Dick De Jong
February 7, 2013
"You have to have four B's in a movie to make it excellent. Bullets, blood, bombs and babes." Explains Danny Trejo, one of the stars of Death Race 3: Inferno.
By that standard, the third installment of this movie franchise, now relocated from the hell hole of Terminal Island prison to the blazing Kalahari Desert of South Africa, is ultra-excellent as in ultra-violent.
Before we proceed with the review, as a caution, take a look at this clip of women prisoners competing to see who will be navigators in the ten cars in the murderous three day race.
Of note, that clip was the R Rated version. The Unrated cut that comes with this Blu-ray pulls no punches. The scenes do not cut away from gratuitous shots like a pike being thrust through a chin.
Alright, you have been warned.
I will admit that the 2008 Paul W.S. Anderson directed Death Race (based on the Roger Corman 1975 Death Race 2000) was a guilty pleasure. But it featured the inimitable Joan Allen as the ruthless Warden Hennessey, the iron-jawed Jason Statham as the wronged wheelman Frankenstein, and Ian McShane as the wise, world-weary Coach.
None of the three reprise their roles in this sequel. And even though Danny Trejo lends his own brand of authenticity as Goldberg, Frankenstein's new right-hand man, the Death Race 3: Inferno cast pales in comparison to the original.
The solution that Director Roel Reiné and his crew describe in the Bonus Features is simple, bigger and faster cars and more action. Or in terms of Trejo's 4 B's, more and more bullets, blood, bombs, and babes.
And to top it off, a way over the top Dougray Scott plays an especially depraved megalomaniacal nemesis of both the cool as a frozen dagger, Ving Rhames, and the stoic, simmering Luke Goss.
For me, the amplified concoction is all too much sound and fury.
I will admit that the hi-def Blu-ray is great at displaying the raw beauty of the desert as the cars are ravaging the landscape.
The one feature worth mentioning is "Art Imitating Life: Goldberg," which offers a glimpse into the real life of the amiable Danny "Machete" Trejo.
The other Bonuses like the "Making of..." don't really add any redeeming value to this direct to video release, which sadly needs all the redemption that it can muster.
Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Director: Roel Reine
Cast: Luke Goss, Danny Trejo, Ving Rhames, Dougray Scott, Tanit Phoenix, Fred Koehler and Robin Shou
Length: 105 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
DTS Digital Surround 5.1
DTS Digital Surround 5.1
English SDH, French and Spanish