If it's all the same to you, I’ll drive that tanker. – Mad Max
In 1979 a little 400,000$ budgeted, Australian made, Post Apocalyptic revenge opus named
Mad Max cracked the Box Office. It starred a then unknown Mel “the man” Gibson who was actually dubbed in the film for North American release. Funny how things change hey Mel! One year later; Mad Max 2 was set into motion, the budget was jacked up to 4,000,000$ and the title was changed to
“The Road Warrior” for its North American release. You see at the time, not many Yanks knew who The Max was…but that swiftly changed.
Who wasn’t ruined silly when first viewing The Road Warriors? This insane jamboree of death, nihilism and vehicular destruction was one of my favorite movies when I was a wee “paper frog torturing” twerp pretending to be tough. Specific moments and entire scenes from it have been engraved in what now stands as my brain for years! Going back to the film today; I was bamboozled as to how strongly it beat the test of time. It still stood up proudly as one of the greatest Action/Sci-Fi exploitation party of all time. It was actually a more rewarding experience today where I picked on so much more with the overt homosexual tones being the main thing. Shite, the lead villain actually had one of his henchmen on a dog-leash at a certain point! How did I miss that???
The key to the Road Warrior’ success in my extremely useless opinion is easy to discern yet so many filmmakers fail to achieve it: “simplicity”. I’ve always said that my ideal film would solely be communicated by images as opposed to dialogue. Film is after all a visual medium; it’s not the stage! The Road Warriors did just that with bull-dog balls and leather panache in tow. The set up? Good guys on the right, bad guys on the left and guy who doesn’t give a shit in the middle. The prize? “Oil”. The means to get it? Violence and death through motor vehicles. That’s it, that’s the movie and you know what that’s all I needed to make my freaking day a fulfilling one. This had to be one of the easiest sit downs ever! The unraveling of events zoomed by, the stellar cinematography/directing/editing jacked up the ride and the action/stunt driven nature of the narrative gracefully dragged me from one plot turn to the next. My kind of movie!
It should be said, that this flick’s last 20 minutes or so contained one of the most exhilarating, head bashing, mind numbing and bone crushing, extensive motor vehicle chases in the history of cinema. I was exhausted after watching that bit. No car jamboree has ever been equaled in terms of rawness and pure excitement! Tag to all that a brilliant milking of the novel locations that were the Australian Outback, a slew of memorable characters (the lead villain is a pre Jason Voorhees, gay Jason Voorhees) and a captivating anti hero in the guise of self centered, man of action Mad Max and you get one for the bloody books of classic. On the whole The Road Warriors was and still is a unique and primeval experience. After it’s released; countless imitators popped up and to this day none have managed to equal the BRILLIANCE that is this cinematic bully. LONG LIVE THE MAX!