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Location: Prague, Bohemia
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In Reply To
Superman's Pal

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,803
Subj: Re: Sci-Fi Cinema #85 - Mad Max 2 aka The Road Warrior (1981)
Posted: Sat Jul 30, 2022 at 02:21:36 pm EDT (Viewed 115 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Sci-Fi Cinema #85 - Mad Max 2 aka The Road Warrior (1981)
Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2022 at 02:05:19 pm EDT (Viewed 116 times)

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    One of my all time favourite films. It still holds up today due to a compelling plot, interesting characters and some of the best stuntwork ever. I agree that it pretty much started the post-apocalyptic genre (there were a few prior examples but this really felt like something all new.

It holds up for me too.

    personally, I think it is a brilliant hero arc. Max starts out selfish and self centred as that is what the wasteland has taught him. When he finds people who need him he is reluctant to take up the responsibility, remembering he failed his family. But when PapaGallo points out that this makes him no better than the rabble, he becomes a true hero.

I would disagree that he becomes heroic. Max is happy to leave everyone to their own fight and just escape. I especially like the scene where he callously dumps the Feral Kid's bundle out of the car and doesn't look back. This is after the kid saved him with the wolf call. But then his car gets blown up and when he wakes up he's back at the depot without wheels. There is no way to escape the wasteland and the Humungus without help, that is the only reason he drives the truck. It's totally selfish.

At the same time Papagallo is using him as a distraction and doesn't even tell him that there's no gas in the tanker. He's a fairly nice guy but he's using Max too, doing what he has to do to save his people. That's what is great about the movie, there are no white or black hats. Everyone is a shade of grey.

    As you say, even the bit part characters are memorable in this. When the minor good guys get killed off, I felt for them. The actor playing Papagallo (Who reminds me of a blonde Mic Jagger) is excellent as are all the extras. Im amazed that in a post-nuclear war world there was still enough hair dye and brillcreame to have so many mowhawks. Also, Lord Hummongous somehow found an ice hockey mask in Australia?

Yeah the style is pretty outlandish and unbelievable. But they've got a lot of time to kill in the wasteland coming up with solutions.

    Lord Hummongous really feels like there is something deeper. He is a relatively tactful gang leader, compared to a mad dog like Wez. I never quite understood why Wez focused on Max when it was clearly the Feral kid who killed his boyfriend. The actor playing Wes really brings it, hard to believe he become the overweight, chubby final bad guy, Bennett, in Commando.

Worse, he became a Power Rangers villain.

    The final chase scene is one of the best action scenes ever.

Yeah when I think of the apocalypse before this I'm thinking of "Last Man on Earth" or "On the Beach." I never thought of post-collapse as being for high energy racing and fighting.

    This is the movie I always think of when the sequel is better than the original.

Yeah, George Miller apparently couldn't take the original as far as he wanted to due to budget, he called it practice for the sequel. There are plenty of sequels which are fine but few are better.

    It inspired one of my favourite board games as a kid, Thunder Road, which is basically Road Warrior, the game.

Thunder Road is also the title of a fine movie about bootlegging moonshine that I finally saw a couple of years ago. It apparently inspired Moonrunners and later the Dukes of Hazzard.


My friends played Car Wars which I assumed was based on a similar idea but I didn't really get into it.

I collected (but rarely played) the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle RPG games. They had a subset called "After the Bomb" and one supplement was "Road Hogs" with car combat and another was "Mutants Down Under" which featured zeppelin combat in Australia.

Yeah, Mad Max is kind of an example of a good film made for no budget. The Road Warrior is an example of what a director can do with a good-sized budget.

Unfortunately, if you give Miller a huge budget, you get a steaming pile of excess, over-indulgent sh*te called "Fury Road" which I hate with a passion.

Anyway, will you finish out the Mad Max trilogy with "Beyond Thunderdome"? I remember the cinemas at the time not knowing if they should label it "Mad Max 2" or "3".

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