In the year 2000 the United States has been destroyed by a financial crisis and a military coup. Political parties have collapsed into a single Bipartisan Party, which also fulfills the religious functions of a unified church and state. The resulting fascist police state, the United Provinces, is headed by the cult figure "Mr. President" (Sandy McCallum). The people are kept satisfied through a stream of gory gladiatorial entertainment, which includes the bloody spectacle of the Annual Transcontinental Road Race, depicted as a symbol of American values and way of life. The coast-to-coast, 3 day race is run on public roads, and points are scored not just for speed, but for the number of innocent pedestrians struck and killed. Frankenstein (David Carradine) is the most celebrated racer and is the government's champion. He is reputed to be part machine, rebuilt after many crashes. He regularly battles with the other teams, particularly "Machine Gun" Joe Viterbo (Sylvester Stallone), who hates being second. The film is set at the start of the 20th annual race, during which a resistance group led by Thomasina Paine (Harriet Medin), a lineal descendant of Thomas Paine, one of the original American revolutionaries of the 1770s, is attempting to assassinate Frankenstein and replace him with one of their agents. The "Resistance" is assisted by Paine's great granddaughter Annie (Simone Griffeth), Frankenstein's navigator, who is intending to lure him into a planned ambush where he is to be replaced by a double. Disruption of the race by the Resistance is blamed on the French by the state, who are also blamed for ruining the country's economy and telephone system. It emerges that Frankenstein is not a willing government stooge.
Paul Bartel's 1975 cheap-o satire about a futuristic international sport--an anything-goes car race where drivers score points for hitting pedestrians--stars David Carradine as a hero behind the wheel and Sylvester Stallone as his nemesis. The film is clever and macabre enough as a modernist satire, but finally overplays its hand in grim, decadent humor. The sets are gloriously artificial, and former Warhol star Mary Woronov is in sexy, comic form. A DVD release is available. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you are over 40 and havn't seen this you should . If your under 40 don't bother I don't want you to complain about itPublished 9 months ago by mad mal
The new one is set in jail. This one races across the country, there aim is to collect points by running people over.Published 18 months ago by David Snow
Had to get the original after watching the new death races tho wish it was better Stallone is one of my favesPublished on June 29 2013 by jeromy
This look at the year 2000 from the 70's, point of imagination, is just as funny as it is disturbing. Read morePublished on Aug. 25 2002 by Jeff Parliament
this film is well funny.watch out for a young sty stallone this film is definetly worth owning its greatPublished on June 12 2002
Who in their right mind would race and be willing to die? David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone would! Before Sylvester Stallone became an icon, he made this movie. Read morePublished on May 29 2002 by Timotee