Monday, July 23, 2012

bad/awesome flixxx review: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

"*No!* *No more talk!* We go in! We kill! Kill! We kill 'em! They kill us, we kill them! Kill 'em! Kill 'em! Kill! Kill!" - Wez

"Greetings from The Humungus! The Lord Humungus! The Warrior of the Wasteland! The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla!" - Toadie

"The last of the V8 Interceptors... a piece of history!... Would've been a shame to blow it up." - crippled mechanic

This happens to be the first sequel to one of my top 3 favorite films. I've always been a fan of post apocalyptic comics, books, art, and films, with this being a big influence on many many terrible(r) films to come after it. Watching it now can feel like its theme is a bit overdone, but if you go back, it was something of a trendsetter cinematography-wise, and was actually a box office smash unlike many of the copycat flicks that came later. A lot of the look from this movie from the desert setting to the outfits to the vehicles design were copied into bigtime and low budget films. Either way, it totally rules, Mel Gibson reprising his role as Max Rockatansky the outback roving ex-cop driven mad from the death of his family at the hands of total deadbeat biker creeps in THE ROAD WARRIOR!!!!

Its business as usual for ol Max when this tale begins, even if its been several years, possibly even a decade since his family was killed. When the tale begins, the narrator recants the events of the first movie and lets us know how the Earth has fallen into decay. Max is still hauling ass down the Australian highways searching for the ever coveted bit of petrol, when he is fallen upon by a gang of punk rockers led by an underboss of a bigger gang. This mohawked biker sics his gang on a deadly chase for miles and miles until most of his loose battalion are either wrecked or dead. When Max comes upon an overturned big rig and stops to grab what little gas he can dripping from the manifold, him and Wez (the mohawk guy) stare each other down before Wez and his golden haired boy biker companion decide to live another day. Max collects what he can and heads on down the road until he comes upon a weird gyro copter. It has a snake on it, and the pilot gets the jump on Max when he jumps up out of the sand and holds a bead on him with a bow and arrow.

The pilot is soon overpowered by Max and very quickly promised Max all the gasoline he can handle. When Max asks where, the pilot tells him about a band of survivors out in the desert operating a small refinery. Max brings him there and looks down from a ridge to see the bigger gang of marauding biker/dune buggy thugs circling the refinery compound. The gang's leader is named Humongus and he has a microphone rigged to yell at them to surrender and offers them safe passage out of the desert if they will just leave and give them all the gasoline. The refiners say bullshit and shoot flamethrowers out at the gang day and night. Some of the refiners try to leave and take several cars and try to outrun the gang. The women are caught and raped, and the men beaten. Max sneaks up and rescues one guy who is almost dead and returns him to the refinery in exchange for as much gas as he can take with him. So he does that, but the guy dies. Then the refiners are about to kick Max's ass and kill his dog, but then the gang shows back up. Humongus makes the offer again and some of the refiners think that since a bunch of them were just raped and killed, that maybe they should give up. They think maybe they should just give the gang the gas. But the head dude says no fucking way, they've worked really hard for that shit, and there's no way they're just going to give it to those thugs. So there's also this little kid called the Feral Kid. He can't talk, he grunts, he's got a sweet mullet, and he's a fucking killer with a boomerang. While all the dudes are raging out there, he sneaks out and slings his boomarang and kills the boy that rides on the back of Wez's motorcycle. And then he cuts off the fingers of the announcer Toadie. He's laughing and cutting backflips, but then Wez goes fucking APESHIT. Humongus puts him in a sleeper hold and tells them that there's been too much violence. They have a day to decide if they live or die.

So while the refiners are arguing on what they should do, because they don't even have a truck that can haul the gas out if they wanted to, Max says, well look, I say a truck that can make this shit happen. I'll get you the truck, in exchange for my car back and that gas I was originally promised. They say deal. So he sneaks out and makes it back to the truck. And the pilot is there waiting on him to help him. Then it takes him a while to get back to the refinery because the gang is dogging him the whole way trying to kill his ass. He finally makes it back and then decides to split. But the refiners are like, "hey man, come on, you have to help us out. You have to drive this thing 2000 miles for us so we can all hang out in paradise." We get a sense that they are hanging on to an old "postcard" dream that Max somehow knows doesn't exist anymore. But he hasn't the heart to tell them. He gets his gas and splits. But soon enough, the fucking gang is after him again and Wez uses a homemade killing machine with nitrous oxide on it and wrecks into Max causing him to flip his Interceptor, and they kill his dog. He hides out while they accidentally blow up his car and then he's rescued by the gyro copter pilot. His eye is fucked and his leg is fucked and he looks like death, but as the refiners get ready to split, Max finally volunteers to drive the big rig.

So Max has made friends with the Feral Kid (he gave him a little wind up music machine) and the kid stows away on the rig. The rig is now heavily armored with several of the refiners helping to fend off gang members including the mechanic guy and the tough exterior bow and arrow babe. Max drives like hell, and the bad dudes give chase like hell. I shouldn't ruin the end of this one, but suffice to say, you should see it, and you should prepare yourself for when shit might get this bad for us.

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