No one could have predicted how badly the world would need a new Mad Max film in 2015.
There’s a point in the lives of those passionate about pop culture when it all clicks, when the urge to seek things out becomes an obsession. The door opens and inside is a feast laid out on a table. Some things agree with you and you want to consume more. Sometimes it’s delicious pizza from that fancy little spot downtown and sometimes it’s crap from Domino’s. Doesn’t matter. You still want more.
It was in the late 80s when my interests moved beyond Star Wars, cartoons and G.I. Joe comic books. I was in middle school, a particularly awful time of my life when I escaped headlong into other worlds. I started reading different kinds of books and comics. I sought out movies at the video store recommended by Starlog and Fangoria magazines. It was a period of boundless absorption in an era where the flow of information trickled out of the faucet. It was then that I discovered the world of Mad Max, a world where little in the way of resources were left.
It was one Saturday afternoon on NY WPIX Channel 11 when I randomly caught a bit of Road Warrior, the second entry in the series. I remember later watching the movie as a whole at my friend’s house, but it was those initial glimpses of that world that stand out, as I was instantly baffled and intrigued. There it was, the barren wastelands of the Australian outback, where a tribe of biker punk survivors battled it out with a tribe of people in white for oil to power their jacked and junked-up vehicles. Stuck in the middle was a mysterious man named Max and his almost feral dog.
It felt more mature than most of the science fiction I had watched up until that point. I hadn’t watched many post-apocalyptic movies at that age, but much of what I was seeing on the screen played out like the scenarios I would set up on the floor of my bedroom with G.I. Joe toys. My friend and I would eventually perform surgery on the Joes, transforming them into characters from the Mad Max series. It helped that the punky bad guy Dreadnocks were already almost there.
Sometimes it all slams together on screen, and in the case of Road Warrior, it did so literally and metaphorically…