Death Race 2000 is hitting blu-ray for the first time, the latest in Shout! Factory‘s Roger Corman’s Cult Classics collection. Hitting on June 22, 2010, it sure seems to be the definitive version of the campy film. The 1975 original (forget the remake) was set in the horrible year 2000, where the people of the “United Provinces” are oppressed and have only one thing to look forward to and forget about its meaningless lives for a few days – the Transcontinental Death Race. David Carradine and a young Sylvester Stallone star as two of the best racers of the group, and we watched and cheered as they smashed their way through unwitting pedestrians and scored up points on their way to the finish. It still holds up as one of Corman’s best, an absolutely silly but somehow massively entertaining flick.
Here’s the full specs for both the dvd and blu-ray-
- New Anamorphic Widescreen Transfer (1.85:1) in high definition from
the inter-positive film element
- David on Death Race: A brief look back from star David Carradine
recorded in 2008
- Audio commentary with Roger Corman and Mary Woronov
- New audio commentary with assistant director Lewis Teague and editor
- Playing the Game: Looking Back at “Death Race 2000”
- Ready to Wear: In-depth interview costume designer Jane
Ruhm on her inventive work for this film and other Roger Corman classics
- Designing Dystopia!: A detailed look at the film’s
futuristic landscapes and now-classic race cars with co-art director
B.B. Neel, car designer James Powers and car constructor Dean Jeffries.
- Start Your Engine!: How the world of Death Race 2000 came
to life, interview with original story creator Ib Melchior
- Killer Score: An all-new interview with composer Paul
Chihara on the creation of the film’s eclectic score, which was also his
first feature film composition.
- Leonard Maltin interviews Roger Corman about Death Race 2000
- Original theatrical trailer
- Original theatrical trailer with commentary by filmmaker John
Landis, courtesy of trailersfromhell.com
- Collectible 12-page booklet
- New World trailers
Shout Factory’s not done with Roger Corman yet, either, as there are plans to release a ton of his films in the future. Confirmed titles on dvd include Forbidden World, Galaxy Of Terror, Humanoids from the Deep, and a double-pack of Attack Of The Crab Monster and Not of This Earth. Piranha, Starcrash, and Battle Beyond The Stars will hit dvd as well as blu-ray!
I’m pretty excited about Death Race 2000 personally, as the only version of the film I own is some crappy fullscreen cheapo dvd that’s likely a vhs dub. After watching the remake/sequel/whatever two years ago and being incredibly disappointed (the only bit of fun to have in the film is to try and call out every cliched plot point by the ten minute mark and laugh when it happens later on) it’s definitely time to revisit this fun old flick. Know what bothered me the most about the remake of this? Statham’s character was forced into the race, an unwilling participant to a niche sport. In the original Carradine is there to take down this incredibly popular and horrible event, but is just as much a product of this immoral society as anyone else. It’s something that drove me nuts with that horrendous Rollerball remake
as well- the whole idea of this sport being put on to keep the sheep content and the government in control was completely lost.
But of course, that’s why the original films still exist, and why Corman now owns an Oscar.