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Death Race


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Death Race (Movies)
Death Race (Movies)
Death Race (Movies)
Death Race (Movies)
Death Race (Movies)
Death Race (Movies)
Death Race (Movies)
Death Race (Movies)
Death Race (Movies)
Death Race (Movies)
Death Race (Movies)
Death Race (Movies)
Death Race (Movies)
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Information about Death Race

Death Race is a 2008 (13 years ago) science-fiction-action movie produced, written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. The movie is a remake of the 1975 (46 years ago) movie Death Race 2000 (21 years ago), based on Ib Melchior's short story "The Racer", and stars Jason Statham (15 walls) in the lead role. The remake had been in development since 2002 (19 years ago), though production was delayed by disapproval of early screenplays then placed in turnaround following a dispute between Paramount pictures (wallpaper) and the producer duo Tom Cruise (12 walls) and Paula Wagner. Death Race was acquired by Universal Studios, and Anderson re-joined the project to write and direct. Filming began in Montreal in Aug. 2007 (14 years ago), and the completed project was released on Aug. 22, 2008 (13 years ago).



In 2012 (9 years ago), the United States economy collapses and sends unemployment and crime rates through the roof. The imprisoned population is so vast that private companies are hired to contain them. In Terminal Island Prison, "Death Race", a gladiator-like fight-to-the-end competition is held to raise funds.

The movie begins six months before by showing a race near its end. Machine Gun Joe (Tyrese Gibson) and a famous masked driver known as Frankenstein (original Death Race 2000 (21 years ago) star David Carradine) engage in a bloody battle in which Frankenstein wins, but at the cost of heavy injuries and eventually death. Six months later, Jensen Ames (Jason Statham (15 walls)), an ex-racecar driver, is framed for his wife's murder. Ames is sent to Terminal Island Prison where he immediately becomes enemies with an Aryan brotherhood gang, led by Pachinko (Max Ryan). He is taken to Hennessey (Joan Allen) who tells him that the gang will kill him without her help. Thus he is coerced by the warden to become the new driver of late Frankenstein's car. The warden tells Ames that she knows about his baby daughter left in foster care. She also states that prisoners are freed upon winning five Death Races, but since the legendary Frankenstein had 4 wins at the time of his death, he would only require a single win. He agrees to race.

"Death Race" consists of three different stages. The first stage is an elimination round with the sole goal being to come out alive and to eliminate as much of the competition as possible. In each race, there are three activation switches, Swords, Shields, and Death Heads. These power-ups are in the form of lights on the ground that are activated when passed over by a car. Swords activate offensive weapons, shields activate defensive weapons, and death heads activate a spiked wall that impales the car and the racers inside. The wall then goes back into the ground, killing anyone inside. In the first race, Grimm is killed by Joe by being struck as a "pedestrian", resulting in a gruesome "head-exploding" shot. Jensen survives the race, killing one racer but coming in last place after Machine Gun Joe rammed into his car. It is then revealed that Hennessey had Pachinko murder Jensen's wife and frame him for it, in order to bring him to Terminal Island and make him the new Frankenstein. During the second race, the goal is again to survive. Hennessey plots against Frankenstein, hoping to use his popularity to keep ratings up. The race starts and much to the dismay of the racers, a gigantic 18 wheel tanker armed with a tank turret, called the Dreadnought, is released. After killing multiple racers, the truck is destroyed when Joe and Ames team up to activate a Death Head that destroys the Dreadnought.

In the third stage, Joe and Ames must race one final time to the winner. Prior to the race Hennessey has a bomb planted under Frankenstein's car, and then manipulates the race to favor Joe. However, her plans are ruined when Joe and Ames escape. Hennessey sends all her police force in pursuit and succeeds in capturing Frankenstein's car. However, Ames had escaped from his car leaving his navigator, Case, dressed up in his costume, however Case has already received her walking papers. Joe and Ames hitch a ride and escape to Miami. Meanwhile, using the bomb from Frankenstein's car, Coach kills both Hennessey and Ulrich, then turns to the camera and breaks the fourth wall, saying, "I love this game". Six months later, Ames has his daughter back and Joe is working on living a clean life free of crime. As the two work on a car in their new home, a car pulls up and Case steps out to join the two.


  • Jason Statham (15 walls) as Jensen Ames, a prisoner coerced to drive in the arena, taking the name "Frankenstein" from the man who came before him.
  • Joan Allen as Hennessey, the sadistic prison warden.
  • Tyrese Gibson as "Machine Gun Joe" (Joseph Mason), a sociopathic racer who looks to use Death Race as an means to escape from prison. He is unique as he alone uses male navigators, because his navigators are often killed leading to falling ratings due to women being killed.
  • Ian McShane as Coach, Frankenstein's loyal head mechanic.
  • Natalie Martinez as Case, Frankenstein's navigator.
  • Jacob Vargas as Gunner, Frankenstein's car repairman.
  • Frederick Koehler as Lists, another member of Frankenstein's pit crew and a compulsive data collector.
  • Jason Clarke as Ulrich, Hennesey's right hand man.
  • Robert LaSardo as Grimm, a certified psychopath driving in the race. Had three consecutive life sentences, killed six men off the track and another thirteen on it. Nicknamed the "Grim Reaper".
  • Justin Mader as Travis Colt, a disgraced ex-NASCAR driver seeking to rebuild his career by winning the race.
  • Robin Shou as 14K, a tenth-generation Triad, sent to business school, held a degree from MIT, and killed four men off the track.
  • Max Ryan as Pachenko, a rival driver Ames clashes with several times, responsible for killing Ames's wife, killed nine men on the track and unknown off.
  • David Carradine as Frankenstein, the most popular driver in the history of Death Race. (cameo voice-over, reprising role in original 1975 (46 years ago) movie Death Race 2000 (21 years ago)) He has apparently crashed so many times that he has to wear a mask to cover his disfigurements. He possesses an almost reckless desire to win, leading him to take risks in his final race, that ultimately led to his death on the operating table. In his career he killed 20 men on the track or a mortality rate of 62.2% per race.


In Mar. 2002 (19 years ago), director Paul W.S. Anderson revealed that he was directing a remake of Death Race 2000 (21 years ago) (1975, 46 years ago) entitled Death Race 3000 at Paramount pictures (wallpaper) (which at the time distributed the original on TV) based on a script by J. F. Lawton. The remake would be produced by the producer pair Tom Cruise (12 walls) and Paula Wagner. Anderson described the remake as a riff on the first film. "It's not a straight remake at all. The first movie was an across-America race. This will be an around-the-world race. And it's set further in the future, so the cars are even more futuristic. So you've got cars with rockets, machine guns, force fields; cars that can split apart and re-form, a bit like Transformers. Cars that become invisible," the director explained. Two years later, Roger Corman, the producer of Death Race 2000 (21 years ago), elaborated that he had an option agreement with producer Tom Cruise (12 walls), and that Cruise would portray the lead role. The director said that Cruise had not been happy with the first two screenplays and that a third one was underway. In Jun. 2006 (15 years ago), producer Jeremy Bolt reported that Anderson would direct the remake of Death Race 2000 (21 years ago) after completing Resident Evil: Extinction (2007, 14 years ago). The producer described the remake's new tone: "We've basically taken the idea of reality TV and extended it twenty years. So it's definitely a comment on society, and particularly reality TV, but it is not as much a parody or a satire as the original. It's more straight." The following August, Paramount ended its relationship with Cruise/Wagner Productions, and Death Race was placed in turnaround. According to reports, when the project was discovered available, Universal Studios acquired it. Cruise and Wagner resumed their roles as producers, and Anderson returned to write and direct the film.

In Apr. 2007 (14 years ago), actor Jason Statham (15 walls) entered negotiations to star in Death Race, with production slated to begin in late summer or early fall. Anderson described that Death Race would take place in a prison, and that the movie would be "super-violent" like its predecessor. "It has little echoes of the original – a lot of people get run down, but rather than having the points system, which had no pay off anyway, it’s a pure race. It’s more like Gladiator, with the last person standing – or driving, winning," explained the director. Filming on Death Race began in Montreal in Aug. 2007 (14 years ago).


The movie has received mixed reviews from critics. It currently holds a 42% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a rating of 41 out of 100 on Metacritic.

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the movie half a star (out of four), calling it "an assault on all the senses, including common." Keith Phipps of The Onion's A.V. Club said the movie is "ideal for those who want to watch a bunch of cars blow each other up, without having to think about it all that much." Robert Koehler of Variety called Death Race "as hard as metal and just as dumb" and criticized it for removing the humor of Death Race 2000 (21 years ago). Marc Savlov of the Austin Chronicle called Death Race "one of the most boring drags of all time."

Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle called the movie "an ill-advised and severely wussified remake." Elizabeth Weitzman of the New York Daily News gave the movie one and a half stars (out of four), calling it "junk" and saying that "the chases are pretty cool, but there's absolutely nothing else to see." A positive review came from Nathan Lee of The New York Times, who said that "the movie is legitimately greasy, authentically nasty, with a good old-fashioned sense of laying waste to everything in sight." James Berardinelli of ReelViews awarded Death Race a score of two and a half stars (out of four), saying that it's "weak when it comes to things like plot, character, and acting, but it's very good at provoking visceral reactions."


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