Hollywood Movies

How Roger Corman’s sick, bloody Death Race 2000 drove Hollywood crazy

May 13, 20242 Mins Read

Dystopian thrill rides to the death have since become their own cliché. Yet Death Race 2000 arguably went further than any of its peers – to a Kubruckian place where violence and satire were horrifically intertwined. Featuring mowed-down pensioners and a car decorated like a bull goring a matador it committed fully to its luridness. Not even the more iconic Mad Max could match it for excess (Mad Max creator George Miller would openly acknowledge his debt to Corman). 

As with many pulp masterpieces the storyline is essentially non-existent. Racers bearing wrestler-style stage names speed from New York to New Los Angeles. En route, bonus points are scored for mowing down pedestrians. A teenager is worth 40, a toddler 70. Women carry an automatic 10 point bonus. The biggest prize of all, however, are the over 75s – worth 100 points. 

Along with the shock factor there was an impressive cast. David Carradine – future muse of Quentin Tarantino – portrayed anti-hero Frankenstein. Carradine, then 29, was one of the biggest stars on television on the back of his recently concluded martial arts show, Kung Fu. He was able to leverage an extraordinary deal from the notoriously tightfisted Corman by which he received 10 per cent of the box office gross. 

Stallone played the boorish “Machine Gun” Joe. Woronov was “Wild West” driver Calamity Jane. Woronov was a counterculture celebrity by dint of her membership of Andy Warhol’s retinue at the Factory in New York. It is doubtful Warhol could ever have imagined for her a canvas half as barking as Death Race 2000. Her car was decorated to resemble a horned steer and at one point, she ran down a bull fighter, duly showered in fake blood.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts


Get our latest downloads and information first.
Complete the form below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.