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Gabriel Gomez
Gabriel Gomez

Death Race

After the "World Crash of '79", massive civil unrest and economic ruin occurs. The United States government is restructured into a totalitarian regime under martial law. To pacify the population, the government has created the Transcontinental Road Race, where a group of drivers race across the country in their high-powered cars and which is infamous for violence, gore, and innocent pedestrians being struck and killed for bonus points. In the year 2000, the five drivers in the 20th annual race, who all adhere to professional wrestling-style personas and drive appropriately themed cars, include Frankenstein, the mysterious black-garbed champion and national hero; Machine Gun Joe Viterbo, a Chicago tough guy gangster; Calamity Jane, a cowgirl; Matilda the Hun, a Neo-Nazi; and Nero the Hero, a Roman gladiator. Machine Gun Joe Viterbo, the second-place champion, is the most determined of all to defeat Frankenstein and win the race.

Death Race

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A resistance group led by Thomasina Paine, a descendant of the 1770s American Revolutionary War hero Thomas Paine, plans to rebel against the regime, currently led by a man known only as Mr. President, by sabotaging the race, killing most of the drivers, and taking Frankenstein hostage as leverage against Mr. President. The group is assisted by Paine's great-granddaughter Annie Smith, Frankenstein's navigator. She plans to lure him into an ambush in order to have him replaced by a double. Despite a pirated national broadcast made by Ms. Paine herself, the Resistance's disruption of the race is covered up by the government and instead blamed on the French, who are also blamed for ruining the country's economy and telephone system. At first, the Resistance's plan seems to bear fruit: Nero the Hero is killed when a "baby" he runs over for points turns out to be a bomb, Matilda the Hun drives off a cliff while following a fake detour route set up by the Resistance, and Calamity Jane, who witnessed Matilda the Hun's death, inadvertently drives over a land mine. This leaves only Frankenstein and Machine Gun Joe Viterbo in the race. As Frankenstein nonchalantly survives every attempt made on his life during the race, Annie comes to discover that Frankenstein's mask and disfigured face are merely a disguise; he is, in fact, one of a number of random wards of the state who are trained exclusively to race under that identity, and each time they die or are brutally mutilated, they are secretly replaced so that Frankenstein appears to be indestructible.

The current Frankenstein reveals to Annie his own plan to kill Mr. President: when he wins the race and shakes hands with Mr. President, he will detonate a grenade which has been implanted in his prosthetic right hand. However, the plan goes awry when Machine Gun Joe Viterbo attacks Frankenstein and Annie is forced to kill him using Frankenstein's "hand grenade". Having successfully outmaneuvered both the rival drivers and the Resistance, Frankenstein is declared the winner of the race, although he is wounded and unable to carry out his original "hand grenade" attack plan. Annie instead dons Frankenstein's costume and plans to stab Mr. President while standing in for him on the podium. Before she is able to do so, Thomasina shoots "Frankenstein", convinced that he killed Annie. The real Frankenstein takes advantage of the confusion and rams Mr. President's stage with his car, finally fulfilling his lifelong desire to kill him. Frankenstein becomes the new president, marries Annie and appoints Thomasina as the Minister of Domestic Security to rebuild the state and dissolve the dictatorship. Junior Bruce, the announcer of the Transcontinental Road Race, opposes the race's abolition and impertinently claims that the public needs performances of violence. Annoyed by his complaints, Frankenstein hits Bruce with his car and drives off with Annie to the cheers and applause of the crowd.

In a 1982 interview, Bartel said, "Most of my guilty pleasures in this film were ripped out by the roots by Roger Corman before the film ever saw the light of day and substituted with crushed heads and blood squibs. Nevertheless, there is a joke about the French wrecking our economy and telephone system that I still find amusing. And I am pleased by the scene introducing the Girl Fan (played very effectively by my sister Wendy) who is to sacrifice herself beneath the wheels of David Carradine's race car and wants to meet him so that the gesture will have 'meaning'."[6]

Roger Ebert gave the film zero stars in his review, deriding its violence and lamenting its appeal to small children.[16] However, during a review of The Fast and the Furious on Ebert & Roeper and the Movies, Ebert named Death Race 2000 as part of a "great tradition of summer drive-in movies" that embrace a "summer exploitation mentality in a clever way".[17] While Ebert hinted that he did not find the film as awful decades later as he did in 1975, he made it plain he would not alter or disavow his original zero-stars rating for it either.[18][19] He also gave a scathing review of the 2008 sort-of-remake Death Race.

Towards the end of a race, a masked driver nicknamed Frankenstein is nearing the finish line, pursued by his rival Machine Gun Joe. His navigator, Case, reports that all of his defensive weapons have malfunctioned. Against her protests, Frankenstein refuses to let Joe finish first. Case ejects herself out of the car just before Joe destroys it as it crosses the finish line.

Six months later, Jensen is transferred to Terminal Island Prison. Hennessey's second in-command Ulrich calls Jensen to her office. She tells him that Frankenstein had died from the injuries he received at the end of the previous race, and offers to let Jensen go free if he drives Frankenstein's car to win one more race. Jensen accepts the offer and meets Frankenstein's maintenance crew consisting of Coach, Gunner, and Lists; they explain to Jensen that Hennessey wants him to become Frankenstein to rebuild the profits and audience of "Death Race", which has halved since Frankenstein's "disappearance".

On the first day of the three day race, Jensen meets Case. During the race his vehicle's defensive equipment again mysteriously malfunctions. Jensen is distracted and blindsided by Joe when he sees Pachenko perform the same hand gesture at him as the masked assailant, causing Jensen to realize it was Pachenko who killed his wife. Jensen confronts Pachenko and attacks him after the race - prompting Pachenko to admit the truth: Hennessey ordered him to frame Jensen, so she can have a replacement for Frankenstein. On the second day, Jensen threatens to eject Case unless she explains the truth about the malfunctions. Case admits she sabotaged Frankenstein's car to keep him from winning and leaving Death Race, in exchange for her release papers. Jensen then tricks Pachenko into slamming his car head-on into a concrete barrier, and exits the car to snap Pachenko's neck. He and Joe then collaborate to destroy a multi-weapon tanker truck called the "Dreadnought", which was added to boost ratings, after the tanker massacres most of the surviving racers, much to the warden's fury. By the end of the second race day, all racers except Jensen and Joe are killed. Hennessey orders Ulrich to plant a bomb underneath Jensen's car in case he wins, knowing she can always find another person to impersonate Frankenstein. Jensen, who has realized Hennessey never intended to let anyone win their freedom from the start, approaches Joe after the race, suggesting they talk.

On the final race, Hennessey deliberately allows Joe to open fire on Jensen's car while rendering Jensen unable to retaliate. Jensen contacts Joe, suggesting they collaborate again, whereupon they destroy and drive through a weakened wall. Hennessey activates the bomb, but does not know it was removed and disassembled by Coach. She orders helicopters to pursue, but Jensen jumps out of the car as Case takes his place. Case is captured while Joe and Jensen escape on a freight train. Hennessey later opens a present sent due to record-breaking ratings, finding it to be the bomb she planted on Jensen's car. Coach detonates the bomb, killing Hennessey and Ulrich. He then turns to the audience and says "I love this game!" Six months later and 2000 miles away, Joe and Jensen, reunited with Piper, are shown working in Mexico as mechanics, and are soon reunited with Case.

In March 2005, following the success of Alien vs. Predator (2004), director Paul W. S. Anderson revealed that he was directing a remake of Death Race 2000 (1975) entitled Death Race 3000 at Paramount Pictures based on a script by J. F. Lawton. The remake would be produced by the producer pair Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner. Anderson described the remake as a riff on the first film. "It's not a straight remake at all. The first movie was an across-America race. This will be an around-the-world race. And it's set further in the future, so the cars are even more futuristic. So you've got cars with rockets, machine guns, force fields; cars that can split apart and re-form, a bit like Transformers. Cars that become invisible," the director explained.[7] reported that "Paul saw his film almost as a prequel if anything; almost the genesis of the Death Race",[8] though the film is referred to primarily as a remake in reviews and marketing materials.

The Death Race series is a car combat franchise encompassing a series of films and other media centered on a reality show set in a prison, where inmates race against each other in order to win their freedom.

Death Race 2000 is a 1975 cult action film. In the near future, the ultimate sporting event is the Death Race. Contestants score points for running people down as they speed across the country. The sport has crazed fans who sacrifice themselves to the drivers. A covert group is trying to bring an end to the immoral Death Race and has infiltrated one of their followers into the race as a navigator of the top driver. In the end, the lives of the competitors, the President and the Death Race itself are in peril. 041b061a72


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