DEATH RACERS: Jugga-don't!
Starring Violent J, Shaggy 2 Dope, Raven
Directed by Roy Kynrin
Review by Louis Fowler
Rod, from Bookgasm, emailed me and said that he'd love to read what I had to say about DEATH RACERS, the latest “mockbuster” from the good folks at the Asylum. To be honest, I am always down for watching an Asylum rip-off, and, being a huge fan of the recent Jason Statham remake of DEATH RACE, I was dying to see how they would work it with their typical agenda of no stars and even less of a budget. To the top of my NetFlix queue you go, DEATH RACERS!
And then I saw who the stars were...the Insane Clown Posse.
In the near future (OK, so far, so good), after a period of social unrest (I like where this is going), a state-sized penitentiary is opened and order is restored (whew, I think this movie may be pretty good!). Too bad the prison is built on top of the state's water-supply and, even worse, a terrorist (essayed by former WWE wrestler Raven) is planning to dump sarin into it (very nice). So, does the governor send in the army or maybe even a team of mercenaries in there to kill him? No. The governor organizes a..wait for it...a DEATH RACE!!! (YES!)
These teams will race each other and try to be the first to kill the terrorist. The four teams include the Severed Head Gang, comprised of Mexican stereotypes but played by a couple of white dorks (ole'!); Homeland Security, which has an Army fixation of some sort (Semper Fi!); Vaginamite, a duo of scantly-clad sluts which seem to have been put in the film to not only show tits, but in an admirable attempt to get women of the roller-girl variety to watch (girl power!); and, finally, as themselves, the Insane Clown Posse. (SHIT.)
(So ICP are put prison, by the way, because their “music” is responsible for causing all kinds of social upheaval among the youth. Yeah, right—I guess social upheaval in the future means getting on welfare and spending all your money at Hot Topic.)
The full-throttle, pedal-to-the-metal racing action hits hard and fast as the racers circle around repeatedly in various parking lots and open fields, at a responsible safe speed, occasionally “hitting” people for extra points, and by hitting people, I mean that an extra carefully runs up to the car and hops on the hood, smearing blood on the windshield with his hand. Ahem.
That's forgivable, even lovable, but, hey low-budget directors, here's a tip: filling your film with jarring, fast MTV edits, shaky cameras, washed-out colors and classic techniques like using fast-motion or rewind for comedic effect isn't artistry. And it's even worse when you use that alongside a hip-hop record-scratching sound effect. What is it? Your first day in videography class down at the local Learning Annex. Hope you study, because right now you're earning a D+, mister!
Per the usual Asylum fare, it's got horrible acting, horrible screenwriting, horrible direction and a soundtrack filled with horrible, just horrible, ICP tunes. What's really adorable is that the flick tries to have an anti-government message that is about as deep as 12-year-old who heard from his favorite band, possibly ICP themselves, that George Bush “sucks”.
Ultimately, films from the Asylum are the cinematic equivalent of being married to Ike Turner: when you first hear about their latest outing, you get excited because you think that maybe, just maybe, this one will be different. This one will be a “mockbuster” that maybe, just maybe, might improve upon the original. But, there you are, ninety minutes later, left lying on the floor, rubbing your freshly blackened eye while simultaneously nursing a bleeding anus. You tricked me again, Ike!
C'mon, Asylum! With all your resources and occasional talent, is it possible to just once make a movie that doesn't pander to the lowest common denominator renter, like, say, a Juggalo? I'd be happy to give you my screenplay entitled SPACE FEDERATION, which chronicles the humble beginnings of the crew of the USS Initiative, and their five year mission to explore both deserted, city park-like planets and the insides of warehouses that are made to look like an underground bunker. Email me if you're interested.
Insane Clown Posse fans need not apply.