David Carradine reported dead

Death Race 2000 (1975)

DavidCarradine as Frankenstein in DEATHRACE2000

Associated Press is reporting that David Carrdine hasdied in Bangkock. The actor was there to start work on a movie; when he did not show up for a meal with the rest of the crew, his body was found hanged in his hotel room – an apparent suicide.

Carradine is most famous for his starring role in the 1970s series KUNG FU, but he also had several roles in cinefantastique films and television.

His best science fiction film showcase was as Frankenstein, champion of a futuristic cross-country road race in which the drivers collect points by running over pedestrians, in the Roger Corman production DEATH RACE 2000 (1975), which was three years later by a spin-off, DEATH SPORT. Carradine became a fixture in other low-budget genre films from Corman, including THE WARRIOR AND THE SORCERESS (1984), WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM II (1989), FUTURE ZONE (1990), and NIGHTFALL (2000).

His other genre films include the mystical martial arts film CIRLCE OF IRON (1978), Larry Cohen’s Q: THE WINGED SERPENT (1982), EVIL TOONS (1992), WAXWORK II: LOST IN TIME (1992), and CHILDREN OF THE CORN V (1998).

In 1989’s SUNDOWN (1989), Carradine played a vampire named “Count Mardulak,” who turns out to be Dracula, a role previously played by his fathe John Carradine in HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1944) and HOUSE OF DRACULA (12945). The Dracula connection continued when David Carradine flmed an introduciton for a video release of NOSFERATU (1922), a silent version of DRACULA, with a new soundtrack consisting of songs by Type-O Negative.

On television, Carradine appeared in the “Phantom Farmouse” episode of Rod Serling’s NIGHT GALLERY, the “Partnership” episode of DARKROOM, “A Distant Scream” for HAMMER HOUSE OF MYSTERY AND SUSPENSE, the “Thanksgiving episode of Steven Spielberg’s AMAZING STORIES, “And the Moon Be Still as Bright” for THE RAY BRADBURY THEATER, and “Deja Vu All Over Again” for CHARMED.

After sinking into low-budget obscurity for most of the 1990, his career received a major boost when Quentin Tarantino cast him as “Bill” in KILL BILL Volume I (203) and Volume 2 (2004).

Carrdine’s recent credits include providing a the voice of “Frankenstein” for last year’s DEATH RACE, a loose remake of DEATH RACE 2000. He had completed roles in several films in post-production, including NIGHT OF THE TEMPLAR, about a medieval knight who comes back to life to wreck vengeance.

About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.

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