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03.25.2017
Death Race 2050 (2017)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger
01.23.17

Death Race 2050 (2017) In the near future corporations have taken over America, which is now called "The United Corporations of America". In charge of it is The Chairman (Michael McDowell), who says "The only thing that can kill an American is another American". There's overpopulation, mass unemployment and a form of popular entertainment for the masses is the Death Race. The Race spans from the East to West Coast and along the way a lot of pedestrians are killed. We're introduced to the drivers. There's the cocky Jed Perfectus, a genetically modified human, the Rapper Minerva (who is smarter than you think she is), Tammy the Terrorist, an artificial intelligence called ABE and of course Frankenstein (Manu Bennett of SPARTACUS). All of the drivers also have a proxy-a passenger who wears a virtual reality camera so the fans, wearing their VR gear, can pretend they're in the bloody race.

First, they drive through the Eastern Fallout Zone (formerly New Jersey). In the first ten minutes Frankenstein takes off his black leather mask. His proxy, Annie, is surprised because no one has ever seen him without it. His response is "it itches!". Then, they race through Shitville (formerly Baltimore), Biscuit Planet (formerly Virginia) and the Appalachian Desert (formerly Kentucky) while the Resistance, led by Yancy Butler of the last few LAKE PLACID movies, try to sabotage them. Of course, all of this landscape looks like Southern California. There's plenty of action and over-the-top killing scenes. Frankenstein, though, seems to have a conscience. Instead of killing a group of handicapped children left out on the road he swerves off lane and plows through their parents instead.

This is a perfect followup to Paul Bartel's original DEATH RACE 2000 (1975), as it has the same themes and tone. I did like the serious 2008 remake and its sequels, but this is far more fun. It also made me realize how much the original film has influenced so many other movies, particularly THE HUNGER GAMES franchise, so much so that DEATH RACE 2050 seems like a spoof of those films. Highly recommended.

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