Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Quick Reviews: Roger Corman's Death Race 2050

In case you confused it with Jean Luc Godard's Death Race 2050, I guess.  My first 2017 Film!
After a few Decades or so, Roger Corman decided to Remake Death Race 2000.  Here's Malcolm McDowell- joy.
In place of all of the Characters but Frankenstein, we get new ones.  One of them is now a Female Rapper, while Matilda the Hun is now 'Tammy the Terrorist.

She's White, Religious and crazy, so....laugh, I guess.
In place of Machine Gun Joe, we get Dolph Ziggler.
Frankenstein is still a Cyborg and still a Hero.  He also resembles the lost Member of Demolition.
With a Death Race across the new United States (enlarge the picture for details) and the same Story as before, who will live and who will die?
Will the Resistance win this time?  They are led by Witchblade (deep cut!) and look like Fury Road Extras, so maybe.

To find out, watch the Film.  The End.
Well, it is certainly better than Death Racers!  This one is about as subtle as a cannon firing a neon-painted clown.  Corman and company don't go for nuance here.  The good part- this is mostly a Remake of a silly, but solid Film.  The bad part- it is mostly a Remake.  As noted, the Characters are changed and some of the Plot is different.  It is not 100% the same Film- granted.  It hits all of the same beats though, so there is not much in the way of surprises for older/more familiar viewers.  Good change- the literal Hand Grenade is gone.  The Film is chock full of more subtle updates- like a Racer being a Self-Driving Car and the Race being viewed through VR- and they help the experience.  Some of the Actors are just hard to replace- mostly Don Steele as the Announcer.  I will say that Manu Bennett does a good job of not just playing Carradine playing Frankenstein here.  His version is full of more apathy and self-doubt, not planning to kill the President right from the start.  His journey from Racer to Hero is a pretty solid one, so kudos to him for making it work.  All in all, Death Race 2050 is a good, silly Film.  It was clearly not made for a fortune, but Corman is the master of making this work.  I'll leave you with one of the Film's many *wacky* Title Cards
If you don't know Death Race 2000, this is a pretty fresh and silly experience.  If you do, it is mostly a bloody and silly rehash.

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