Before Mel Gibson told Merrill to swing away or wrote an action epic surrounding the decline of Mayan civilization, he was wrecking people's business in Mad Max. Dystopian Australia never seemed so insane -- and the cult classic trilogy was responsible for inspiring an entire bushel's worth of pop culture phenomena: Borderlands, Fallout, Fist of the North Star, and even the entire Saw franchise.
Tune in this Saturday 3/2c for the Mad Max double feature when G4 runs Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome. We've dredged up five of our very favorite Mad Max moments in all their leather-clad biker glory. Sit back, relax, and let the Ayatollah of Rock-N-Rolla serenade you with Mad Max's greatest hits.
1. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior - A Grand Entrance
The second film in the trilogy, affectionately titled simply The Road Warrior, outshone the original Mad Max. We're fans of the entire trilogy, but this gritty flick really kicked things into high gear, even from the first moments of the opening credits. There's no dialogue (also known as no wasted time in action flick language) and no allowance for pansies as Max speeds through the apocalyptic wasteland once again as the movie opens with another high-speed chase.
Mel Gibson plays the silent card; because all you really need to know here is that you're in for a wild ride as the sequel to the cult classic revs its engine. It's a simplistic yet frighteningly effective opening to a film and one that perfectly encapsulates what makes the Mad Max series worthy of your time and attention: high-octane, knock-down, drag-out car chases with a side of annihilation. From the opening moments of The Road Warrior, you're primed for a dangerously decadent ride.
2. Mad Max - Want to Play A Game?
Like we mentioned earlier, Mad Max inspired the ultraviolent over-the-top horror film powerhouse Saw. We know the two film series are wildly different, so you might be wondering how the two could ever cross paths. Simple! The ending scene of the original Mad Max contained one pivotal occurrence that spawned the entire horror series. Johnny "The Boy" Boyle, one of Toecutter's goons (a real piece of work) has his ankle handcuffed to a wrecked vehicle by Max, who rigs the jalopy to blow. Max is a kind soul, though (reasonably) and tosses Johnny a hacksaw to either saw through the handcuffs or his own ankle to free himself. It'll take ten minutes to break through the cuffs, but only about five to hack off his ankle. Max is calm and collected and drives away.
We see the vehicle go up in flames in the distance, but we're never told whether or not Johnny escaped without an ankle or whether he was blown to pieces. Either way, that should all sound extremely familiar. If Max ever asks you to play a game, you'd better politely decline.
3. Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome - Blaster Master
The third movie in the Mad Max trilogy is often underappreciated due to its bizarre, whimsical nature, but we say long live Tina Turner and the strangeness of this campy classic. "Two men enter, one man leaves" is the motto of the Thunderdome, and though Master Blaster is a formidable opponent, our money's on Max. The major battle that come down to the deciding champ between both opponents is a fast-pace, edge-of-your-seat affair that really showcases how out-there this trio of films can get, what with the mercy Max shows after finding out the true nature of Blaster and what really goes on in the skewed world of Bartertown. It's a chilling lesson in accepting things at face value and what really goes on behind closed doors. The film does a fantastic job of hyping the matchup only for Aunty's true intentions to be revealed. Like the movie or not, this is one example of its multifaceted appeal and how twisted a lawless world can really be.
4. Mad Max 2 - Drive That Tanker
"If it's all the same to you, I'll drive that tanker." Proving once again that he's not a man to sit down and take no for an answer, Max spews this iconic one-liner which fans can instantly recognize. In fact, you may never have even viewed Mad Max, and you've probably heard this phrase. Max is referring to an oil tanker of course, and one he looks like a certifiable boss cruising around in. No deals. Max gets what he wants, and we pity anyone who dares stand in his way, especially if that someone is particularly weak and obnoxious.
5. Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome - Aunty Entity's History
Our personal favorite Aunty moment is when it appears she's about to launch into some glorious backstory where she recounts how she got to be who she is now. As her back turns and she utters "This nobody had a chance to become somebody," for a moment, it seems as though we're going to have a glimpse into the rise and fall of Aunty, but as she spins around merely seconds later, we're treated to an almost Austin Powers-esque slapstick moment. "Enough history. Water?" Maniacal, delusions of grandeur, and indifference? Oh, Aunty, you never cease to amaze us. This silliness (on top of other moments of Thunderdome) epitomizes why it's still such a great part of the trilogy.
Are you a rabid Mad Max fan? Looking to sink your teeth into the eventual supposed fourth entry into the series? Let us know -- and don't miss out on the Mad Max double feature this Saturday 3/2c. Free gasoline to the best commenter! Not really.