I knew what I was getting into when I decided to review Death Race 2050. I knew this movie was going to be batsh*t bananas, I knew this. I somehow wasn’t quite prepared for just HOW bananas it actually was? That should be the end of my review, to be honest. BATSH*T BANANAS, but I’ll go on…
The official synopsis is this: “It’s the year 2050 and America is controlled by an all-powerful corporate government ruled by The Chairman (Malcolm McDowell). The masses have been brainwashed with violent virtual-reality entertainment. The event of the year is the Death Race, in which a motley crew of violent drivers compete in a cross-country road race, scoring points for shamelessly running people over and driving each other off the road. The reigning champion and fan favorite, Frankenstein (Manu Bennett), who’s half-man half-machine, wants to take the crown, but his rebel spy co-pilot threatens his legacy.”
First things first, calling his co-pilot a spy is a really strong use of the word; I would say a nuisance with different interests at heart… but I digress. Sort of because I just want to point out that this lady, Annie Sullivan (as played by Marci Miller) looks like a clone of 90s songstress, Jewel. So relevant to this review, I know.
OK OK OK I’m FOCUSING.
Look… this movie is about a race across the country in which the competitors try to kill the most people because the world is overpopulated and it’s the apocalypse and that’s what you do. What do you really want from a film where that’s the synopsis?
It’s hilariously bad. One of the characters, Minerva Jefferson, has a theme song that she sings which is literally just her saying “Drive drive drive, kill kill kill” over and over again into a gold microphone to a sort of beat. But only sort of.
Manu Bennett is actually not terrible as the cyborg bad boy with questionable motives for participating in the race. His likes include kittens, children, puppies and “spies” with nice butts. Probably also long walks on nuclear beaches.
Death Race 2050 Blu-ray Special Features:
- The Making of 2050 – This featurette goes behind the scenes of Roger Corman’s Death Race 2050 to explore why, over four decades later, the original Death Race 2000 has been remade, including what made this project appealing to cast and crew, what changes have been made, and what fans of the original will still love. Discover the movie magic behind the deaths, stunts and of course — the cars! Includes interviews with stars, director G.J. Echternkamp and Corman himself.
- Cars! Cars! Cars! – Go on the set with the drivers of Death Race 2050 as they introduce their one-of-a-kind killing machines: Frankenstein and his Monster, Perfectus and his Piece of Art, Tammy and the Tank, Minerva and her Sound Box and ABE.
- The Look of 2050 – An insider look at how the film’s visual style came together, including how shooting in Peru helped set the tone of the picture and how the costumes became stars in and of themselves.
Death Race 2050 is a tough one to put a verdict to… While I definitely think that it’s something silly and fun to watch in good company, it’s hard to say that I would RECOMMEND for you to buy it on blu-ray? It feels like one of those movies that B-list film lovers will definitely collect but otherwise, it’s something you could probably wait for on Netflix to watch on a rainy day when you need a laugh.