Friday, December 01, 2006

Deathrace 2000 (1975)

Yes, mofukas... it IS that cool!

Genre: Sports Action Sexploitation Sci-Fi Comedy

Starring: David Carradine (Kill Bill: Vol. 2;"Kung Fu"), Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa; Judge Dredd)

Directed By: Paul Bartel (Eating Raoul)

Overview: Welcome to the Year 2000 and welcome to the Transcontinental Road Race where running people over isn't murder, it's scoring!

Acting: Machine Gun Joe Viterbo, that's Sylvester Stallone's name in this. As for Carradine, he's Frankenstein. Say what you will about one of the first starring roles Sly's ever done, he uses what he knows, firing off machine guns with his crooked mouth and getting punchy with men and women alike. The actors know to go to a realm beyond the serious, but except for that one fight scene choreography, the talent is terrific.
Rating: 8

Cinematography: Honestly, the angles and the shots are really dynamic. There's even some healthy doses of good gore when the killing happens, and for as much as they may not be completely believable, the explosions are grand and plentiful, be they planes, cars, or bombs. Did I mention all the T'n'A?
Rating: 8

Script: "She was a great, dear friend of mine and I shall remember her forever howling down that freeway in the sky, knocking over... the angels."

Imagine sports commentators who love the sport they're reporting, during the Olympics being held in their home town. Imagine the energy. The commentator dialogue has that feel and though the biggest issues I had were in the logistics of the actual scoring system (the math works out wrong), the one liners are witty and catchy, with my favorite being "It's Euthanasia Day at the geriatric centre" when the hospital lays out the old folks in front of the road. Consistent witty groaners make this really enjoyable.
Rating: 8

Plot: And best of all, rather than just having a story about a run-people over and make it first From New York to L.A. race, there's the whole resistance movement going around trying to abolish it through sabotage and pirate broadcasts, and we learn early on that the favoured Frankenstein's very own navigator is in on the plot to assassinate the president. It's got depth! I know, it's totally surprising!
Rating: 8

Mood: I read that the first script was a serious one. When completed they decided it was a rather vile premise to be taking seriously, so they dumbed it down and laughed it up a notch. That's what makes this movie great, the overarching comedic streak to it. What you'll love best of all though is the year 2000 as seen through the eyes of 1975. Bubbled cities in the sky, hilarious outfits and the technology all give it that 70s kitsch that is coming back with force today.
Rating: 8

And check out the navigator's fuzzy little hat

Overall Rating: 80% (2000 Laughs!)

Aftertaste: This is one of those movies that has to be seen for the pure kitsch of it. It's hardcore seventies style and though not a milestone film is really fun to watch and quote from. usually when watching something like this, you know that one or two categories are really going to suffer, but even with my scrutinizing eyes I could find only joy in this fifth or so viewing. And it's really short too.