In the year 2050 America’s national sport continues to be a hard core Wacky Races.
The black leather clad Manu Bennett stars as the fan favourite half human/cyborg Frankenstein who must travel across cartoon United States in fibreglass cars with four other competitors running down pedestrians of various ages scoring points in order to survive.
The country is controlled by an all-powerful corporate government using virtual-reality (i.e. black swimming goggles) that’s renders the masses zombie like. Ruled over by Malcolm McDowell’s “picking up an easy paycheck” The Chairman who’s channelling his inner Trump mixed with costuming from The Hunger Games.
Death Race 2050 directed by G.J. Echternkamp and co written with Matt Yamashita much like the original has flash moments of carmageddon. But its bogged down in extremely forced satire attacking modern music, corporate america, terrorism and devout Christians.
This film was an irritating blue screen mess of a cinematic experience to sit through, but even for a Roger Corman movie it felt even cheaper, clunkier and ramshackle than usual. The no name cast alongside screen veteran McDowell & Hard Target’s Yancy Bulter try their best with what they’ve been given with the horrible dialogue but sadly they’ve got the acting ability of Madam Tussaud waxworks.
When I saw the trailer a few months back for this movie I had some excitement and hope it might be as fun as the original as it served as my introduction to the “King of the B picture” Roger Corman’s work. The much respected producer gave many of Hollywood’s top actors & director their industry break.
The sequel idea came to Corman after a journalist brought up the similarities between his 70s classic and The Hunger Games. The seasoned producer pitched the idea to Universal Studios of returning to the satiric nature of Death Race that was omitted from the ’08 reboot in place of action thrills.
But who is this film for? Is it for fans of the older movie like me in which that had Sylvester Stallone in an early co-starring role or will new viewers be attracted to this campy comedy throwback? I doubt it in a world where more thrilling car orientated action movies franchise’s involving Vin Diesel & Dwayne Johnson or the Jason Statham 2008 Death Race directed by Paul W.S Anderson exist.
The disc contains a decent amount of behind the scenes extras alongside rightfully cut deleted scenes.
Dir: G. J. Echternkamp
Scr:G. J. Echternkamp,Matt Yamashita
Pro: Roger Corman
Cast:Manu Bennett,Malcolm McDowell,Marci Miller,Burt Grinstead,Folake,Olowofoyeku,Anessa Ramsey,Yancy Butler
Edit: G. J. Echternkamp,Steve Ansell
Music: Gunter Brown,Cindy Brown
Run time: 93 minutes
Death Race 2050 available on Dual Format now