ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

001594
Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The Road Warrior (1980)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: George Miller

Starring:
Mel Gibson/Mad Max
Bruce Spence/Gyro Captain
Vernon Wells/Wez
Kjell Nilsson/Humongous
PLOT-CRUNCH
A post Apocalyptic future + family unit good guys with oil + outrageous leather clad gay hoodlums who want the oil + silent yet deadly loner Mad Max (Gibson) in the middle = death, violence, motor vehicle carnage and all around fun times!
THE LOWDOWN

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!

GORE
We get some arrows in various body parts, sliced off fingers, a boomerang in the head and lots of cars on people carnage.
ACTING
The camera loves Mel Gibson (Mad Max) and no amount of dialogue could’ve matched the magnetic animal presence he displayed in this baby. Now that’s a star! Bruce Spence (Gyro Captain) did fine as the semi comic relief but I could’ve easily went without him. Vernon Wells (Wez) was amazing as the grunting, Mohawk sporting gay baddie. See “Commando” for his other “gay villain” part. THE MAN OWNS! Kjell Nilsson (Humongous) lets his muscles and his hockey mask do the acting; GREAT ACTING! Emil Minty (The Feral kid) played a kid who was…well…feral. I BOUGHT IT!
T & A
We get a tit shot during a rape scene (not pleasant) and the ladies get Mel shirtless and Lord Humongous staying true to his name in his beyond pumped up nature. The man IS a bench press!
DIRECTING
Miller drove his film at a furious pace while staging his action scenes in an exciting, multi angle fashion. I so boogied to the slick areial shots, which gave me a diverse point of view of the mash up at hand. Tight, focused and adrenaline charged. George come back! We miss ya!
SOUNDTRACK
The heart pounding score by Brian May supported the riveting and brutal images perfectly.
BOTTOM LINE
Road Warriors was akin to a potent adrenaline shot injected into one’s veins that went on to whiplash brain cells full force. This demolition derby was well acted, effortlessly paced; “Energizer Bunny” directed and showcased one of the more seat hopping action/car/chaos bonanza of all time. I have ZERO qualms with this picture; it’s definitely a must see, a must own and a must re-watch at least once a year. Viva Road Warriors! THE REAL F*CKING DEAL!
BULL'S EYE
Because he was unknown in the US at the time; the trailer focused on the car chases, not Mel Gibson.

The black Interceptor Mad Max drives is a 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Coupe

George Miller went on to direct the underwhelming (to me anyways) second sequel Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. A fourth Mad Max has been rumored for a while but the last attempt at getting it off the ground failed. Let’s hope it happens one day!
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

1:49PM on 10/21/2007

DARK KNIGHT OF THE WASTELAND

Blew me away the first time I watchd it. And it still does. Many other movies tried to copy it (Waterworld and Cyborg comes to mind) but this is still the ACE. However director Roger Miller didn't make stuff like this anymore but decided to do more family-oriented stuff like Lorenzo's Oil and Happy Feet.

I remember watching a double-feature of Midnight Cowboy, followed by Mad Max 2 - it was a night of blast cause it was like a butt-kicking version of literature lesson at that time (circa
Blew me away the first time I watchd it. And it still does. Many other movies tried to copy it (Waterworld and Cyborg comes to mind) but this is still the ACE. However director Roger Miller didn't make stuff like this anymore but decided to do more family-oriented stuff like Lorenzo's Oil and Happy Feet.

I remember watching a double-feature of Midnight Cowboy, followed by Mad Max 2 - it was a night of blast cause it was like a butt-kicking version of literature lesson at that time (circa 1996). Of Mice and Men and John Wyndham's The Chrysalids was in the syllabus - in the two respective movies are relevant to these two novels. (Wished I'd have watched them before taking the exam but that's different story)

Guess I don't have to elaborate the praises for this movie cos the rest of you dudes already did that.

Its prologue is frighteningly relevant, esp in the current light of Sept 11 and its aftermath. But let's not get depressive right now, so on to this scene which I find really cool.

There is something equally heroic and haunting abt its final frames. And it almost put the vision of Batman brooding over the edge of tall bldgs to shame.

- It was the aftermath of a furious highway battle. A wounded Max Rockatansky (The Gibson) stood over the desolated horizon littered with automobile wreckage, watching the tribe he rescued leaving him behind. He may have won but decided not to join the party and instead return to his lonely, wretched existence. "And as for The Road Warrior... that was the last we saw of him. He still lives on... In my memories". Now that's DARK KNIGHT.
Your Reply:



2:20AM on 05/22/2007

Four stars is not enough

The word classic gets tossed around a bit too much. Mad Max 2 (aka The Road Warrior) is one of those films that I simply can never tire of. I've watched the movie on a near annual basis since my brother first showed me the film in a double-feature with the original in, what I can only guess, was around 1983-84. Certain movies, when viewed at certain times in your life, shape so much of who you and your views of the world, as silly as that sounds. Max became the archetype, in my mind, of what
The word classic gets tossed around a bit too much. Mad Max 2 (aka The Road Warrior) is one of those films that I simply can never tire of. I've watched the movie on a near annual basis since my brother first showed me the film in a double-feature with the original in, what I can only guess, was around 1983-84. Certain movies, when viewed at certain times in your life, shape so much of who you and your views of the world, as silly as that sounds. Max became the archetype, in my mind, of what the male hero should be. Strong, silent, ready to take charge when needed. Unfortunately he is also a loner, a drifter, and one who carries a great burden and due to this tends to push those away with whom he begins to feel any level of intimacy. Yeah, I guess that part isn't so good, but it IS good for the character.

Anyway, I am rambling. The movie has possibly the best action sequences I have ever seen and I will continue to be in awe of this film for as long as I live.

As I said before, the word "classic" gets tossed around too lightly by some. The Road Warrior is an un-paralleled true classic that has withstood the test of time and solidified what is potentially the greatest action hero ever to grace the silver screen.

What Clint Eastwood was to my father years before, Mel Gibson was for me, as Mad Max.

*edit* One last thing. For the first time ever, not that anyone truly cares, I can reveal that this series of films (specifically the first) were the inspiration for my username, Dark_One79. Funny that it had nothing to do with horror, given my history on this site.
Your Reply:



12:58AM on 05/14/2007

About time...

You are dead on about this movie. I remember first watching this in Junior High and being blown away. Now going into my junior year of college, I'm still blown away by it. Long live The Road Warrior!
You are dead on about this movie. I remember first watching this in Junior High and being blown away. Now going into my junior year of college, I'm still blown away by it. Long live The Road Warrior!
Your Reply:



Mistress Of The Week

More
 Scorupco, Izabella