Death Race 2 (formerly Death Race: Frankenstein Lives) is a 2010 American science fiction action film directed by Dutch filmmaker Roel Reiné, written by Tony Giglio and Paul W. S. Anderson, and starring Luke Goss, Ving Rhames, Tanit Phoenix, Danny Trejo and Sean Bean. Death Race 2 is a direct-to-DVD 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. Despite the fact it was never released in theaters, it has developed a cult following.
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. Markus, worried that Luke will trade info on his crimes for immunity, discovers his location and orders his men to take Luke out.
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, Big Bill, tries to stab Luke for a bounty placed by Markus Kane to ensure he doesn't testify, Lists takes it upon himself to warn him. Lists pushes Luke against a wall just as the other convict approaches, enabling Luke to defend himself successfully.
Luke is later approached in the showers by September, who witnessed him in the earlier scuffle, and proposes that he fight in Death Match. 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 Big Bill. 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 Big Bill 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. Afterward, Luke is well received when he sees Katrina and inquires about her well-being after the fight.
Markus sees Luke during the showing of Death Match and is convinced that it is only a matter of time before Luke cracks and testifies. He increases pressure on his men and puts a bounty of $1 million on Luke's head. Meanwhile, September comes up with a plan to boost their profits by converting the failing 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. During the race, he notices that another racer, 14K, is the only one not trying to kill him since they don't do business with other crime rings. Luke ends up saving 14K, telling Katrina that 14K now owes him one. However, during the race they realize that their car has been rigged to not work any of its defenses or weapons. Katrina even admits that Markus offered her a reward if she killed Luke. When Big Bill attacks Luke, Luke gets Katrina to jettison out of the car safely just before Big Bill fires a missile at Luke. Luke's car crashes and catches fire, leading everyone to believe that he is dead. In reality, he survives with extensive scarring to his face and body. September then convinces him to rejoin a new race as the masked "Frankenstein" by threatening both him and Katrina.
Meanwhile, 14K sends word to the Triad to repay his debt to Luke, "a life for a life," and manages to kill Markus. Also, Lists kills Rocco in the shower house after discovering he rigged Luke's car. Frankenstein then kills September by running her over with his car during a race, much to the pleasure of many of the people she blackmailed, used or seduced to get what she wants. The movie ends with Frankenstein starting his race with both Lists and Katrina inferring that Luke is Frankenstein.
Classic cars in the film
- 1967 Buick Riviera
- 1971 Buick Riviera
- 1986 Cadillac Eldorado
- 1979 Chevrolet Caprice Classic
- 1973 Chevrolet Kommando
- 1964 Chrysler New Yorker
- 1980 Datsun 200SX
- 1973 GM C-Series
- 1971 Jaguar XK-E
- 1988 Jeep Cherokee
- 1965 Leyland Titan PD3/5
- 1959 SAAB 93 F