Death Race & Death Race 2000

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Death Race: Year: 2008, Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson(screenplay & screen story), Robert Thom & Charles B. Griffith (1975 screenplay Death Race 2000), Ib Melchior(1975 story Death Race 2000), Director: Paul W.S. Anderson, Budget: $45 million, Gross: $26 198 210 (as of September 4th, 2008)

Death Race 2000: Year: 1975, Writer: Ib Melchior (story),Robert Thom and Charles B. Griffith (as Charles Griffith) (screenplay), Director: Paul Bartel, Budget: $300 000 (estimated), Gross: ?

although technically the new film Death Race is derived from the 1975 film Death Race 2000, they are quite different films. its kind of like when a movie says it is 'inspired' by true events rather then 'this is a true story' or 'based on a true story'.  the one thing they do have in common though is that neither film is that good, but they are both a lot of fun.

i could sit here and sound off on the negatives for each movie...

Death Race: one dimensional characters, not the best script (the voice over at the end of the film is corny and totally unnecessary), lots of typical slow-mo shots of chicks and cars with music playing, etc...

Death Race 2000: bad b-movie acting, some poor special effect (the futuristic city background looks like a 2-dimensional drawing down with crayola crayons), laughable dialogue, etc...

so what made the movies so much fun?

Death Race: cool car racing, lots of action, lots of typical slow-mo shots of chicks and cars with music playing, one dimensional characters, etc...

Death Race 2000: lots of fast cars (although sometimes they looked like they were little hot wheels cars on a road built to scale), bad b-movie acting, some poor special effect (the futuristic city background looks like a 2-dimensional drawing down with crayola crayons), laughable dialogue, etc...

basically, what it came down to for me was that neither film took itself to seriously. when i say that, it isn't to say they both aren't making a point of some kind.  because they both obviously are:  that point being societies destruction, the power of corporations and the all mighty dollar, peoples lust for violence and ability to be controlled.  what i am saying is that the point is obvious and as such it works in the context of such fun yet empty movies.

it isn't like they are trying to do satire here, or make a subtle point.  if that was the case then it wouldn't have worked.  but, by throwing it out there and giving it to us in an out there and in your face movie, i was totally able to just go with it and enjoy the cars, the girls and the action in Death Race and the cars and the b-movie campyness of Death Race 2000.

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