I try to keep reasonably up to date with my film reviews on here, but I’m afraid this one comes a bit late - Death Race 2000 was released in 1975. I remember kids at school talking about it when it came out (though I hope they hadn’t seen it, since it’s X-Certificate stuff and these were nine-year-olds) - so when it showed up on Amazon Prime I thought it was high time I found out what all the playground fuss had been about. Death Race… came from Roger Corman’s stable of exploitation movies, and was shamelessly designed to cash in on the pre-publicity for Rollerball , another, rather more expensive, lethal-future-sport film. Based on a short story by I. B. Melchior, it plays like a sex-and-gore fuelled episode of Wacky Races , but I suspect modern viewers are more likely to compare it to The Hunger Games . Like The Hunger Games , it takes place in a future fascist USA where the authorities control the populace bread-and-circuses style by staging gladiatorial contests. In Death Race
Reviews and ruminations by Philip Reeve, author of the Mortal Engines series, the Railhead trilogy, Here Lies Arthur, Goblins, and The Legend of Kevin, Pugs of the Frozen North, etc, with Sarah McIntyre.