Wednesday, June 25, 2014

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! DEATH RACE 2000 starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone (1975)

Gawrsh how I love these feel good movies! And if there was any moom pitcher out there to make you want to stand up 'n salute the flag 'n cherry bomb a few chickens while yer at it it's a film like this 'un. Yez, the exact same DEATH RACE 2000 that Paul Marotta drove Mike Weldon to the drive in to see because Mike didn't have a car, and they were the only ones inna place who were watching the danged screen 'stead of what was inside their honey's underwear ifyaknowaddamean...

Post-apocalyptic dysfunctional stories whether they be in comic or film form usually do capture my fancy, and this 'un certainly does especially since it's being played for the sick guffaws as much as it is for the cathartic violence. In the year 2000 (which looks like a modernistic mid-seventies the same way THE JETSONS just reeked a space age future with all of the accoutrements of 1962), the national sport is not Rollerball but a cross-country race with the team who racks up the most kills getting the additional points. Frankenstein's the two time winner longing for number three while Machine Gun Joe Viterbo, Frankenstein's bitter rival, is just itching at the bit to take the #1 spot and off Frankenstein in the process. The rest of these real-life Wacky Racers (and racists, can't forget the aryan chick whose sidekick's none other'n future senator Fred Grandy from THE LOVE BOAT) are pretty unique in themselves, the most memorable 'un being the sexoid Mary Woronov as Calamity Jane who's so vicious you'd think (hope?) she'd bring back the old Gerard Malanga whip dance 'n do it on some of her rivals but good!

Giving us the ol' play-by-play are this Rona Barrett clone who calls everyone her dear friend and a grizzled old coot loosely based on all of those old evening newscasters who peppered the screen for years, not to mention legendary deejay Don Steele as the over-rambunctious announcer who breaks into programming with glee whenever one of the racers "scores" by offing anyone from a road construction worker to some little kid who happens to be crossing the street by himself for the first time.

But don't worry, because other'n one brief skullcrush the violence in DEATH RACE 2000 is relatively tame and always played up for laughs, so when you see alla 'em old folks lined up onna street just waiting for Frankenstein to run 'em over he does the unexpected and drives through the hospital entrance tossing the entire medical staff inna air! And you'll be up 'n cheering too feeling just like you did when you heard about that kid in school who got back at that bully by blowing his head off with daddy's rifle when you see the cars going neck and neck heading for that next target which could either be another easy sixty points or perhaps that great pathway to Valhalla (y'see, there are sinister elements out to stop the race, something which figures very heavily into the overall plot which I dare not reveal because I ain't one of those film critics you used to read in TIME magazine!).

Yeah, I gotta admit that there are some slow moments (like the typical slobberin' scenes) and I sure coulda used a whole lot more bloody violence to get my adrenalin pumping because man, I was sure hoping that one kid rolling the tire down the road woulda gotten splattered (and while I'm onna roll, howzbout some good ol' fashioned controversy like different points for different races which really woulda gotten the fights starting in your favorite urban palace!), but nothing since HENRY, PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER's got me up and cheering in the ol' John Wayne tradition like this! One that not only woulda been worth sneakin' outta the house (age 12) to peek at while stationed in the woods in back of the drive in theater (don't forget the binoculars!), but worth the whallopin' you were gonna get once you came home late!

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