Death Race 2000: A Movie Review

“Death Race 2000” is a cult classic that was made by cult film maker Paul Bartel; some feel that this film is superior to the film “Rollerball”, which came out around the same time as this and features a dystopian setting. It stars David Carradine, Simone Griffeth, Sandy McCallum, and a pre “Rocky” Sylvester Stallone as “Machine-Gun” Joe Viterbo.

The film is about racers who try to earn the most points by hitting people in their cars, with a different amount of points being awarded depending upon who the racers hit. Babies and the physically challenged are two types; hitting these two types will also give the racer more points. The race is broadcasted through homes throughout the United States. The whole idea for the races was thought up by the American dictator known as “Mister President”. It features racing characters who are just replaced (sort of like on soap operas) once the current racer has reached the end of the line.

Some of the characters include Frankenstein, Matilda the Hun, Calamity Jane, Herman the German, Nero the Hero, and “Machine-Gun” Joe Viterbo. Joe is dressed like a gangster from a James Cagney movie, Frankenstein is dressed in a helmet and body suit to cover his large injuries, and Herman the German & Matilda the Hun are Nazis. Not only do these characters have great names, but they have great costumes to match. Joining these racers are their navigators who help them through the course, telling them where the best place to go is.

This is a film that is a B movie, but that does not mean that it is bad, not by any stretch. It has cheesy characters and dialogue, but it does not matter. The idea that there is a show (essentially a reality show) in the future that has racers going across the country running different kinds of people for points that is watched by just about everyone, is interesting. I have always been fascinated by people enjoying watching a show with people killing each other. At the time this movie came out, the United States having people kill each other for sport was not done to death like it has been now.

However, this is a film that is not to be taken too seriously, and really only to be watched for the humor that is evident in some of the comedic scenes and the hilarious commentary provided by the “Real” Don Steele, he provides many one liners throughout the film that will keep you laughing. It’s great to watch too, all these racers with their ability to carry a character and be a driver, all at the same time.

The film holds up pretty well, for being over forty years old now. When you want to see the origin for all of these films being made about dystopian worlds made up of bloodthirsty people wanting to watch real people kill each other on their tvs, this was one of the first. And one of the best.

10 Car-Based Vehicular Combat Games: Part 2

6. “Twisted Metal: Head-On” (2005)

This game is the seventh installment in the highly acclaimed “Twisted Metal” series. Calypso is holding yet another tournament of vehicular combat called “Twisted Metal” with the prize for the winner getting whatever they ask for.

7.”Vigilante 8″ (1998)

Vigilante 8 Screen Cap -1998
Vigilante 8 Screen Cap -1998

In this game, you can pick from different ballistics type weapons (auto cannons, mortars, mines, homing missiles, and rocket pods); there is a special weapon that comes with each car. Machine guns are equipped on all cars. You can perform certain button maneuvers, fighting game style, that will take more of your ammo to “Total” other cars and score combo hits called Whammies.

8. “Carmageddon” (1997)

Carmageddon Screen Cap - 1998
Carmageddon Screen Cap – 1998

Inspired by the cult classic “Death Race 2000” that pits the player against A.I. competitors with different maps that vary from industrial, mine, and city settings. You only have a certain amount of time to complete each level, but you have the ability to gain more time by picking up bonuses, running over pedestrians or damaging your opponent’s car. You can either complete the races like other normal races by finishing first or you can waste the other racer’s cars and kill all pedestrians in the level.

9. “Badlands” (1989)

The setting is the aftermath of nuclear war where you race around the wastelands that have many hazards. The races include you and two other cars that are armed with guns, with the goal being to win prizes throughout the games. You can get better tires, more speed, more acceleration, and cannons. Between levels, you have the option to add missiles to your car to destroy your opponents’s car.

10. “Twisted Metal” (2012)

The most recent entry in the series (and on this list), you can now take all the things that the old games had and play with other people from around the world with multiplayer. You also have the ability to play as three different characters that each have a different story arc. The game is mainly a multiplayer game with different multiplayer modes that allow you to play in either four player split screen or sixteen players online.

Note that this list is not a best of list, but simply a list of ten games that are vehicular based combat games.

10 Car-Based Vehicular Combat Games: Part 1

Though not made very much anymore, vehicular combat racing games used to be made quite a bit, especially in the 1990s. The games feature either a demolition derby style contest or races where you can try and destroy your other racers’s cars before they have a chance to cross the finish line. This is a list of ten such games.

1. “Twisted Metal” (1995)

Twisted Metal Screen Cap (1995)
Twisted Metal Screen Cap (1995)

The very first game in the series featuring Calypso’s vehicular based combat tournament. This game allows you to use different weapons to battle your opponents.

2. “Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense” (1999)

Released the very next year after the first “Viglante 8” game, this game is almost the same as the first, but added in is a two-player cooperative mode and Grand Melee Deathmatch mode. The game introduced a Salvage Points system that allows players to collect points from the cars they have destroyed to be able to upgrade their vehicles for the next race. The cars, when fully upgraded will have a completely different outer appearance.

3. “Rogue Trip: Vacation 2012” (1998)

Rogue Trip Vacation Screen Cap -1998
Rogue Trip Vacation Screen Cap -1998

A demo derby game that allows the use of ballistics weapons. This game is just like “Twisted Metal” (it uses the same engine and concept). You hijack different tourists and show them the sights. You can also make money by destroying different parts of the scenery, which can be spent on upgrading health and weapons.

4. “Twisted Metal: Black” (2001)

In this, the fifth installment in the series, you have the ability to use ballistic projectiles. You can choose the vehicle and the arena that you want to use to do battle with your other competitors. Throughout the stage, there are different weapons and upgrades that you can pick up throughout the level to help you. The winner is the one who is able to be the last one standing throughout the level. Calypso is running another contest with it’s same first prize of whatever the winner wants. This game is set in a city called Midtown, and most of the competitors coming from the local mental asylum known as “Blackfield”.

5. “Wipeout” (1995)

The first game in the series, “Wipeout” is set in the year of 2052, racers compete in the F3600 anti-gravity racing league where you pilot a craft that you get to choose on different tracks around the world. At the time, the game was unique for it’s futuristic setting, and the weapons used to slow down or destroy your opponents.