Ponder Picks: Death Race 2000

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Movies are our greatest reflector and creator of culture and spreading ideas worldwide due to their popularity, long run time, and the emotional attachments movies can form. Many filmmakers make a point to have a message in their films and such good messages can be taken and spread by viewers all over. Death Race 2000 is no such film. Created in the heyday of campy movies, the 1970’s, Death Race 2000 shows the futuristic dictatorship that is Los Angeles in the year 2000.

Over the poorly painted backdrop comes the sport of kings, the Transcontinental Race in which drivers earn points by running over people; extra points for the elderly. The melodramatic script can only be overshadowed by David Carradine’s Frankenstein and Sylvester Stallone’s Machine Gun Joe Viterbo’s rivalry extending years of racing and bloodshed in their outlandish costumes and cars.

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From the get go, the masked Frankenstein looks like trouble. Before beginning the race, Frankenstein is given a new navigator, an undercover rebel who spends nearly half of the movie giving and getting nude massages, as does the rest of the cast. Ah, the 1970's. The rebel group hopes to take down Mr. President and end the brutal death race through poorly crafted Wile E. Coyote plans with ACME level traps and plans. The most interesting thing about the movie movie is that even it doesn’t know if it is serious. The movie is clearly very campy, but they dramatize news reporters and Mr. President as points of extreme satire trying to give legitimacy and meaning to an overall movie lacking any real depth. But I love it. Fans of campy movies such as Creature from the Black Lagoon and Motel Hell will find a sexy and less brutal view of the world in Death Race 2000, a must watch and the twist ending leaves most equally hysterical and empowered.

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Death Race 2000 is a cult movie that really can only be enjoyed if you give in to the campiness and do not try and take it too seriously. It is always a fun time and lends itself to multiple viewings, I'm probably nearing 10 times now. One of my favorites of all time, I encourage everyone

P.S. Do not confuse this with the Jason Statham Remake Death Race