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DVD Review: DEATH RACE 2000

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DEATH RACE 2000 Special Edition

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 78 minutes, audio commentary. featurette, and original theatrical trailer

RELEASE DATE: 12-14-2005

STUDIO: BVHE/ New World Pictures

If you have rented enough movies or seen enough movies on TV, there is a pretty good chance you have come across one of the 400 movies produced by B movie king Roger Corman (he even directed some of the movies). His movies gave chances to many of today's big stars and directors. A Roger Corman production was low budget and yet some of them are cult classics. Buena Vista Home Entertainment has recently secured the rights to release every movie made for Roger Corman's low budget independent movie company to DVD. Whether it is BIG BAD MAMA, ROCK N ROLL HIGH SCHOOL, CAGED HEAT, or even DEATH RACE 2000, I think at least one of roger Corman's films will still exist 500 years from now.

DEATH RACE 2000 is definitely a cult classic. This satire stars David Carradine as Frankenstein in a deadly car race across the USA. He goes up against Sylvester Stallone and others in futuristic cars which are basically bodies built over VW Bugs. People are targets which the drivers get points for if they hit them on the road and off the road. Even fans of the drivers think it is cool to be killed by their favorite driver. DEATH RACE 2000 is the type of film with political commentary and even social commentary. It may be a low budget B picture, but it has the cool of David Carradine (best know for his roles in Kung Fu and Kill Bill). If it wasn't for the way the violence is shown as mostly bloodless and the impacts off screen, DEATH RACE 2000 wouldn't be as effective in addition to the caliber of acting (and the direction fo the late Paul Bartel).

VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Image detail is good, but the print used for the transfer shows a few signs of dirt and grain throughout the film. Sometimes the picture looks great. I do wish they cleaned the picture up a little bit. a little restoration work could have done wonders. Look at how much dirt shows up at the start of Chapter 3.

AUDIO: English 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles: English

Dialogue is clear and the sound is OK despite the fact it is mono.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The audio commentary for DEATH RACE 2000 is with producer Roger Corman and actress Mary Woronov. Roger gives good commentary and I could listen to this guy for hours.

PLAYING THE GAME: LOOKING BACK AT DEATH RACE 2000- this featurette is a look at the cult classic with interviews with Roger Corman, Actor Martin Kove, Actress Mary Woronov, and Writer Charles Griffith. They make comments about how bloody the film would be if it was made now and a few bits about the production (some of the same details are also covered in the commentary) including how bad the costumes were.

The original theatrical trailer is also included. It is in Full Frame and features lots of grain and dirt.

FINAL ANALYSIS: DEATH RACE 2000 is at a good price on DVD, but it is a shame they didn't spend any money in cleaning it up.

this DVD Review is (c)12-25-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com