The sport of the future in the real world? Football with even more VAR-derived delays and F1 with even less overtaking. Bah!
It’s far more enjoyable to delve into these creative pastimes imagined by the big brains of Hollywood, all of which take place in dystopian futures that naturally encourage a bit of the old ultra-violence. From televised death games to motor races where pedestrian casualties mean extra points, these dark diversions are truly killer competitions.
James Caan is Jonathan E, the star player of rollerball – a sport that looks a bit like a roller disco full of young offenders. Once your blood’s up from watching this, download Speedball 2: Evolution for your iPhone to take part in similarly brutal action.
Death Race 2000 (1975)
Yes, this also made it into our list of the 25 best car movies ever. Stallone and David Carradine head up a field of drivers not only racing each other but picking up extra points for pedestrian roadkill.
The Blood of Heroes (aka Salute of the Jugger, 1989)
If you like grim post-apocalyptic visions, this is about as bleak as it gets. Rutger Hauer leads a team of “juggers”, travelling between villages to take on the best at The Game (which you’d assume was called jugging, but no one actually says so). He’s forced to recruit a new player, Joan Chen, who persuades him to take on a league side in the Red City. Dun dun duhhhhhn.
This is the film starring Jami Gertz and Jason Patric that isn’t Lost Boys. It’s set in a silly future world where there’s hardly any water and a group of kids in a prison-like orphanage find escape from their oppression by playing a variation on hockey. The real adventure starts when they find a magic orb that starts talking to a young, mousey Lukas Haas. All very silly, but fun nonetheless.
The Running Man (1987)
So, what did happen to Buzzsaw? “He had to split,” replies Arnie in his relentlessly mechanical manner. Everyone’s favourite Austrian is a man wrongfully imprisoned for mass murder and sent on a game show where people bet on the time and harbinger of his death. The “Runners” are sadistic heroes with ridiculous names such as Captain Freedom, Dynamo, Fireball, Buzzsaw and, of course, Subzero – who becomes “plain zero!” Oh Arnie, how we miss thee so.