21 December 2007


United States - 1978
Director –Henry Suso (a.k.a. Nicholas Niciphor)
New Concorde, 2001, DVD

The first scene seemingly forshadows the subsequent film by giving us a few heady dizzying shots of David Carradines dangling package as he leaps over the camera in a loincloth.
After minimal narration about a “Neutron War” the world is left in the grip of a violent tyrannical dictator, Lord Zirpola who sends his troops out on future-dirtbikes to capture wandering nomads to torture and participate in Deathsport. The nomadic people have only the range-guides to protect them. Kaz O’Shea (Carradine) and Deneer (Claudia Jennings) are two such minimally clad quasi Buddhist rogues.

Angkar Moor (Richard Lynch) and a band of sinister silver clad dirt-bikers are out to stop the Range Guides free wheelin’ lifestyle. After a few brief skirmishes using simple blasters which turn people into nothing, (minimalizers! I love this!) they capture both, and take them to cells in an unnamed compound where for the first time the Range Guides meet through the bars. In some other room, the banal dictator is told by his doctor that he is dying, so he chucks the doctor and his son in jail with the range guides.
· Quasi spiritualist/naturalist cultural outsiders, check.
· Honest, scientific culturally dissenting realists, check.
Sounds to me like we just formed a core group of protagonists with minimal character development, let’s see what happens next folks.

Rashly attempting to break out of their cells, the Good Guys are quickly subdued, and Lord Zirpola subjects a nude Deneer to sonic torture, while not far away mercifully clothed (but only just) Kaz is flogged.
Afterwards the Guides mutter goofy voodoo at each other and the whole Good Guy team is sent out to matte painting land to participate in Deathsport!, in which they mount minimally modified unwieldy future dirtbikes, and are chased through various minimally dressed flaming sets (or even better, location shots) by Angkar and his lackeys. Lord Zirpola tortures another nude woman in his Sonic Pain Chamber, but soon dies, leaving Angkar Moor and his boys to be whittled away in the field until Kaz and Angkar, old rivals can have a clear plastic swordfight. Set 1000 years after Death Race, for no reason, Deathsport disposes with all the entertaining elements of it’s predecessor and relies exclusively on Claudia Jennings (Playboy Playmate of the Year 1970) and one other woman’s minimal clothing, and Richard Lynch’s portrayal of minimal morality. Nothing escapes the axe in this cheapquel and except for a few minutes of tits, which of course appeals only to a minimal demographic, it is similarly minimally entertaining.

Watch the Deathsport trailer at Cult Trailers

An awesome French Poster with the title Gladiators of the Year 3000:
Alternate video covers the first with the original poster art:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Except for Jennings' mesmerizing birthday suit, this movie is a bore. The sharp humor and brisk pacing of DEATH RACE 2000 are replaced by a lot of pseudo-mystical mumbo-jumbo, and the interminable "death machine" chases become increasingly dull as the plot drags along. Only the use of Millennium Falcon sound effects makes these pre-MEGAFORCE superbikes memorable, and even that grows tiresome before too long. Jennings should have been the sole protagonist here, while Carradine should have played a corrupt descendant of Frankenstein from DR2K. A fight between the two of them would have been far more interesting than the listless climactic duel between the wasted Lynch and Carradine's wholly uninteresting Kaz character.