I Saw A Film!
This here being the prelude to the wildly popular, post-apocalyptic Aussie dystopia known as Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, which is the film that dominated our imaginations for a few years (especially in the parking lot right outside the cinema after viewing) I was a bit surprised that: One, I’d not seen it, and, two, that it really barely manages to have any resemblance to it’s offspring. Mad Max is just a bit of a rockabilly cops vs. biker gang flick, with a big middle section of the sweetness of married life and parenthood dropped in the middle, blasted apart by bad guys, and allowing Mel Gibson a nice excuse to burn some lout alive.
Yeah, there you go. Lots of extreme close-ups and rich Aussie accents really slather the brand on heavy. My feels were that we don’t get enough motorhead stuff to make it into the lexicon as a motorhead movie. There’s not enough biker stuff to make it a classic of biker film culture (there, Gibson would have had to infiltrate and win over the biker culture to discover the murderer) and we don’t really get enough regional ethnic culture for it to work as a cult feature (which it almost was but it got roundly superseded by the sequel just two years later). It’s a dusty rural outing with accents and leather and two burnings. The bad guys had a tough time rising above anything more memorable than the psycho in Dirty Harry (thank you again Andrew Robinson), and would be entirely forgotten by the time we were soaking in the musclebound, masked monster named Humungus.
Two directions to go with the appropriate appreciation of Mad Max. The original was the only one that was worth anything, being that it was a more accessible and human tale (Max had a wife and kid who were ravaged by rotten retribution for the loss of their leader, an outlaw Max assisted in his exit from life). Or you could say that the original film was not a fully realized concept, skipping a devastated world ravaged by resource needs. Considering the subsequent sequels it’s not hard to see where the money was made. By the time we had a Thunderdome and Tina Turner and a UFC fighting championship we knew what sort of fantasy we were indulging, that being an outrageous fantasy.
This is running on Hulu for naught but your Hulu registration and as we all proved in the 80s, is largely unnecessary to the Mad Max franchise, resembling more a 60s biker exploitation flick. Mel is so cute in ’79 though!