Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Death Race 2000 (1975)

Overall Rating:
This movie received good marks in all categories. There wasn’t quite enough ninjocity to give it a perfect score, but there was quite a bit of gratuitous nudity and the plot line was terrible. All in all, a fairly good bad action movie.

Why We Rented It:
In the year 2000, hit & run has become the national sport. It’s a no-hold barred cross-country race, in which the aim is to kill off not only your opponents, but as many pedestrians as possible. David Carradine takes on Sylvester Stallone in this classic adrenaline thriller that will make you look both ways twice before you cross.

Our Synopsis:
If we ever gave out awards for, say, the movie with the worst character names, DR2000 would win the award unanimously. Just to give you a taste, how do Mr. Frankenstein, Machine-Gun Joe and Mr. President sound to you? Ya, that’s what I thought.

Alright, on to the basics of the movie, so it turns out that sometime in the future (oh wait, the year 2000!) it’s decided to have a transcontinental road-race in which racers drive from the east coast to the west coast and try to hit pedestrians along the way for points. Stop me if I’m going too fast. The story revolves around one racer, the very popular Mr. Frankenstein, whose reasons for wanting to win the race are varied. Of course they’ve also got to throw something of a love story in there, (because who isn’t turned on by running people over?) and naturally, classic Highlander rules^ apply to the ending.

^ = see FAQ #4 for further explanation

  • Big Ol’ Naked Boobies:

After being shutout in the boobie department for the last little while, redemption finally shows itself in the form of DR2000! Most of them were good old fashioned pointless nudity scenes at that. Early on, when all the cars make their pit-stop for the night, all the racers get massages completely in the nude. And just to prove to everyone that they are in the nude, two female characters decide to get in a fight where their towels fall off. Ooops! However, there were still some scenes in which the nudity had a point. Later on, the main female character decides that she’s going to sex-up Mr. Frankenstein every night, so she strips down to the buff and has at him a couple times.

  • Profanation:

DR2000 had some pretty good swearing, mostly by Stallone (or should I say Machine-Gun Joe!), but other characters also got in on the fun. There were quite a few combo swears put into play such as bull-sh**, g*d-d**n, and sons-of-bit**es. And, as all of you should know by now, the TBAFS crew loves the combo swears! The profanation score also goes up due to one of the female character being referred to as a “sexpot,” and as a result of one of the strangest insults in recorded history. Good ol’ MGJ utters the soon-to-be classic remark: “You know Myra, some people might think you're cute. But me, I think you're one very large baked potato.”

  • Ninjocity:

You would think that our rating for ninjocity would be much lower since there was basically only one fight scene in the movie. However, when a movie goes above and beyond the call of making a really bad fight scene, we reward said movie with a higher score. This is the case with DR2000. Not only is the fight absolutely terrible (to the point where I think both actors could pull off the same fight scene at their present ages), but the DR2000 staff goes all out with bad sound effects and music. The punch sound-effects are way off; either the sound would come ½ a second after the punch was thrown or there would be no sound effect for the punch at all. And the music! Oh the music! That’s really what threw me the farthest off about the whole scene. It was definitely a bad fight scene with the fighting and the mistimed sound-effects, but when you add the music to that you start to become confused about what exactly it is you are watching. I started looking around my house to find where that strange melody was coming from. I thought for sure that my neighbors just had their bad music turned up too loud again. No people, it’s coming from the movie.

  • Cannonry:

Cannonry was quite excellent in DR2000. Early in the movie, Machine-Gun Joe fires, what else, a machine-gun into the on-lookers in the grandstand. A racecar blows-up on a landmine, while another racecar is driven off a cliff and explodes. An airplane and two guys try to blow up a car by shooting at it and setting off mines buried in the ground. Another car is blown up with a hand grenade.

  • Other Factors:

If you’re looking for a short movie to get into the genre, then look no further. For those who do not wish to spend 2+ hrs watching a bad action movie, Death Race 2000 is for you! DR2000 clocks in at an amazing 78 minutes! That’s not even an hour and twenty minutes for those keeping track at home.

Also, it’s almost compulsory to rent a movie that takes place in the “future” when the year of the “future” is currently a year in the past.

For those who love Howard Cosell and Howard Cosell impersonators, this movie will be great for you! The part of one of the announcers seemed like it was written with only Howard Cosell in mind. It’s very painful to watch, and as soon as you recognize that that’s what that announcer is doing, it becomes incredibly annoying.

Overall Plot Line:
This plot line is very terrible, and in multiple ways. It’s bad in the true bad action movie way, by having a plot that doesn’t entirely make sense. But it’s also bad in the sense of how horrible the idea of running over people for fun is. This movie can be pretty entertaining as long as you don’t try to take it seriously…at all. If you do, you probably won’t be watching very much of it.

Of course one of the most interesting aspects of DR2000 is that the reason for the Death Race is never explained. Sure, we now live in the United Provinces of America and we all love Mr. President, but why do we have a Death Race every year? And why is it the national sport?

I have trouble giving DR2000 5 stars for plot line due to the complete lack of character development. I know that some of you must be very confused that a bad action movie loses points due to no character development, but there is a method to the madness. Most bad action movies at least try to get you to empathize with one of the characters at some point in the movie. DR2000 doesn’t give any effort at all. I watched the whole movie and didn’t like a single character. Why should I? Which character deserves my empathy? Since DR2000 didn’t even try to involve their audience, its plot line score must be reduced.

Other items this film contains:

-Characters with really bad names

-Multiple look-alikes of Mr. Frankenstein

-An entire 78 minutes of movie time!


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