Deathsport


1h 23m 1978
Deathsport

Brief Synopsis

One thousand years after most of civilization has been destroyed by wars, Kaz Oshay is a biker who rides around the range on his bike and on horseback. He wields a saber to protect himself from the marauding hordes of "Statesmen" who are lead by Lord Zirpola. When Zirpola eventually imprisons Kaz, h

Film Details

Also Known As
Death Sport
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1978

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Metrocolor)

Synopsis

One thousand years after most of civilization has been destroyed by wars, Kaz Oshay is a biker who rides around the range on his bike and on horseback. He wields a saber to protect himself from the marauding hordes of "Statesmen" who are lead by Lord Zirpola. When Zirpola eventually imprisons Kaz, he meets a woman named Daneer whose daugther has been kidnapped by a group of mutants. The two of them escape with the intent of saving Daneer's daughter, and evade the Statesmen for as long as they can on their motorcycles, but finally Kaz has to participate in the Death Sport in which only one of the players lives.

Film Details

Also Known As
Death Sport
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1978

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Metrocolor)

Articles

Deathsport


Deathsport (1978) came into existence for two reasons: One, to cash in on Death Race 2000 (1975) and, two, to hold David Carradine to his contract of making five films for producer Roger Corman. Carradine had signed that contract in an attempt to not only launch a movie career but go against the type he had created starring as Caine in the massively successful TV show Kung Fu. However, by the time they got to the fourth film in the contract, Deathsport, Carradine had worked for Hal Ashby and Ingmar Bergman, in Bound for Glory (1976) and The Serpent's Egg (1977) respectively, and felt something like Deathsport might set him back on his ascension to the Hollywood A-list. Well, he was kind of right. Nonetheless, he honored the contract and what happened next was one of the most memorable production shoots of the 1970s, for all the wrong reasons.

Roger Corman hired Charles Griffith to write a script that would be like Death Race but with motorcycles instead of cars. He got the script and didn't like it. It is unclear just what exactly Corman was expecting from a script that was "Death Race but with motorcycles," but clearly he was expecting more than Griffith was willing to provide. That's when Nicholas Niciphor came on and was tasked with re-writing the script and directing the movie. Carradine was available for only a couple of weeks and Niciphor was pretty much brand new to the medium, just out of film school. Chaos ensued.

The film also starred Playboy Playmate Claudia Jennings. She and Carradine were open about their drug use and according to Carradine himself, the shoot was madness from day one. There were fights on set both verbal and physical, and when shooting was done, Niciphor refused to come back for reshoots and post-production. That's when Allan Arkush was brought in to do newly written nude scenes of Jennings because Corman felt there hadn't been enough in the script as shot.

The movie didn't exactly set the box office on fire and any plans to further the Death Race formula were scrapped. Carradine himself didn't like it but also felt the script was "brilliantly written" and if there had been more time and a bigger budget, it all might have worked. Sadly, it was one of Claudia Jennings last movies as she died the next year in a car accident.

As it is, it's one of the awesome entries in the Roger Corman canon, a quickie B picture shot on a shoestring budget at breakneck speed and released within a few weeks after. Corman's films offered a proving ground for upcoming directors and students of film. The fact that they exist is a miracle and whether or not they qualify as high art shouldn't matter. They are what they are and by that measure, Deathsport is exactly what it needs to be.

Directors: Allan Arkush, Nicholas Niciphor
Produced: Roger Corman
Writing: Frances Doel, Nicholas Niciphor , Donald E. Stewart
Music: Andy Stein
Cinematography: Gary Graver
Film Editing: Larry Bock
Art Direction: Sharon Compton
Cast: David Carradine (Kaz Oshay), Claudia Jennings (Deneer), Richard Lynch (Ankar Moor), William Smithers (Dr. Karl), Will Walker (Marcus Karl), David McLean (Lord Zirpola), Jesse Vint (Polna), H.B. Haggerty (Jailer), John Himes (Tritan President), Jim Galante (Tritan Guard), Peter Hooper (Mr. Bakkar)

By Greg Ferrara
Deathsport

Deathsport

Deathsport (1978) came into existence for two reasons: One, to cash in on Death Race 2000 (1975) and, two, to hold David Carradine to his contract of making five films for producer Roger Corman. Carradine had signed that contract in an attempt to not only launch a movie career but go against the type he had created starring as Caine in the massively successful TV show Kung Fu. However, by the time they got to the fourth film in the contract, Deathsport, Carradine had worked for Hal Ashby and Ingmar Bergman, in Bound for Glory (1976) and The Serpent's Egg (1977) respectively, and felt something like Deathsport might set him back on his ascension to the Hollywood A-list. Well, he was kind of right. Nonetheless, he honored the contract and what happened next was one of the most memorable production shoots of the 1970s, for all the wrong reasons. Roger Corman hired Charles Griffith to write a script that would be like Death Race but with motorcycles instead of cars. He got the script and didn't like it. It is unclear just what exactly Corman was expecting from a script that was "Death Race but with motorcycles," but clearly he was expecting more than Griffith was willing to provide. That's when Nicholas Niciphor came on and was tasked with re-writing the script and directing the movie. Carradine was available for only a couple of weeks and Niciphor was pretty much brand new to the medium, just out of film school. Chaos ensued. The film also starred Playboy Playmate Claudia Jennings. She and Carradine were open about their drug use and according to Carradine himself, the shoot was madness from day one. There were fights on set both verbal and physical, and when shooting was done, Niciphor refused to come back for reshoots and post-production. That's when Allan Arkush was brought in to do newly written nude scenes of Jennings because Corman felt there hadn't been enough in the script as shot. The movie didn't exactly set the box office on fire and any plans to further the Death Race formula were scrapped. Carradine himself didn't like it but also felt the script was "brilliantly written" and if there had been more time and a bigger budget, it all might have worked. Sadly, it was one of Claudia Jennings last movies as she died the next year in a car accident. As it is, it's one of the awesome entries in the Roger Corman canon, a quickie B picture shot on a shoestring budget at breakneck speed and released within a few weeks after. Corman's films offered a proving ground for upcoming directors and students of film. The fact that they exist is a miracle and whether or not they qualify as high art shouldn't matter. They are what they are and by that measure, Deathsport is exactly what it needs to be. Directors: Allan Arkush, Nicholas Niciphor Produced: Roger Corman Writing: Frances Doel, Nicholas Niciphor , Donald E. Stewart Music: Andy Stein Cinematography: Gary Graver Film Editing: Larry Bock Art Direction: Sharon Compton Cast: David Carradine (Kaz Oshay), Claudia Jennings (Deneer), Richard Lynch (Ankar Moor), William Smithers (Dr. Karl), Will Walker (Marcus Karl), David McLean (Lord Zirpola), Jesse Vint (Polna), H.B. Haggerty (Jailer), John Himes (Tritan President), Jim Galante (Tritan Guard), Peter Hooper (Mr. Bakkar) By Greg Ferrara

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States April 1978

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1978

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1978

Released in United States April 1978 (Los Angeles)