Starring: Mel Gibson Directed by : George Miller
THE STORY:Ok, this is going to be short and sweet. You know why? because if you haven't seen this movie yet you haven't seen a lot of movies. So the inferno is assuming you've seen this flick. If you haven't stop reading now, go rent it and get back to us later.
*sigh* I still have to tell the story though don't I ? Well, this is one of the best films I have ever seen! Its a real "Guy" movie. You know, the kind of flick that a lot of guys know about but their girlfriends always go "Huh"" when asked about it. And it was made in the glorious time that was the 70's. (1979, I believe. Ok, they weren't glorious)
When I first saw this movie I had no idea what was going on. I was a kid. I didn't realize the movie was taking place in Australia until the Road Warrior sequel came out. (back then as a child English and Australian accents sounded the same to me. Give me a break. I grew up in a small town and I didn't get to meet a lot of people that weren't from the area until I was about 15 or so.)
Max is a cop in a future (or present? I guess the proper word would be 'alternate' since this flick was made in the late 70's early 80's) world where the system is falling apart. There's a lack of fuel that's not really explained and we can only assume that its causing the problems at the core. Basically, gangs of bikers have taken to the roads and begun to hurt, kill, and maim at will. Max, being in of the best cops and "pursuit men" around personally takes down a maniac called the Night Rider. In two supercharged cars they face each other in a game of chicken. Max, however has ice water in his veins and wins. The Night Rider gets a coffin for his trouble.
But the Night Rider wasn't without comrades. His friend and gang leader, the Toecutter is pissed off that the cops have killed his buddy. But the Toecutter doesn't do anything to get vengeance at first. His revenge only comes as a side effect. During one of the gangs' rapin' and pillagin' sprees the Toecutter and company rape a girl and beat the [unwrite] out of her boyfriend. Max and his best friend and fellow cop Jim Goose come across the couple after the crime is done and catch one of the bikers, Johnny the boy. Johnny is a real loser. He only gets caught because he gets so wasted he can't ride away.
Goose is livid with rage after he sees what happens to the girl. It doesn't help that no one shows up in court so Johnny is set free. Goose wants his ass bad and Johnny tells the Toecutter that. So they set a trap for Goose and well, [unwrite] him up real good. Without going into specifics, they pretty much kill Goose, because what's left of him ain't worth living in. This drives Max to retire. Max has a loving wife, Jessie, and a toddler son, called "Sprog". (I know...what the [unwrite] kinda name is that...maybe its popular in Australia? I don't know) Max wants to safeguard his family and even though he's distraught over Goose's injury, he knows that its only a matter of time until his number comes up. So he tries to quit. Only the police chief, "Fifi" talks him out of it and sends him on a vacation instead.
Lo and behold. While traveling through the country, Max and family run across Toecutter and his gang. This is really by accident. And its done well. you don't feel like its been contrived while watching it. But you know the outcome, pretty much. While visiting some elderly relatives, the bikers show up and kidnap Sprog, forcing Jessie to chase after them. Max is unaware of this as he's working on the family car. The gang kills Jessie and Sprog and thus Max becomes "Mad". And this is the part where most guys can connect with Max. Max gets his leather police uniform out of storage, heads back to the police HQ (called the Halls of Justice....isn't that where the Super friends lived?) and roars off in "The last of the V-8's". He systematically he tracks down and eliminates the gang. If you haven't seen the movie I don't want to ruin the end for you when Max finally catches up with the last member of the gang, Johnny the Boy and offers him a chance to come out of the encounter alive. (he doesn't but...damn it, just watch the movie!)
Why is it cool? Because this may not be the first Post apocalypse movie but its one of the best. It became the standard in the 80's long with its sequel for PA movies. Mad Max is a cult classic and it deserves to be one. This is the movie that put Mel Gibson in the spotlight. Dammit, this is one good movie! Don't just take my word for it. The wondrous Warden at Prison Flicks has a great review of this movie (The Warden has reviewed all of the Mad Max movies and he's right on target..) Read it! I won't be as mad as Max if you don't but don't screw with me on the road!
BEST LINES: "I don't know man, I just got here myself."- The Goose after a big crash while chasing the Nightrider.
"Anyone so much as breathes and I'll cream 'em!"- The old lady. Man, when was the last time you heard someone say "cream 'em" in that context?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?:
1.)What the hell was up with the guy with the fencing mask? (Talking to police chief about seducing Max with 'candy'.)
2.)You know a movie is dated in the 70's when a character calls another one a "turkey". Man, I don't think I've heard anyone called a turkey since "Good times" went off of the air.
3.) Here's a question I NEVER thought of before...what's Max's last name? I'm sure there is someone out there who's a big enough trivia fan to know it. It sounds like Fifi calls him "Robbatanski" but hey, could be anything. So is Max's last name Robbatanski? Does anyone know and if so how? Let the Inferno know! ADDENDUM: After I wrote that I did some checking at This site and found out that Max's last name is "Rockatansky", if this information is correct.
NUDITY AND SEX:None that I recall, but my copy of the movie may be missing a glimpse that yours isn't.
HUH?:If crime has become so rampant and gangs have become so violent yet there still seems to be a functioning legal system...wouldn't the bikers risk being killed almost on sight? I'm only guessing but in order maintain any kind of law and order you'd think that the authorities might even okay public executions if it would keep the peace.
Is this a safety film? The Toecutter takes the time to put on his helmet and goggles even though a wounded Max is coming at him with murder in mind.
Is there any kind of legal or social structure left when Max takes the last of the V8's and rides off for vengeance?
THE FINAL JUDGMENT:Mad Max is a great film,. not only because of the story but because it was made on a low budget and with relatively unknown actors and actresses. I'm not going to lie and say its the best movie ever made, but its a definite for fans of the genre. My friends, this is the film you need to see if you like Post apocalyptic movies. I'll say it once more...if you have never seen this movie, go rent it right now. The Inferno Demands it!