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Mad Max [VHS]
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Product Description

The Road Warrior is already a classic, sans condescending genre distinctions like "sci-fi" or "action." But the story of Mel Gibson's stately antihero begins in Mad Max, George Miller's low-budget debut in which Max is a "Bronze" (cop) in an unspecified postapocalyptic future with a buddy-partner and family. But unlike most films set in the devastated future, Mad Max is especially notable because it is poised between our industrialized world and total regression to medieval conditions. The scale tips towards disintegration when the Glory Riders burn into town on their bikes like an overamped cadre of Brando's Wild Ones. Representing the active chaos that will eventually overwhelm the dying vestiges of civil society, they take everything dear to Max, who will exact due revenge. His flight into the same wilds that created the villains artfully sets up the morally ambiguous character of the subsequent films. --Alan E. Rapp

Customer Reviews:

  • A classic.
    Saw this movie many years ago and decided it needed to join my collection. Despite the assless chaps and flagrant homo-erotcism it is still a fun to watch movie with lots of action. Its a snapshot of a different time and place in movie making a glance back in time as represented in the style of clothes the characters wear. A story of a cop pushed over the edge to vigilante vengeance, with the death of his partner and young wife and child. Set in a somewhat post apocalyptic time where law and order is a slippery concept at best. Sets the scene for a great series of movies. ...more info
  • Inspired by A Boy and His Dog...
    Personally I loved Mad Max. To me and more than a few of my friends who were into bikes back then (79 to 85) Mad max along with Quadrophenia made us feel like we were badguys (hey we were young). After watching Max and co young bikers across the UK attempted to emulate Max, Goose, Toecutter by being mean moody and more than a bit sad just as their predecessors had tried to emulate Marlon Brando (The Wild One) and Peter Fonda (Easy Rider) years before.

    The film although low budget is none the worse for that as it takes away some of the glitz that hollywood loves to throw into films and sometimes ruins by doing so (e.g. Thunderdsome Mad Max 3).

    The stunts are terific and the use of outback shots enhances the desolation the film seeks to portray. The acting is weak in some respects but the actors who portray 'the Goose' and 'the Toecutter' stand out even above Mel Gibson with performances that while believable are just the right side of over the top.

    The sound is excellent with good mood music work by Brian May. However in some places the speeded up driving and riding shots fail to work as well as they might. But in other areas the feel is just right e.g. Goose's ride out the morning after his night of passion with the nightclub singer.

    Overall a real groundbreaker which has rarely been beaten and which will still be remembered in years to come as a classic of Aussie cinema.
    ...more info
  • Much better in original Australian.
    Much better in original Australian. American accents used in "original US" version coupled with Australian vernacular always sounded stupid to me....more info
  • Great Movie!!!
    Ive always loved the mad max movies and the special edition one is a great movie has extras and everything!!...more info
  • A GREAT AUSSIE 'ROAD' PICTURE
    Gibson, in this film, did for apocalypse movies, what Eastwood did for westerns, and gave us an antihero of epic nihilism, extreme violence, and borderline humanity. I still don't understand why MGM had to put out a dubbed version for the theaters in the first place. This is one of the great sci-fi films, despite its heavy reliance on violence. The action is non-stop, and the stunt work is simply amazing.

    The two disc version here has some alright extras, but having the original Australian film on it, is what makes it. No sci-fi collection can be without MAD MAX....more info
  • Rockatansky!!
    Excellent to watch with the original Australian audio track and with the road rants trivia. Now, where's the "Humongous" edition of The Road Warrior? This movie needs a serious DVD Special Edition!!...more info
  • Worthwhile cult flick, albeit dated and aloof
    "Mad Max" is the first of a trilogy, followed by "The Road Warrior" (1981) and "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" (1985). Very few people in the States saw "Mad Max" when it was released in 1979 because it only had a limited run here. Most Americans were introduced to the dystopian world of Mad Max with the release of "The Road Warrior" a couple years later.

    THE STORY: Ambiguously set in the near future after some sort of Apocalypse or social-economic breakdown, "Mad Max" focuses on the desolate regions of Australia wherein the police force, called The Bronze, try to protect what remains of society from a wild outlaw bike gang.

    "Mad Max" is perhaps the definitive cult film -- it's weird, raw, primal, ugly, low-budget and shuns explanation. Star Mel Gibson was a complete unknown at this point.

    WHAT WORKS:

    -- Director George Miller is imaginative with his unusual use of camera angles. I usually don't take note of such things so it has to be exceptional for me to notice.
    -- The costuming and locations are great, shot in the desolate areas of Victoria, Australia, including along the ocean shore.
    -- Although a bit cartooney, the filmmakers and actors successfully capture the utterly wild, looney and lawless nature of the bike gang, sort of reminiscent of, say, "A Clockwork Orange" (1971) and "The Warriors (1979).
    -- The girls are fetching in a girl-next-door type of way.
    -- The scene where a mother and child are run over by the outlaw bikers is creative and memorable.

    WHAT DOESN'T WORK:

    -- The film has a really dated, low-budget vibe, especially the horrible score. One might argue that this is natural since it's from the late 70s, but that's not what I'm talking about. A film can obviously be from a certain period without being dated in the negative sense. Take, for instance, "The Exorcist" (1973), "Jaws" (1975), "Suspiria" (1977), "Apocalypse Now" (1979) and "The Warriors," they're all plainly from that 70s era but they also transcend it. They're timeless films, pure and simple. Not so with "Mad Max."
    -- My main problem with the film is its aloof air. As noted above, the story shuns explanation -- which is great -- but it does it at the expense of truly captivating the audience. The film's only 95 minutes long but I always have a hard time sitting through it; the story is good but it's presented in such a way that it fails to truly pull the viewer in.
    -- The vibe is often too over-the-top cartooney; I would have preferred a more realistic air. It's too obvious the filmmakers were shooting for an Australian "A Clockwork Orange."

    This is not a negative point to me but it may be to some viewers -- there's not nearly as much action as rumored; there are many long, dramatic parts. In addition, what action is there is good but it's no more spectacular than pretty much any other 70's road/car flick or TV series.

    BOTTOM LINE: "Mad Max" is definitely worthwhile since it's the beginning of the popular trilogy and a definitive cult film, not to mention one of Mel Gibson's earliest performances. But, despite the many positives, don't expect to be blown away. It's decent but low-budget fare with a dated, aloof vibe.

    PERSONAL GRADE: C+ ...more info