“Women are worth 10 points more than men in all age brackets. Teenagers are worth 40 points. Toddlers under 12 are worth 70 points. And anyone, any sex over the age of 75 are now worth 100 points.” If you hear some discussing that scoring system, it can only mean one of two things. Either they are trying to start their own version of the “Annual Transcontinental Road Race”, or they are watching Death Race 2000. For society’s sake, let’s hope they are just watching the movie.
The plot: The Annual Transcontinental Road Race has been going on for 20 years with racers traveling across the country while trying to run over as many people as possible. A resistance group is trying to stop the race and capture Frankenstein, the most famous driver of the race and also the favored racer of the President. To this end, the resistance group begins killing off all of the racers in their bid to end the violent race. Frankenstein, along with his navigator Annie, must do what ever he can to survive the resistance groups attempts on his life, not to mention survive the other racers, as he has his own plans for when he wins the race and meets the president.
Fresh off of his role in Kung Fu, David Carradine decided that the way to break the image of his character from Kung Fu was to play a role that was completely opposite of that character. Roger Corman to the rescue. Not only did this introduce David Carradine to a new audience, it also introduce a pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone to major audiences. Now this movie was panned by critics when it was released, but it has gained an epic cult following to become one of the biggest cult favorites of the 70’s. Plus, this movie was the influence for several video games (shocking, I know), as well as influencing several other movies. Besides, I would bet it is hard to find at least one person that has not referenced the “scoring system” at least once while they were driving.
Now I think this movie is hilarious. Sylvester Stallone was hilarious in this movie, both with his ridiculous accent and his actions. David Carradine was good although I kind of felt his performance was a little bland compared to some of the others. The driving scenes were pretty good, the directors using cameras that were undercranked to give the illusion of the cars going much faster than they actually were. This is just a fun movie to watch.
So if you would like to see a 70’s cult classic that you have probably heard referenced before in some way, then you should watch this.
Rating: 4 out of 5