Set in the America of the future, the defending champion of a nationally televised Transcontinental death road race – where contestants gain points by running over pedestrians – questions the ethics of this sick entertainment which is orchestrated by the President to control a potentially rebellious society.
The event is staged to pacify the ravenous public’s lust for blood and prevent the overthrow of the totalitarian president.
Paul Bartel’s light-hearted direction keeps this demolition derby on an amusing track, despite the graphic violence, and there are digs at US political apathy and the nation’s obsession with sports.
With its cast of cartoon caricatures – David Carradine is a bionic Frankenstein, Sylvester Stallone is Machine Gun Joe Viterbo – this Roger Corman production is a lot more entertaining than its more serious and expensive contemporary, Rollerball (1975).
The sight of Sylvester Stallone ‘pretending’ to be beaten up by a skeletal David Carradine is one of the highlights.
Machine Gun Joe Viterbo
Mathilda the Hun
Nero the Hero