Director: G.J. Echternkamp
Writers: G.J. Echternkamp, Matt Yamashita
Stars: Manu Bennett, Malcolm McDowell, Marci Miller
Plot: In the year 2050 the planet has become overpopulated, to help control population the government develops a “Death Race.” Annually competitors race across the country scoring points for killing people with their vehicles.
Running Time: 90 Minutes
IMDB Score: 3.7
Why I Watched It: Well did you see Roger Corman’s name before the title, heck that’s reason enough.
Random Thoughts: Now I’m not sure if this is Roger Corman’s sequel to his Death Race 2000 or if this connects to the Death Race movies that happened later or if 2050 is just a continuing saga. Seeing the 3.7 on IMDB i get the feeling audience don’t get what a Roger Corman movie was, now to be fair times have really changed but I do think people have lost their sense of humour when it comes to bad B-Movies. Trust me I can be harsh with films but with something like Death Race 2050 it’s meant to be a throw back grind house movie, no budget and just wacky crap. Films like this are just made to be fun and the saving grace is they don’t take themselves that seriously.
What I Liked: I was surprised that the acting was decent to good in this, the standout for me was Manu Bennett, after seeing him in this I would sign up for him being the lead in a made for DVD action movie, he’s a good actor and he was charisma and also a comic timing, he was a lot of fun as Frankenstein he was able to bring out a more human side, I like the fact that they got rid of the mass quickly in this one. Also I have to praise Malcom McDowell he’s a genre legend and he’s game for anything and he always seems to be having fun, honestly he doesn’t seem to be sleepwalking even in this role where it’s way over the top he somehow grounds it with sheer will. Also a shout out to Yancy Butler, a genre Queen who is another one who is having fun.
The racing is fine here, the kills are cheap but not badly done and I do like they have fun with the whole points for kills that they do keep score and it’s treated like a game. The one thing going for the look of this film is that if you just look at it, it does look like a 70′s B-Movie. I also want to say this film is a crazy action movie but it’s full of satire and some social comment, basic but it’s there.
What I Didn’t Like: It’s cheap and looks it and some of the tech stuff feels below average, some of the supporting actors are pretty bad. The main complaint of the film is that it is what you thought it would be. There is hardly an character work here, this is as close to a live action cartoon as you’re going to get with that it does have a bit of charm but in the end it’s not a great movie.
I also think they might have been better severed if they went more balls out action and less social commentary cause by the end it’s not about the race and who wins let’s remember what the title of the film is, they kind of go off course plot wise and it’s not clever enough to just ride the satire they needed to boost it with crazy stunts and action and if there’s a major flaw is that the stunts aren’t crazy enough and the driving part isn’t thrilling enough.
Final Thoughts: For a movie called Death Race 2050 it was fun and a nice break from watching heavier films.