It's been a while since I've seen Paul Bartel'sDeath Race 2000, but I do remember that it's the movie that created the whole "hit that pedestrian with your automobile and you get 15 points" joke that people still (somehow) think is funny -- plus I remember it being a whole lot of grungy, campy, R-rated fun. (Most people seem to think mega-producer Roger Corman directed this particular flick, but nope. It was actually the admirably weird actor / filmmaker Paul Bartel, who'd also go on to direct Eating Raoul, Lust in the Dust and Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills. So credit where it's due.)

Plus it's probably the only movie you'll ever see that has characters named Frankenstein, Calamity Jane, Matilda the Hun, Nero the Hero and Machine Gun Joe Viterbo. The futuristic action satire is about a cross-country car race that awards points for pedestrians slaughtered. Fun stuff indeed, but did you know that "fan favorite" filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson is about to start shooting a remake for Universal? (Well, you should if you're a regular reader. Previous reports on this project can be enjoyed here, here and here.)

Jason Statham has been cast in the lead of Death Race for a little while now, but The Hollywood Reporter indicates that a few cool names have joined the fray. In addition to the also-previously-announced Tyrese Gibson, the producers will now cut paychecks for not only the fantastic Joan Allen, but also the perpetually amusing Ian McShane. (Unless I'm insane, IGN Movies broke the Allen news at Comic Con last week.) Ms. Allen will play an evil warden; Statham the reluctant prisoner forced to participate in the race; McShane a racing coach; and Gibson will play "Machine Gun," the role originally played by Sly Stallone in the 1975 original.

As you're no doubt aware, Paul W.S. Anderson is the man who brought you Shopping, Mortal Kombat, Event Horizon, Soldier, Resident Evil and Alien vs. Predator. Some movie fans see this guy as the ruiner of all things potentially cool, but I see a guy who's directed six films -- two of which I really enjoy watching. In baseball that batting average gets you a new contract. (Can you guess which two flicks they are?)
categories Cinematical