Roger Corman announced a new sequel to his insane cult 1974 movie ‘Death Race 2000’ a short while back and it is about to hit a DVD shop near you. (If there still is such a thing near you.) Death Race 2050 is set in a world ruled by a crazed tyrant with mad hair and where there is a need to keep the overpopulated planet distracted with ever more elaborate and distracting entertainment. So it could be set a lot nearer in time. The drivers race across America and get points by coming first, killing each other, and killing pedestrians – many of whom are willing groupies.
There have been some recent Death Race sequels – the first featuring Jason Statham and the other two with Luke Goss – so what is the point of this you may ridiculously ask? I rewatched the Statham one the other day and it was damn good fun. I have seen the other two as well and vaguely remember enjoying them, so I can only conclude they too were fun, but fairly forgettable. As you will know if you have seen the original Corman Death Race and the new-fangled ones, they are incredibly utterly different and that is putting it mildly. In fact the director of “Death Race Statham” (Paul W.S. Anderson) said that it was actually a prequel to the 1974 version. Which makes a lot of sense. Consequently, Death Race 2050 is a direct sequel to the original and it satisfyingly ‘on message’ with its continued bat-shit craziness and 70s aesthetic.
This new straight-to-video movie stars the awesome Malcolm McDowell (ideal for these roles) as the President, and the always good value Manu Bennett as Frankenstein. I am hoping this will come out on some streaming platform or other as they have kept the look of the 70s version and I don’t think a Bluray will be needed. Enjoy the superb madness of the Death Race 2050 trailer: