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Death Race 2000 (Roger Corman's Cult Classics) [Blu-ray]

4.1 out of 5 stars 274 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the man who introduced us to Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, Jonathan Demme, James Cameron and Martin Scorsese . . . Shout! Factory is proud to present a new collectors series of Roger Corman s most loved productions.


Welcome to the year 2000, now a place plagued by a lack of morals and political unrest. The only thing that society looks forward to is the three-day Transcontinental Death Race, a high-speed competition that is won by the driver who collects the most points by killing spectators and pedestrians. But this year the drivers have something to worry about other than getting killed by rival contestants: there is a group of anti-race activists trying to stop the race for good. The games all-time champion, Frankenstein (David Carradine), takes on such colorful characters as Machine Gun Joe Viterbo (Sylvester Stallone), Calamity Jane (Mary Woronov), Nero The Hero (Martin Kove) and Matilda The Hun (Roberta Collins) in this dark comedy-science fiction classic directed by Paul Bartel ( Eating Raoul). ?

Bonus Features:

* New Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) High-Definition Transfer From The Interpositive Film Element

* David On Death Race: Interview with David Carradine

* Audio Commentary With Roger Corman & Mary Woronov

* New Audio Commentary With Assistant Director Lewis Teague And Editor Tina Hirsh

* Playing The Game: Looking Back at Death Race 2000

* Ready To Wear: Interview with costume designer Jane Ruhm

* Designing Dystopia A detailed look at the design of the films now-legendary race cars, costumes and futuristic landscapes with members of the production, design and costume crew

* Start Your Engines: Interview with author Ib Melchior

* Killer Score: An all-new interview with composer Paul Chihara on the creation of the films eclectic score

* Leonard Maltin Interviews Roger Corman About Death Race 2000

* Theatrical Trailer

* Theatrical Trailer With Commentary By John Landis

* TV And Radio spots

* 12-Page Booklet

* New World Trailers

Review

Editors Choice Award. The fast-paced Roger Corman sci-fi cult hit arrives in style. … If you're a Death Race 2000 fan, buying this Blu-ray should be a priority --IGN, June 16, 2010

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: David Carradine, Sylvester Stallone, Mary Woronov, Simone Griffeth
  • Directors: Paul Bartel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: June 22, 2010
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0039BEEWW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,666 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Death Race 2000 (Roger Corman's Cult Classics) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kenneth M. Pizzi on August 12, 2006
Format: DVD
So these are the words of Calamity Jane, a contender in Roger Corman's low budget farce, "Death Race 2000." It is interesting that Amazon paired Corman's film with Norman Jewison's "Rollerball" and for good reason: one movie is pure satire and played strictly for laughs while the latter is a far more serious and somber commentary on the media, America's love affair with violence steeped in what we call "sport," and the cult of celebrity. Both films explore these themes quite differently, yet both are entertaining as they are disturbing.

As a black comedy, "Death Race 2000" is more or less a cheaply made exploitation flick (budgeted at approximately $300,000), that never pretends for an instant to be anything more than a satire of the future and a parody of "Rollerball"--a far more ambitious, absorbing and expensive film.

Corman's film depicts a "game"--the Transcontinental Death Race--designed to cater to society's need to channel its aggression and hostile impulses as sort of a 21st century equivalent of the Roman circus offering spectators both entertainment and a catharsis in its more manic and kinetic moments.

Yes, the film is crazy--from the attack on Frankenstein by the French Air Force to Thomasina Paine (hilarious!) and her revolutionaries' thwarted attempts to assassinate "Mr. President" and end the Transcontinental Death Race once and for all. While the special effects in Corman's film are decidedly low-rent, save for some interesting matte paintings injected at the beginning of the film, the cars themselves, customized by car designer James Powers, are both creative and imaginative. The film, for the most part is amusing and very funny. The "Real Don Steele" is terrific as the commentator with one-liners that will leave you laughing.
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Format: DVD
Finally, fans of Death Race 2000 can enjoy this satirical film in the original widescreen format (1.78:1). My compliments to Buena Vista Entertainment for making the effort to release this film in the format that originally graced theaters and drive-ins in 1975. Not only do the pulse-pounding car race scenes benefit from this, but also the "cramped" dialogue sequences between Annie & Frankenstein are loosened up. Paul Bartel's great direction - not to mention the 2nd unit direction of the race sequences - is really on display here: no longer hacked up in a full-frame format, it's really quite a slick picture. The widescreen presentation really pays off in the flick when the 5 racers initally split up (at about the 10:40 mark) and especially in Calamity Jane's bloodthirsty pursuit of Matilda the Hun (after Matilda's scoring of Jane's navigator). Of course, the explosions benefit immensely as well.

The 10-minute featurette with Roger Corman, Mary Woronov, Martin Kove, and writer Charles Griffith are enlightening, especially Kove's description of his effeminate depiction of Nero the Hero. What is obviously missing, though, are comments from Sylvester Stallone & David Carradine. I'd also have loved to have Roberta Collins' & Fred Grandy's take on the film (odds of that are no better than a snowball's chance in h***, but one can dream can't he?).

I recommend getting this DVD (the Special Edition, released 12-13-05) before it disappears. I have a feeling this may be the best edition we'll see of Death Race 2000 in the DVD format. Enjoy it for what it is - biting satire that could have only been made in the 70's exploitation film days.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Hey, what more can I add that hasn't already been said? When this first came out in lurid color on the Big Screen I loved it. And I love it today after watching it a hundred times. Carnivorous cars driven by caracature cowgals and gangsters, nazis with names like "Mathilda the Hun" and "Herman the German", and a mysterious champion named Frankenstein whose oft-rebuilt face is always masked, not to mention the Resistance, the French Air Force, and all the other "dear friends". Just don't get to like any of them too much. If you've never seen this sick, hilarious parody, get it now. Mr. President will love you for it.
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Format: DVD
I took my younger brothers to see this when it came out and we had a great time at the show. It's low budget to be sure but it's more in keeping with the independent spirit of film making and the punk rock attitude that started circa 1975.
However I can't believe that no one has complained about the con job of the faux widescreen transfer. This edition is just the full frame version with the top and bottom chopped off to make it look like widescreen. My previous full frame edition has more information. Shame on Buena vista for lying to us.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Blu-ray offers a very nice video & audio upgrade from all previous format versions of this, the blackest of cult classic comedies.

THE STORY: In the dystopian future year of 2000, nationally-celebrated racers in wildly insane-looking customized cars throttle across country in the annual Trans-Continental Road Race; America's favorite sport. A thoroughly twisted bonus aspect of this ultra-violent mechanized marathon is that the drivers can score additional points during the race by running down men, women and children! Legendary winner of multiple races... the often crashed & smashed, creamed & reamed but never down & out champion, "Frankenstein" (an appropriately menacing & stoic performance by David 'Kung Fu' Carradine), is the odds on favorite to take the crown once again, but the other blood-thirsty drivers, (a young Sylvester Stallone, in his second starring role, among them), are going to use every nasty, under-handed trick they can to eliminate Frankenstein and capture first place. As if that wasn't enough tension, a small band of government resistance rebels have hatched a plot to stop the Death Race. To this end, they have entrenched a double agent amongst the racers to sabotage the proceedings whenever possible. Their ultimate goal is to unseat the self-appointed Christ-like President of the United States and overthrow the iron-fisted rule of his thoroughly corrupt totalitarian government.

THOUGHTS: Paul Bartel directs this wild, one-of-a-kind, low budget, high speed crashfest with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek. The violence is so over the top that it borders on cartoonish. The motivations of the various (and strictly one-dimensional) characters are uncomplicated & straightforward.
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