StorylineExplores the origins of the first "Frankenstein" car driver, Carl "Luke" Lucas, who died in a race at the beginning of the first film.
As far as direct to video sequels go I was pleasantly surprised with this one!
Direct to video prequel to writer / director Paul W.S. Anderson's 2008 hit 'DEATH RACE', which was a remake of the 1975 Roger Corman cult classic 'DEATH RACE 2000'. This film traces the roots of the game 'Death Race' as well as the first star driver 'Frankenstein', who died at the opening of the first film but was the main character of the 1975 original (played by David Carradine). The 2008 film starred Jason Statham, this prequel stars Luke Goss (although not as big an action heavy as Statham he's a decent replacement, all things considered). The film co-stars Danny Trejo, Sean Bean, Ving Rhames, the beautiful Lauren Cohan and Robin Shou and Frederick Koehler both reprising their roles from the first film. It's produced and co-written only (with Tony Giglio) by Anderson this time around and directed by Dutch filmmaker Roel Reine (who's made a career out of directing low rent B movies like 'PISTOL WHIPPED' and 'THE MARINE 2'). As far as direct to video sequels go I was pleasantly surprised with this one.
The film is set in the oh so distant future of 2012 when prisons are controlled by big businesses. Carl "Luke" Lucas (Goss) is sent to one such prison after a botched bank heist. Upon arriving at the prison, Terminal Island, he witnesses the popular televised sport being performed there called 'Death Match', in which prisoners fight each other to the death in a caged ring while being televised to the public. He also meets a couple of new friends including 'Lists' (Koehler) and Goldberg (Trejo). The host of the TV program, September Jones (Cohan), immediately wants Lucas in her game. He's not interested but when Jones comes up with an even bigger ratings sensation called 'Death Match' in which prisoners race to the death and one has a chance of freedom (after multiple wins) it attracts the interest of several prisoners including Lucas.
The movie has some pretty intense and bloody action scenes including some gruesome fight scenes and some impressive car chases. It's of course not as good as either of the original films (with the 1975 cult hit being the best) but it's still a satisfying sequel. Goss and the rest of the cast are adequate and Cohan especially makes a memorable ruthless villain (like Joan Allen in the first film except hotter). Reine's directing is fitting to the material and the story builds to an effective conclusion, setting up the first film nicely. If you liked Anderson's original film you'll probably enjoy this sequel.
|Paul W.S. Anderson||characters and story|
|Tony Giglio||screenplay & story|
Cast (in credits order)
|Luke Goss||...||Carl 'Luke' Lucas|
|Lauren Cohan||...||September Jones|
|Sean Bean||...||Markus Kane|
|Tanit Phoenix||...||Katrina Banks|
|Patrick Lyster||...||Warden Parks|
|rest of cast listed alphabetically:|
|Henie Bosman||...||Xander grady|
|Leon Clingman||...||Cell Block A Gaurd|
|Paul Hampshire||...||Bank Cop|
|Sean Higgs||...||Hillbilly Con|
|Richard Lothian||...||Rapist Con|
|Deobia Oparei||...||Big Bill|
|Chase Armitage||...||Apache (uncredited)|
|Paul W.S. Anderson||....||producer|
|Greg Holstein||....||associate producer|
|Marvin Saven||....||associate producer|
|Alan Shearer||....||line producer|
|Paula Wagner||....||executive producer|
|Herman P. Koerts|