Death Race 2050 is a 2017 sci-fi action exploitation film directed by G.J. Echternkamp (Hard Candy) from a screenplay by Matt Yamashita (Art School of Horrors; Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda) and G.J. Echternkamp. Produced by Roger Corman and Luis Llosa (Anaconda).
A Universal 1440 Entertainment production – an arm of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment – the film was shot in Peru.
Producer Roger Corman commented: “This is an amazing opportunity for me and millions of Death Race 2000 fans to experience the intensity, thrills and dark humour of the original, fuelled by a terrific young cast, spectacular vehicles and side-splitting action, literally.”
Filming began during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. It features a businessman who is now the Chairman of the United Corporations of America. Corman told an interviewer: “The president does have a hairstyle which could be approaching Trump’s hairstyle, but I don’t want to get too heavy into that, because Trump will come and go and the film will remain.”
In the US, the film was released on Blu-ray and DVD on 17 January 2017 by Universal.
- The Making of 2050 – This featurette goes behind the scenes of Roger Corman’s Death Race 2050 to explore why, over four decades later, the original Death Race 2000 has been remade, including what made this project appealing to cast and crew, what changes have been made, and what fans of the original will still love. Discover the movie magic behind the deaths, stunts and of course — the cars! Includes interviews with stars, director G.J. Echternkamp and Corman himself.
- Cars! Cars! Cars! – Go on the set with the drivers of Death Race 2050 as they introduce their one-of-a-kind killing machines: Frankenstein and his Monster, Perfectus and his Piece of Art, Tammy and the Tank, Minerva and her Sound Box and ABE.
- The Look of 2050 – An insider look at how the film’s visual style came together, including how shooting in Peru helped set the tone of the picture and how the costumes became stars in and of themselves.
It is 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 favourite, Frankenstein (Manu Bennett), who’s half-man half-machine, wants to take the crown, but his rebel spy co-pilot threatens his legacy…
This new film should not be confused with Corman’s 1978 movie Deathsport which has cheekily been re-titled as Death Race 2050: Deathsport for its DVD release.
The film stars Manu Bennett as Frankenstein, cult movie icon Malcolm McDowell (Halloween; Cat People) as the Chairman, Burt Grinstead, Marci Miller, Folake Olowofoyeku, Anessa Ramsey, Yancy Butler (Lake Placid vs. Anaconda; Rage of the Yeti) and Charlie Farrell.
The original Death Race 2000 was directed in 1975 by Paul Bartel (Private Parts; Eating Raoul) and starred David Carradine (as Frankenstein) and a young Sylvester Stallone as his adversary.
A major remake, Death Race, came in 2008, followed by a couple of low budget prequels, Death Race 2: Frankenstein Lives (2011) and Death Race 3: Inferno (2013).
“This Wacky Races for the Trump era is a turbo-charged blast of popcorn fun that pays loving homage to the original (even down to the retro poster design), while also providing some thigh-slapping political satire by lampooning everything that is wrong with America today – from guns and religion to consumerism and social apathy.” Kultguy’s Keep
“It could’ve been a little more exploitative and over-the-top, but for what it’s worth, it’s got enough blood, guts, simplistic political commentary, scenery chewing (McDowell and Grinstead are especially wonderful) and terrible special effects for it to become a cult classic. Yes, it’s all incredibly stupid and shoddily-made, but also pretty loony and funny.” Screen Anarchy