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Roger Corman's Death Race 2050

Manufacturer: Universal Studios
Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided NewTechReview with a NFR unit of this product for review.
Reviewed by Scott R. Garrigus
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ďLegendary filmmaking icon, Roger Corman, is back with his most outrageous film yet in this sensational, action-packed and darkly humorous reboot of the original Death Race 2000! Itís 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), whoís half-man half-machine, wants to take the crown, but his rebel spy co-pilot threatens his legacy.Ē That is the official description for Roger Cormanís Death Race 2050, now available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, and Digital HD from Universal Pictures, which has provided NewTechReview with a NFR copy for review.

When it comes to Roger Cormanís Death Race films, youíre either a fan or youíre not. Those who are fans love the campy, outrageous, over-the-top, bloody, violent, and low-budget atmosphere. Those who arenít, hate it because of all those things and they usually label it as a stupid, made-for-TV, ďBĒ movie, but thatís one of the main reasons fans love it! Well, that and the fact that it pokes a lot of fun at the workings of society. Some have likened it to The Hunger Games. Youíve got the all-powerful government, which is run by corrupt leadership; youíve got the warriors who will do almost anything to win; youíve go the overpopulated society; and you even have the resistance (although in this case the resistance is just another ploy set up by the evil government).

As you might expect from a movie called Death Race 2050, thereís not a lot of character or plot development. Itís mainly just a non-stop, action-filled, crazy ride with a lot of death and destruction. Fans will love the lack of perfection here, especially in todayís CGI-filled cinema. Instead, you get actual stunts and explosions, body parts that are obviously props, and acting that is on-par with most cult classics. You also get some cool-looking cars that are far from the over-polished vehicles of today.

In addition to the film, there's a handful of bonus features that includes the following:
* The Making of 2050 - an 11-minute featurette in which the cast and crew (along with Roger Corman and director G.J. Echternkamp) talk about how the film was made and what differences there were from the original film. Also included are interviews and behind-the-scenes segments about the stunts and more.
* The Look of 2050 - a 7-minute featurette that talks about the look of the film, the costumes, the locations, and shooting on location in Peru.
* Cars! Cars! Cars! - a 5-minute featurette that showcases (you guessed it) the cars in the film... how they were created and how they were utilized in the movie.
* Cast Car Tours - a 9-minute featurette that takes us on set with the drivers and their cars: Frankenstein and his Monster, Perfectus and his Piece of Art, Tammy and the Tank, Minerva and her Sound Box, and ABE.
* Deleted Scenes - provides ten deleted scenes for a total of 6 minutes of extra footage that didnít make it into the film, but is still fun to watch.

As I mentioned earlier, Roger Cormanís Death Race 2050 is a fans-only film. If youíre a fan of blood-splattered, no-holds-barred, low-budget action or a fan of the original Death Race 2000, then youíll more than likely enjoy the 2050 edition as well. The film is meant to provide amusing, unpolished, over-the-top, political satire and it does that perfectly. If youíre looking for something more in line with todayís modern cinema, youíll have to look elsewhere.

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