For those of you who were big fans of Roger Corman’s 1975 schlock film Death Race 2000, you can consider yourself really lucky because in just a few months there will be a new film that will unquestionably delight fans of the B-movies that have made Corman such a household name in the geek community, especially since this new movie is going to be a sequel to the 1975 classic film (starring the late David Carradine) and will have absolutely NOTHING to do with the 2008 remake Death Race by W.S. Anderson as well as its two direct-to-video sequels, Death Race 2 and Death Race 3: Inferno. This new film is definitely a return to the tone of the original film in a big way, and we have the trailer down below.
Produced by Corman and directed by G.J. Echternkamp, Death Race 2050 takes place in a future where the United States has been carved up by corporations and where the most popular event in the nation is a cross-country race where drivers get extra points for taking down pedestrians. It was a pitch-black concept in 1975 and it can’t help but feel even darker now, which makes the cartoonish tone and slapstick comedy all the more jarring. The original film is the kind of movie that invites you to compare it to various science fiction dystopia films and The Three Stooges in the same breath. It has no right to exist and the mere fact that it does makes it worth checking out.
As previously stated, the new sequel looks very much in line with the original: extremely low-budget but also pretty wild, and there is some hope that the final movie (which is going straight to Blu-ray and VOD) captures the lunatic energy and remorseless, mean-spirited comedy of the original.
Despite taking place fifty years after the first movie, the official synopsis describes a movie that might as well be a remake, but that’s perfectly okay:
In the not-too-distant future, America is controlled by an all-powerful corporate government that keeps the masses placated with violent virtual-reality entertainment. The event of the year is the Death Race, where a motley assortment of drivers compete in a cross-country road race, scoring points for running down pedestrians and killing each other. The reigning champion and popular favorite is half-man, half-machine Frankenstein — but little does he know he’s taken on a rebel spy as his co-pilot.
The film’s cast includes Manu Bennett (of Spartacus and Arrow fame) as Frankenstein, the popular driver previous played by David Carradine and Jason Statham. Malcolm McDowell, one of our least-picky great actors, plays the chief villain, simply know as the Chairman.
Death Race 2050 will arrive on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD on January 17, 2017.
You’ve seen the trailer now. Is this a fun looking throwback to Corman’s 1975 film? Is this also an indication that audiences are growing weary of the dark, gritty dystopia that filled movie houses for several years for films that are lighter (despite still being dystopic) in tone?
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