of a German SM club. I kept expecting, like, Pinhead to show up and help him fight with Sylvester Stallone.
It tickles me that Stallone was in this. Back in the days before Rocky. Actually, Rocky was '76, so this was only one year before. Haha, awesome.
This is totally my new favourite movie.
Directed by: Paul Bartel. Written by: Charles Griffith and Robert Thom based on a story by Ib Melchior. Starring: David Carradine, Simone Griffith, Sylvester Stallone, Mary Woronov, Joyce Jameson, Harriet Medin, Roberta Collins, Sandy McCallum, Martin Cove.