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Death Race 2000 (1975)

Death Race 2000

“In the year 2000, hit and run driving is no longer a felony. It’s the national sport!”
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Death Race 2000 is a 1975 American cult science fiction action film directed by Paul Bartel, and starring David Carradine, Simone Griffeth and Sylvester Stallone. The film takes place in a dystopian American society in the year 2000, where the murderous Transcontinental Road Race has become a form of national entertainment.

In the year 2000 the United States has been destroyed by a financial crisis and a military coup. Political parties have collapsed into a single Bipartisan Party, which also fulfills the religious functions of a unified church and state. The resulting fascist police state, the United Provinces, is headed by the cult figure ‘Mr. President’ (Sandy McCallum). The people are kept satisfied through a stream of gory gladiatorial entertainment, which includes the bloody spectacle of the Annual Transcontinental Road Race, depicted as a symbol of American values and way of life. The coast-to-coast, 3 day race is run on public roads, and points are scored not just for speed, but for the number of innocent pedestrians struck and killed.

Frankenstein (David Carradine) is the most celebrated racer and is the government’s champion. He is reputed to be part machine, rebuilt after many crashes. He regularly battles with the other teams, particularly ‘Machine Gun’ Joe Viterbo (Sylvester Stallone), who hates being second.

The film is set at the start of the 20th annual race, during which a resistance group led by Thomasina Paine (Harriet Medin), a lineal descendant of Thomas Paine, one of the original American revolutionaries of the 1770s, is attempting to assassinate Frankenstein and replace him with one of their agents. The ‘Resistance’ is assisted by Paine’s great granddaughter Annie (Simone Griffeth), Frankenstein’s navigator, who is intending to lure him into a planned ambush where he is to be replaced by a double. Disruption of the race by the Resistance is blamed on the French by the state, who are also blamed for ruining the country’s economy and telephone system.

Summary via Wikipedia.