Why Twisted Metal Is The Violent Heir To Mad Max & Death Race’s ‘Carsploitation’

Entertainment that falls under the “carsploitation” umbrella is often dismissed as disreputable schlock. That couldn’t be further from the truth, though, as the golden age of carsploitation cinema and television boasts plenty of titles that highlight the sociopolitical anxieties of society at the time. For example, “Death Race 2000” is a futuristic satire that takes aim at violent entertainment, sports, and politics. “Mad Max,” meanwhile is a post-apocalyptic cautionary tale that set out to warn us about hurting the environment and the finite nature of the planet’s natural resources.

“Twisted Metal” is concerned with similar ideas. While its central story about a dangerous road trip through lawless post-apocalyptic lands is a typical storyline in carsploitation fare, the series also addresses contemporary real-world issues. The story is essentially about someone who must risk his life for rich people before he can live in regular society, which is a prime example of a common worker being exploited by the elites.

In Season 2, viewers can also look forward to a deadly tournament, similar to the bloodsport-as-entertainment concept depicted in “Death Race 2000.” In “Twisted Metal” Episode 10, the powerful leader of New San Francisco, Raven (Neve Campbell), tells Doe that he needs to win the contest and bring her the grand prize — or else. “Twisted Metal” warns us of a future where regular folks will become obsolete and entertainment will lack a moral center. Furthermore, it’s a doom-laden message that would make the show’s carsploitation godfathers proud.

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