Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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Hot Wheels

Never mind Speed Racer.  The most revved-up movie of the summer could very well be DEATH RACE.  It's due out in August.  As you might guess from its working title of Death Race 3000, it's a remake - perhaps reimagination is a better word - of the 1975 camp classic DEATH RACE 2000.  That movie starred a post-Kung Fu David Carradine and a pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone.  If you read farther down in the credits, you'll see that a pre-"Gopher" Fred Grandy also has a role.

Death Race 2000 provides yet another link to my time in Leeds back in 1986-87.  A couple nights a week, some committee or other at the residence hall showed movies down in the JCR, the junior common room.  I was a frequent member of the audience and happened to be there in late November '86 when Death Race 2000 was the featured attraction.  After seeing it, here's what I wrote in my journal:

 ... (the movie) was set in the year 2000 and concerned a transcontinental car race from New York to New Los Angeles.  The object was not only to get to New L.A. first, but to score as many points on the way as you could.  And how did they score these points you might ask?  By running over people, of course.  Old people were worth 100, babies 70, women 40, etc.  The race was complete with TV coverage and obnoxious commentators, an evil president, and a resistance.  The movie was generally pretty corny, but I suppose that in some way it made a statement of some kind.  It could be taken as a statement about the role of violence in society, esp. in sport, and how it could be carried to extremes.

Will the new Death Race provide that same kind of biting satire and social commentary?  I doubt it.  But, hopefully, it will be just as much fun to watch.

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