Director: Paul Bartel
Date Released: April 27th, 1975
Date Seen: June 26th, 2013
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
A movie that has been parodied or referenced hundreds of times that follows a “Death Race” across the United States. Innocent bystanders are worth points – depending on their age and gender. We get to watch 5 cars drive across the USA, racking up points – like you always dream of doing in your own car. Sylvester Stallone and David Carradine are both young and amazing in this movie. Stallone is odd to look at, just because it’s when he pre-face lift, so it is quite an odd sight for someone of my age, who only ever sees his super stretched out face.
The movie is quite hilarious and a fun watch. Some scenes are so cheesy, such as death scenes, and the effects are decent for the year it was made. They add to the charm of the movie, but date it – obviously – but no more than the exceedingly ridiculous clothing choices do. There are also some boobies, and a kind of side-bush at one quick glance. It’s a scene that is already completely awkward – all of the racers and their navigators are completely naked getting massages after the first leg of the race. But then, in the very next scene, the awkward is taken to a whole new level with Carradine, semi-nude, dancing around in just his Frankenstein mask and some tight black undies. The movie has a number of great moments like that.
The plot is very basic – they try to add in a basic plot line about a rebellion against the current president, that is under-developed. I would have rather they just NOT had it at all and focused more on the race and the game. Like why the game came to be, more about the scoring system, what the public feels about it overall. We really just got a one-sided look at this “rebellion” so we had to be team rebellion. This was one of my issues with the movie. But still, it was good.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review/Synopsis
There’s an ok synopsis here.
I think I could have won this race, because sometimes the racers were idiots. For example, early on, they all start fighting for a lead and hitting each others cars. Since points affect your overall score and who wins – I’d just go to a town and start mowing people down rather than wasting time on my competitors. Or, I’d just chill out, wait for them to get kind of ahead, then go on my killing rampage.
Jane seemed to have a big anger problem, which ultimately led to her downfall. We see pretty quickly that the woman has quite possibly the worst aim EVER. She takes about 20 tries to kill the guy with the bull cape! Seriously lady, how could you skate by him that many times when he wasn’t even moving? Then later, she dies because rather than keep going down the straight, paved road, she chases down ONE motorcycle guy out of anger. Males are the least amount of points – skip them unless they’re easy! He wasn’t.
The crazy fans willing to kill themselves for Frankenstein were creepy. I’m surprised they didn’t all do it, but whatever. That was just insane. I did like, however, the men that were playing chicken with the cars. They all stood out, above a manhole, then each jumping in when they chickened out. They all end up dying – which is hilarious, and kind of reminded me of the Three Stooges… or maybe it was just one of those three guys hair reminded me of them… whatever.
The best scene is when Frankenstein slowly unzips his jacket in front of a completely butt naked Annie, and stands there, talking about how he was brought up to be this years Frankenstein, etc. etc. Then he just takes her, on the bed. It was so funny, I watched it over and over about 20 times. Seriously, that was comedic gold. He’s so serious, and so amazing at unzipping that jacket. It takes real skills people, you don’t even know.
I didn’t mind any of the characters, although Mrs. Payne annoyed me the whole movie. I hated her the first time you met her, I hated her when she wanted to go see Frankenstein die. I especially hated her when she idiotically shot Frankenstein INSTEAD OF THE PRESIDENT (remember, she wanted Frankenstein to use as a bargaining tool to GET to the president to kill him…), and then I hated her even more at the end of the movie. Someone asks her “what do you thing about rebels (in your new government that you’re a head party member of)”. She responds “I’ll just tell them if you don’t like it, then you can just go find somewhere else to live”…. so, in other words, don’t do exactly what she herself just did. Idiot. I don’t like her.
It’s all in all just a fun, hilariously cheesy, violent, crap fest, with a decent attempt at a plot. Give it a watch, it’s worth it.