Junesploitation 2019: Cars: Death Racers (2008)

I’m a few days behind on Junesploitation but day 8’s category was cars. I chose a film I had seen before but never got around to writing about. I chose Death Racers because it stars not only Scott Levy, better known as Raven (ECW, WCW, WWE) but Insane Clown Posse as well. ICP is the hip hop duo of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope. The cool thing about ICP in my opinion is in addition to being rappers they are directors, actors, and wrestlers.  Violent J and Shaggy were part of their own backyard wrestling federation called Tag Team Wrestling in the 80’s. They later would wrestle for independent promotions in Michigan then go on to appear in ECW, WWE, WCW, and TNA. Juggalo Championshit Wrestling was created by them in 1999 and after a name change to Juggalo Championship Wrestling in 2007 still operates to this day.

Deathracers poster

Death Racers was The Asylum’s way to cash in on the movie Death Race which also came out in 2008. However, they are drastically different. Death Race and Death Racers both center around a game-show like race with freedom as a prize and although they both star wrestlers in some capacity, Death Race including a small cameo by Brock Lesnar (WWE), they have no other similarities.

Death Racers is about the government trying to get rid of the Reaper, played by Raven. The Reaper is trying to poison the water basins with an explosive type of concentrated Sarin. This makes absolutely no sense but I don’t always require scientific accuracy in my prison game-show racing movies. To get rid of the Reaper, Governor Black decides to have a savage run. Unfortunately, they were made illegal so they just change the name to death race.

The death race offers prisoners trapped inside the Red Zone a chance at freedom if they can kill the Reaper. The teams consist of the Severed Head Gang, Homeland Security, Vaginamyte, and Insane Clown Posse. They’re let loose in the Red Zone, where they run over, hatchet, shoot, and whack criminals to rack up points on the way to the Reaper’s lair. If you kill the Reaper you get 200 points and if you catch him alive it’s worth 400. If you reach 1000 points you win your freedom.

This movie is absolutely bonkers. Its dialogue is crass and juvenile, it’s plot although fairly straight forward is muddled by the insanity of it all. It has some special effects that are CGI, the red stuff is splattered, but the editing is a bit too over the top at times. There are rewinds, mirror images, and some of the dialogue is ADR.

To be honest this movie is an absolute mess but I really enjoyed the heck out of it. Word is that Violent J called it a terribly shitty movie and although that might be true from a production standpoint I think it is pure gold. Raven does well being a menacing terrorist with no regard for humanity whatsoever. He doesn’t get to do a lot of physical stuff such as fight scenes but his presence is great. He has one fight scene with Violent J and although it’s short and poorly lit it gets the point over that both of these wounded men are trying their hardest to end the other’s life.

I am almost completely convinced that the addition of ICP to any low budget genre fare is a smart move. Just let them be themselves and you get some goofy ass dialogue. Now this is largely untested as besides this movie and their two movies, Big Money Hustlas, and Big Money Rustlas, they haven’t been given the chance to shine that I feel they should have gotten. They may be the most hated band in the world but they sure do know what makes entertainment click.

Apparently ICP did this as a favor for the director who had previously directed them on a prior project the duo had in the works. I’ll forever be thankful for that move as I plan to enjoy Death Racers as often as I can. It might pair better with copious amounts of alcohol or a few bong loads. But if you are a fan of absurdist fare or are as drawn to movies that star bands and rappers as I am movies that star wrestlers you’re in for a decent time.

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Scott Levy (Raven): right

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Right to left: Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J

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Junesploitation 2019: 90’s Action Film: The Ultimate Weapon

I’ve never participated in F This Movie!’s Junesploitation shenanigans but I noticed some friends on twitter participating. I think I’m cheating since I technically started on day 6 with my viewing of Look Out, Officer! since I missed the first 5 days. However, I’ve decided to use Junesploitation as a writing exercise and use as many days as I can to cover the list’s requirements by choosing stuff that stars wrestlers. Today is day 7 and the requirement is a 90’s action film. I scoured my collection of films that star professional wrestlers for an action film from the 90’s and chose 1998’s The Ultimate Weapon which stars retired professional wrestler, Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea (WWF, WCW, TNA, NJPW) . Hulk Hogan was not the first wrestler to appear in films but he’s probably one of the most famous.

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The Ultimate Weapon from 1998 is about a mercenary name Ben “Hardball” Cutter played by Hulk Hogan, who is hired to do a mission for his old friend “Top” Drummond. He is assigned a partner for his mission who happens to be the son of one of his old partners, Cobra. At first he is hesitant to have Vince Dean along but after a brief run on the training course, he agrees.

Cutter has a past that troubles him, in the beginning we see a scene where Hardball fails to save his daughter while on a mission but Hardball wakes up and it is revealed to be a dream. It is never revealed if this happened in real life but it is revealed he has not seen his daughter in 20 years. The chapter listing on the DVD does, however, say that his daughter is kidnapped.

His mission, Operation Shamrock is to neutralize hostiles in what the chapter listing says is Serbia. There Dean and Cutter neutralize the hostiles and the UN lead by Roarke comes in. These guys are clearly not UN soldiers which upsets Cutter. Turns out they are part of the IRA and the weapons which were to be retrieved by the UN are now going to be used in IRA’s operations. Cutter is having none of this and he blows those weapons the hell up!

Cutter’s actions anger Roarke which in turn angers his boss McBride, a crazy millionaire with a penchant for arms dealing. Cutter tries to reconnect with his daughter who has become a stripper at a bar where the owner’s muscle is actually Ed Leslie more known as Brutus the Barber Beefcake (WWF, WCW). His daughter Mary Kate is offered a job as an escort. She takes the job because she has some money issues (Her grandma’s house is about to be foreclosed on). Unfortunately, her dinner date is none other than McBride.

After almost being raped by McBride she steals a drive on a necklace. This sets off the rest of the plot which includes hitmen out for Mary Kate, Cutter, and even Dean. This is of course a perfect chance for Cutter and Dean to beat some folks up and eliminate those who are after them.

This movie connected to me in a strange way. It’s a run of the mill action film but something about Hogan really got me this time. I’ve watched some of his other roles before and I liked them well enough but his portrayal of Cutter was excellent. He stepped into this role unlike some of his other stuff. He looks like an action star and at no point was I thinking this is ridiculous Hulk Hogan can’t be this big of a bad ass.

The action was great, I really miss the days when if you wanted characters to fire guns, you actually had to have some blank firing guns. So much of what I see nowadays is CGI when it comes to firearms firing. That and of course some very shoddy looking airsoft guns. I’m not sure what the budget was for this film but I imagine it was decent since Hulk Hogan was such a bankable name at this time with his crazy popularity in WCW’s NWO faction then again I can’t find actual numbers so I may be totally off the mark here.

If you like Hulk Hogan you owe it to yourself to track down this movie, it is on Amazon Prime at the moment and it is available as a Multipack DVD. I purchased an import DVD that has the movie on it’s own but that is not an option for everyone sometimes. It is also worth buying as well if you like action films. All in all I had a blast with The Ultimate Weapon and hope this Junesploitation viewing an review gets a few others to check it out.

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Center Background: Brutus the Barber Beefcake

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