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The original: 

Mad Max (1979)

Directed by: 

George Miller (Furiosa, Babe: Pig in the City, The Witches of Eastwick, Happy Feet)

Starring: 

Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley, Tim Burns, Roger Ward, Sheila Florance

 

In a not-too-distant-future, lawlessness on the roads of rural Australia is out of control, with deranged gangs of road-racers terrorising the populace.

The Police Force is under-equipped and under-manned, with Patrolmen like Max Rockatansky (Gibson) and his partner Jim Goose (Bisley), struggling as keepers of the peace and protectors of the public.

After events spiral and those he loves most are all but killed, Max, as the title suggests, is pushed beyond his limits, gets mad and seeks revenge.

 

Made on a micro-budget, this film is a marvel. Fast, fun, brutal and shocking, it tells a story of a world gone bad and a hero gone mad.

 

Disregarding their own safety, everyone involved in the making of this labour of love, from writer/directer Miller on down, captured true vehicular warfare with panache, flair and a flagrant disregard for governmental zoning codes.

 

Part Dirty Harry, part Death Race 2000, Mad Max took the world by storm, using familiar elements while introducing movie-goers to the singular voice of George Miller.

The series of films that followed increased the scale and budget, with astounding results, but the original has that rough-round-the-edges, skin of its teeth, gonzo-guerrilla grit and spit that when done just right, becomes pure cinematic gold.

 

Mad Max is not a perfect film, but remains a sublime feat of passion, bravado and raw talent- much like the titular character himself.

 

An inspiration for us all then, leaving a lasting impression and a mantra to live by-

If you can’t get even, get mad.

 

Fifi- “They say people don't believe in heroes anymore. Well damn them! You and me, Max, we're gonna give them back their heroes!”

 

Max- “I’m scared, Fif. You know why? It's that rat circus out there. I'm beginning to enjoy it.”

 

Toe-Cutter- “Take your hat off.”

Station Master- “Anything you say.”

Toe-Cutter- “Anything I say. What a wonderful philosophy you have. Take him away.”

 

Nightrider- “I am the Nightrider. I'm a fuel injected suicide machine. I am a rocker, I am a roller, I am a out-of-controller! I'm the Nightrider, baby…. And we ain’t never coming back!”

Kid- “Hey Mister! What happened to the car?”

Bubba- “What do you think happened?”

Kid- “Looked like it was chewed up and spat out.”

Bubba- “Perhaps it's the result of an anxiety.”

 

 

Grease Rat- “Like the sign says, ‘Speed's just a question of money.’ 

…How fast you wanna go?"

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The pitch: "Come up with a direct sequel to the 1979 cult action sci-fi."

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