Sunday, August 24, 2008

MOVIES: Deathrace 2008

One of the worst excesses of the 70's was a piece of bad movie-making by actually really good movie people called Death Race 2000. Roger Corman made the movie and helped (hindered?) the careers of stars like Sylvester Stallone and David Carradine. Character actors like Mary Woronov and Martin Kove, as well as future Love Boater and politician Fred Grandy were on board. And John Landis and director Paul Bartell both did walk-ons. It was Corman Crap at its best.

It was also the movie I was treated to on my 19th birthday by Therese Sullivan. Therese was in her rebellious phase at the time, taking up with me after her sister Kathy and I parted. Didn't last long. But I have fond memories of the future Mrs. Kevin West and martial artist.

So, forgive me if I remember the movie a little more positively than most. A video-game of the future come to life, the movie was basically a Cannonball Run rip-off with the added 'feature' of points-scoring by mowing down pedestrians. The more politically-incorrect the 'victim,' the higher the point score. Some of it was flinch-inducing, not for the comedic violence, but for the sheer bad taste. It wasn't until the end when the unctuous announcer bites the tire that you feel good about any points being scored.

This Death Race movie shares a name with its putative parent. Tricked out cars too. End of connection. I've got no reason to see it, since it's nothing but jibber-jabber followed by car explosions. It'd bore me to tears.

Might be worth pulling out the old VHS tape of the original though. Afterall, Corman knew back then to leaven his violence with at least a little bit of sex.

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