Our reality is becoming really impossible to satirize, because any nonsense that is elaborated can end up falling short with some real things that happen. Even movies released decades ago, which were seen as complete bullshit for showing an exaggerated future in an even more exaggerated way, now turn out to be quite consistent with our day to day, or quite close.
Things like ‘Mad Max. Freeway savages’ do not fall entirely into this category, but without a doubt they increasingly seem to fall short of describing the collective psychosis we are experiencing. noses, until things that were looking for the funny absurdity of a cartoon or a comic strip are now up to a high comment of the moment. It’s a bit like the cult classic ‘Death Race 2000’.
Roger Corman’s factory -to whom we almost owe the existence of many of our favorite filmmakers- is in charge of bringing us this crazy and hilarious film with David Carradine, Sylvester Stallone, Simone Griffeth and even Don Steele that we can enjoy on Amazon Prime Video (also in Filmin). A fabulous piece of series B ahead of phenomena such as ‘The Hunger Games’, which develops some of its ideas in a format halfway between ‘Speed Racer’ and ‘The Wacky Races’.
Here he shows us the year 2000 seen from 1975, with a society that has degenerated so much that neo-Nazis have become the most powerful demographic group and have put in power a totalitarian madman who manages to keep the citizenry (the public?) entertained. thanks to a crazy concept: a deadly race where running over while driving is not a crime, it’s the national sport.
The pairs of drivers carry deadly racing cars with which they must run over pedestrians and obtain points (the more unprotected, the more points). And around the races a huge media circle is set up, where athletes are as hailed as they are hated (in the case of Stallone’s character it is even a motto). An opportunity to denounce the totalitarian drifts of society, the cult of celebrity and the exploitation of sports circuits that preceded the saga of books by Suzanne Collins.
‘The death race of the year 2000’: deadly nonsense
I could try to make an effort to make connections with what is shown in this fabulous satire by Paul Bartel with the present we live in, but even people like Donald Trump have already made the parallels evident. They have managed to a crazy and playful series B of the seventies has become social realism in very few steps.
But beyond that, the film has a good number of virtues that make it quite an entertaining cannon shot. From a successful Carradine and Stallone who know what movie they are in to the satirical tone raised to 11 with darts well thrown, ‘The death race of the year 2000’ makes low-budget glory without worrying about looking ridiculous and without giving time to bore with its well-measured 80 minutes. One of those cannon shots that go in by themselves.
In Espinof | The best sports movies in history | The best cult movies of all time