A veteran policeman, Murtaugh, is partnered with a younger, suicidal officer, Riggs. They both have one thing in common: hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.
Taking place in a dystopian Australia in the near future, Mad Max tells the story of a highway patrolman cruising the squalid back roads that have become the breeding ground of criminals foraging for gasoline and scraps. When his wife and child meet a grisly end at the hands of a motorcycle gang, Max sets out across the barren wastelands in search of revenge. Written by
Max's yellow Interceptor was a 1974 Ford Falcon XB sedan (previously, a Melbourne police car) with a 351ci Cleveland V8 engine and many other modifications. The Big Bopper, driven by Roop and Charlie, was also a 1974 Ford Falcon XB sedan, but was powered by a 302ci Cleveland V8. The March Hare, driven by Sarse and Scuttle, was an in-line-six-powered 1972 Ford Falcon XA sedan (this car was formerly a Melbourne taxi cab). The most memorable car, Max's black Pursuit Special - frequently designated a (V8) Interceptor based on a mechanic's quote in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) - was a limited GT351 version of a 1973 Ford XB Falcon Hardtop (sold in Australia from December 1973 to August 1976) which was primarily modified by Murray Smith, Peter Arcadipane and Ray Beckerley. After filming was over, this Interceptor was bought and restored by Bob Forsenko, and is currently on display in the Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in Cumbria, England. The Nightrider's vehicle, another Pursuit Special, was a 1972 Holden HQ LS Monaro coupe. The car driven by the civilian couple that is destroyed by the bikers is a 1959 Chevrolet Impala sedan. Of the motorcycles that appear in the film, 14 were donated by Kawasaki and were driven by a local Victorian motorcycle gang, the Vigilantes, who appeared as members of Toecutter's gang. By the end of filming, fourteen vehicles had been destroyed in the chase and crash scenes, including the director's personal Mazda Bongo (the small, blue van that spins uncontrollably after being struck by the Big Bopper in the film's opening chase). See more »
When Roop is aiming the shotgun at the Nightrider in the opening chase, his grip on the gun changes from one-handed to two-handed between shots. See more »
A quarter of a century on now (from the original filming) and still an icon of Aussie movie making!
It was the very rawness and budgetary constraints of this little flick that made it what it was. A new kind of action hero in a new kind of world! Gibson's laughably underpaid (though unavoidably so) contribution cannot be underestimated. He imbued Max with more than the script actually merited. An attitude perhaps that struck a chord with many office-desk (wannabe) vigilantes. After all, Max takes control of his own life - is not cowed by authority. Max is everyman, the one inside us that few get the chance to let loose. He is part Jesus, part Che, part James Dean, all Australian yobbo! But this guy gets the job done - drop Max into Iraq next month and see how far Saddam Hussein gets trying to stock up on sarin!
Raw energy is what MAD MAX was all about! Distilled, tempered and inflamed by the time THE ROAD WARRIOR came around but at this juncture. a man on a mission and with the best tricked-up car since....well, THE CAR ! For those of you incidentally, totally mortified that his glorious black-hearted Interceptor was rendered dead-meat in MAD MAX 2, be comforted by the fact that it DOES in fact reside still in a museum in London (Why there and not Sydney I know not...perhaps for the same reason Australia still is not host to the cricket-ashes urn!) What chance of either's return when Greece can't even get the Elgin Marbles back?
Much has been made (and remembered) of the high-power car chases in this film, held by many in absolute reverence. In fact after the main cops vs The Nightrider work-out in the first few minutes of the flick, its pretty much all downhill in the action stakes - nothing subsequently in MAD MAX (1) comes near this brief sequence. This situation (with a way bigger budget) was inarguably reversed by the time THE ROAD WARRIOR came along. The stunts in THAT film have never been surpassed and remember this was without CGI fx.
MAD MAX has that indefinable 'something" the sequels didn't...perhaps just a raw innovation couldn't be duplicated - rather like ur first kiss. It might not have been the best, but it sure IS fondly remembered.
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