Death Race 2000 (1974)

USA, 1974
80m
35mm film, Metrocolor
mono, English
Reviewed at The

An American science fiction film directed by Paul Bartel.

Plot Summary

In the year 2000, the United Republics of America is ruled over by the authoritarian Mr President and the masses are kept placated by the lethal Annual Trans-Continental Road Race. The winner of the race is not merely the first driver across the line in New LA, but the one who racks up the most points, scored by running down innocent bystanders. The 2000 race is being run by an unlikely quintet of outrageous participants in their personalized, souped-up killing machines – down-home country girl Calamity Jane Kelly in the Stud Bull wages a personal feud with cute neo-Nazi Matilda the Hun aboard her Buzzbomb, while Nero the Hero spends much of his time preening himself for his disinterested public. Stars of the Road Race world are Machine Gun Joe Viterbo and his hated rival Frankenstein, the president's champion, a man re-built so often that he hides his supposedly disfigured face behind a mask and can no longer remember who he actually is.

Credits

Crew
Directed by: Paul Bartel
© 1974 Columbia Associates Ltd.
New World Pictures presents
Produced by: Roger Corman
Associate Producer: Jim Weatherill
Screenplay by: Robert Thom and Charles Griffith
From a story by Ib Melchior [The Racers]
Photographed by: Tak Fujimoto
Edited by: Tina Hirsch
Music by: Paul Chihara
Sound Mixer: Lee Alexander
Costumer: Jane Rum
Make-Up: Pat Hutchence
Special Effects: Richard MacLean
Art Directors: Robinson Royce, B.B. Neel

Cast
David Carradine (Frankenstein)
Simone Griffeth (Annie Smith)
Sylvester Stallone (Machine Gun Joe Viterbo)
Mary Woronov (Calamity Jane Kelly)
Roberta Collins (Matilda the Hun)
Martin Kove (Nero the Hero)
Louisa Moritz (Myra)
The Real Don Steele (Junior Bruce)
Joyce Jameson (Grace Pander)
Carle Bensen (Harold)
Sandy McCallum (Mr President)
Paul Laurence (special agent)
Harriet Medin [real name: Harriet White] (Thomasina Paine)
Vince Trankina (Lieutenant Fury)
Bill Morey (Deacon)
Fred Grandy (Herman the German)
William Shephard (Pete)
Leslie McRay (Cleopatra)
Wendy Bartel (Laurie)
Jack Favorite (Henry)

Alternative Titles

Anno 2000 la corsa della morte – Italy
La carrera de la muerte del año 2000 – Spain
Carrera mortal – Venezuela
Carrera mortal 2000 – Argentina
Corrida da Morte – Ano 2000 – Brazil
La Course à la mort de l'an 2000 – France
Etos 2000: Koursa thanatou – Greece
Frankensteins Todesrennen – Austria, West Germany
Herrscher der Straße – Frankensteins Todesrennen – Germany (DVD)
Herrscher der Strasse – West Germany
Kalmanralli 2000 – Finland
Ölüm yarisi 2000 – Turkey
Rally thanatou sto etos 2000 – Greece (re-release)
Sasikvdilo rbola 2000 – Georgia
Les Seigneurs de la route – France (video)
Wyscig smierci – Poland

Remake
Death Race (2008)

Extracts included in
Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trashorama Show Vol. 6 (1999)
Hollywood Boulevard (1976)
Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America (1992)

References

Periodicals

  • The Dark Side June 1995 p.20 – review
  • Halls of Horror no.27 p.19 – note
  • The Movie p.1740 – credits, review

Newspapers

  • Metro 16 October 2000 p.9 – illustrated article (Horror movies back with a bigger bump)

Books

  • 500 Essential Cult Movies: The Ultimate Guide by Jennifer Eiss with J.P. Rutter and Steve White p.105 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • After the World Ends by Claude Gaillard pp.26-27 – illustrated review
  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) pp.323-324
  • Film Review 1976-1977 by F. Maurice Speed p.164
  • Heroes, Monsters and Values: Science Fiction Films of the 1970s by Michael Berman and Rohit Dalvi (eds.) pp.139-149 – article (Winning is the only standard of excellence left: Death Race 2000 and the dissolution of the virtues by Brian Lightbody)
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.87
  • Jules Verne on Film by Thomas C. Renzi pp.161-163
  • Nightmare Movies by Kim Newman p.140 – review
  • The Illustrated Frankenstein Movie Guide by Stephen Jones p.64 – credits, review
  • Omni's Screen Flights/Screen Fantasies: According to Science Fiction Cinema – production notes (Death Race 2000: New World's violent future by Paul Bartel)
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes Volume 2 by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.66-68
  • Science Fiction Films of the Seventies by Craig W. Anderson pp.105-109
  • Variety Science-Fiction Movies by Julian Brown (ed.) p.33-34 – credits, review