Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
Saturday, August 6
Film is $5.00
Box Office opens 30 minutes prior to screening
In the future, cities will become deserts, roads will become battlefields and the hope of mankind will appear as a stranger.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) is an Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller, a follow-up to his own 1979 hit Mad Max and proof that not all sequels are inferior to their originals. If anything, this brutal sci-fi action film is even more intense and exciting than its predecessor, although the state of its post-apocalyptic world has only become worse. Several years after the deaths of his wife and child, Max (Mel Gibson) has become an alienated nomad, wandering an Australian outback that has fallen into tribal warfare conducted from scattered armed camps. After a road battle with psychotic villain Wez (Vernon Wells), Max meets up with the odd Gyro Captain (Bruce Spence), who takes him to the camp of a sympathetic group led by Pappagallo (Mike Preston). As Pappagallo’s people are camped at a refinery, Max plans to take their oil, more precious than gold in this world, but eventually joins them to fight a band of marauders led by the evil Humungus (Kjell Nilsson). The stunning climax features a heart-pounding chase scene involving an oil tanker-truck and a frenzied rush for the coast, with Humungus and his forces in hot pursuit. Nilsson is a scary villain, with huge muscles and a sinister pre-Jason hockey mask, but the stunt work is the key here, and it is more flamboyantly dynamic than ever, edited at breakneck pace and staged with manic fury by Miller and stunt coordinator Max Aspin. Savage and kinetic, Mad Max 2 is a must-see for action buffs.
Mad Max 2 was released on 24 December 1981, and was critically acclaimed. Observers praised the visuals and Gibson’s role. Noteworthy elements of the film also include cinematographer Dean Semler’s widescreen photography of Australia’s vast desert landscapes; the sparing use of dialogue throughout the film; costume designer Norma Moriceau’s punk mohawked, leather bondage gear-wearing bikers; and its fast-paced, tightly edited, and violent battle and chase scenes. The film’s comic-book post-apocalyptic/punk style popularized the genre in film and fiction writing. It was also a box office success and received several nominations at the Saturn Award ceremony. Eventually, Mad Max 2 developed into a cult film: fan clubs and “road warrior”–themed activities continue into the 21st century. The film was followed by Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985.