Death Race 2
|Death Race 2 (formerly Death Race: Frankenstein Lives) is a film directed by Dutch filmmaker Roel Reiné, written by Tony Giglio and Paul W. S. Anderson, and starring Luke Goss, Ving Rhames, Danny Trejo and Sean Bean. Death Race 2 is a prequel to the 2008 film Death Race, which, although marketed as a remake of the 1975 film Death Race 2000 (based on Ib Melchior’s short story “The Racer”), has been described as a prequel, making Death Race 2 a prequel to both films.
The film explores the origins of the first “Frankenstein” car driver, Carl “Luke” Lucas (Luke Goss), who died in a race at the beginning of the first film, from Luke’s beginning as a bank robber until his death in Death Race.
In 2012, private corporations own and manage the prison systems. Getaway driver Carl “Luke” Lucas (Luke Goss) is arrested after a robbery for his crime boss Markus Kane (Sean Bean) goes wrong. As his accomplices are robbing the bank, two police officers casually enter the building. Luke tells his accomplices to abort, but they refuse; Luke intervenes, resulting in the death of one of the three accomplices. Luke shoots and kills one of the officers and dumps off his accomplices in order to fulfill Markus’s wishes. In doing so, Luke is eventually captured by the police following a high-speed chase and sentenced to serve time on Terminal Island.
Terminal Island is a prison under the control of The Weyland Corporation, which hosts Death Match, a televised pay-per-view competition where two dangerous convicts are chosen and then forced to fight to the death or submission. The prisoners are given access to weapons or defense items to use during the fight by stepping on a marked plate in the arena. Luke meets the men who eventually become his pit crew in the Death Race: Lists (Frederick Koehler), who annoys him by over-analyzing everything, Goldberg (Danny Trejo), and Rocco (Joe Vaz). The host of Death Match is September Jones (Lauren Cohan), a former Miss Universe who lost her crown due to allegations of having a sexual relationship with all of its judges. She now works for The Weyland Corporation to create profit from the pay per view subscribers of Death Match. When a convict tries to stab Lists (because of his nature and weakness, as he was convicted only of swindling), Luke takes it upon himself to defend him.
Luke is later approached in the showers by September, who proposes that he fight. When he refuses, she makes sexual advances towards him, which he pretends to go for before refusing. In retaliation, September chooses Lists to fight in a Death Match with the convict who tried to stab him earlier. Luke confronts her while Lists is running for his life during the event, pleading to let him fight in place of Lists. She refuses to help and he jumps over a barbed fence to fight for Lists. He is joined by Katrina Banks (Tanit Phoenix), a woman convict who is serving as a ring girl with other female convicts. She hits the convict with a round number sign made of metal. A riot breaks out during the fight between Luke and the convict because of racial tension, sparked because Luke is white and the other convict is black. The convicts break down the fence to get in, and some of the rapists attack and attempt to rape female convicts. Katrina defends herself and helps other women, who are then evacuated. When the riot control guards come, Luke surrenders. Markus, worried that Luke will trade info on his crimes for immunity, discovers his location at Terminal Island while watching Death Match. Afterward, Luke is well-received when he sees Katrina and inquires about her well-being after the fight.
Markus puts a bounty of $1 million on Luke’s head and convinces some of the prisoners to kill him. Meanwhile, September comes up with a plan to boost their profits by converting the Death Match into a “Death Race”, where the contestants will have to race over days to win each match. The person who manages to win five such matches will be released from prison. Luke joins the race, during which other prisoners try to kill him to earn Markus’s bounty. Luke’s car crashes and everybody is led to believe that he is dead. In reality, he survives with extensive scarring to his face. He joins the race as the new character “Frankenstein” with a mask to hide his identity from others, especially September, who is threatening not only his life but Katrina’s as well. Meanwhile, Luke’s new Triad friends manage to kill Markus in revenge, and Lists kills Rocco in the shower house for rigging Luke’s car. Frankenstein then kills September by running her over with his car during a race, leaving some fates (such as Katrina’s) unresolved.
The cars in the film are real vehicles that have been heavily-modified with armor plating, machine guns and defensive weapons.
- Frankenstein’s Monster – A five-speed manual Fifth-generation Ford Mustang armed with dual M134 Miniguns for offense, and a smoke screen, napalm, and oil slick for defense, as well as a 6-inch-thick (150 mm) detachable steel plate on the rear bumper called “The Tombstone.”
- Porsche 911 – A five-speed manual vehicle with a stock 2.7L six-cylinder engine, driven by the Chinese convict 14K, enforced with dual World War II German MG-42 belt-fed general purpose machine guns, four hood-mounted missiles, and four missiles on the roof.
- Dodge Ram – Big Bill’s five-speed automatic truck with a 5.7L V8 Hemi engine, armed with a cowcatcher, four hood-mounted Browning M1919s, two side-mounted Vulcan cannons, and Russian RPG-7s.
- 1967 Buick Riviera GS (serial # 494877H903903)- Xander Grady’s turbo three-speed automatic with a 430C.I. V8 engine. The Riviera is enforced with German MG-34s, Uzis, and PPSH-41 submachine guns.
- BMW E32 – Hill Billy’s four-speed automatic with a six-cylinder engine. The BMW is enforced with an M134 and bullet-resistant steel.
- Pontiac Trans Am – Calin’s three-speed automatic with a 350HO V8 engine with a M134 aiming backwards for defense, and a .50 caliber turret on top of his car which is operated by his navigator.
- 1972 “Boattail” Buick Riviera – Apache’s three-speed automatic with a 430C.I. V8 “Nail Head” engine. The Boattail is enforced with German MG-34s, two Uzis, and two PPSH-41 submachine guns.
- Jaguar XJS – The Sheik’s four-speed automatic with a V12 engine. The Jaguar is enforced with bullet-resistant steel and 50-caliber M2 machine guns.
- Chrysler 300 C – Scarface’s five-speed automatic with a 345C.I. V8 engine. The Chrysler is enforced with three FN MAG-58s, a missile and oil slick.
- Australian Ford Falcons (EF and EL models) and Ford Crown Victorias – Driven by police.