Nothing is more exciting than a fight to the death and with the release of Death Race 3: Inferno, on Blu-ray and DVD from 4th February, this has never been truer. Winner of four death races, Carl Lucas (Luke Goss) finds himself just one victory away from earning freedom for himself and his pit crew, but organisers and prison wardens are changing the track and the rules.
To celebrate the release of Death Race 3: Inferno, we look at some other cinematic blood sports that have kept us on the edge of our seats until the very last moment.
6. Death Race 2000 (1975)
The Annual Transcontinental Road Race, is an American coast-to-coast, three-day race run on public roads, where points are scored not just for speed, but for the number of innocent pedestrians struck and killed. Frankenstein (David Carradine) is the most celebrated driver, but secretly plans to end the cruel competition by winning once again and killing the tyrannical President who orders the annual bloodbath, despite the increasing rivalry from opponent driver Joe Viterbo (Sylvester Stallone). The cult hit subsequently spawned a popular remake in 2008, and two successive sequels, including Death Race 3: Inferno!
5. The Running Man (1987)
Set in a totalitarian society in the not-too-distant future, a sadistic game show offers convicted criminals the chance of freedom by attempting to outrun professional killers. When framed ex-policeman Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is forced to take part, he attempts to not only win his freedom but reveal the truth about the corrupt government. Producer Rob Cohen was not aware when he purchased the rights to The Running Man that it was a Stephen King novel written under his pseudonym Richard Bachman, it was only after the film began pre-production that he found out.
4. Battle Royale (2000)
At the dawn of a new millennium, the Japanese economy is close to collapse. Unemployment is high and youth violence is out of control so the beleaguered government passes the Battle Royale Act, where a school class of children can be taken at random to an island and forced to hunt each other in order to survive. The Japanese government attempted to ban the film before its release, however this led to Battle Royale becoming even more successful due to its cult status.
3. Gladiator (2000)
After escaping an execution, general Maximus (Russell Crowe) finds himself fighting for survival in the bloody arenas of ancient Rome. When the opportunity arises to participate in a marathon of gladiator games held at the command of the new emperor, Maximus makes his presence known to the man who ordered his death before challenging him to fight face to face. When visiting the real Coliseum, director Ridley Scott reportedly announced that it was too small and asked his production designer to design an oversized vision of Rome for his epic instead.
2. The Hunger Games (2012)
In a dystopian future, the nation of Panem is divided into 12 districts and the Capitol. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games, a televised fight-to-the-death, as retribution for a rebellion years ago. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to replace her younger sister after she gets selected, despite being pitted against stronger representatives, some of which have trained for The Hunger Games their whole lives. The film was received positively by critics and fans, which led to the announcement that the rest of the Suzanne Collins book franchise is now to be adapted into further films.
1. Death Race 3: Inferno (2013)
After the American economy collapses, the sharp increase of convicted criminals leads to privatized prisons for profit. A warden at the Terminal Island Penitentiary earns money from the pay-per-view broadcast of the modern gladiator game “Death Race”, using the prisoners as players by promising freedom to the winner of the brutal car competition. The third installment of the cult series sees Carl Lucas attempt to triumph in his fifth and final race after being transferred to another prison in the harsh, unyielding desert. Will he make it out?
Death Race 3: Inferno is out on Blu-ray and DVD from 4th February 2013
This article was first posted on January 22, 2013