Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Death Race 2000

     If movies like Rollerball, Logan's Run, and Soylent Green have taught us anything, it's that the future looks an awful lot like the 1970s. And, moreover, that things are going to be awfully violent. 
      The good news is this world of undying 70s aesthetic also comes equipped with coolest damn cars ever; from Calamity Jane's roadster sporting horns and a bull-ring, to Machine Gun Joe Viterbo's convertible, replete with tommy gun headlights and cartoonishly oversized hunting knife hood ornament. The bad news is that these badass cars are gunning for you (no pun intended). The national sport is never explained down to its finest detail, but it consists of some combination of driving from the East Coast to the West Coast in a race, and running over as many people as possible for points; babies and old people are worth the most, by the way. How Americans went from baseball to vehicular manslaughter is presented in a very ham-fisted set of social commentaries about our fascination with violence. The preachiness, however, is short and completely overshadowed by sped-up film segments of the cars and the luckless schmoes that unwittingly find themselves on the road during this national event... and the even more luckless shmucks that dare the harbingers of four-wheeled death (spoiler: if you tease a 200mph dragon car, you will not live to tell your grandchildren about it).
     Sylvester Stallone turns in an early gem as the raging asshole Machine Gun Joe. All four female participants get topless. There's a solid amount of blood spilled and explosions. There are hilariously memorable segments and lines without it being a one-liner fest. And, in this writer's humble opinion, there is a good example of how we can make our nation's flag look even more awesome. Oh, and the main character's name is Frankenstein, and is played by David Carradine! It's all enough to make you wish there really was a World Crash of 1979.

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