"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Million Dollar Movie

I don’t go for horror movies. Sure, I watched a mess of them when I was a kid–“The Exorcist,” “The Omen,” and “Rosemary’s Baby.” I also saw “Halloween,” and “Friday the 13th,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “I Spit On Your Grave,” all that stuff and more. I had a stronger constitution then. Now, I just don’t like being scared.

I even worked on a “horror” movie, was the assistant film editor on “The Blair Witch Project II,” although the scariest part of that project was the silence in the screening room after the executives saw the first cut. Scary for the director, I should say, I thought it was pretty funny.

Anyhow, horror movies aren’t the only ones that are scary. Heck, you could argue that “The King of Comedy,” is Scorsese’s scariest movie (and that “Taxi Driver” is his funniest). I’ll never forget the final shot of “Planet of Apes,” when I was little and hiding under the covers wondering about the big questions of life.

The movie I can’t get over, though, is “Mad Max II,” aka “The Road Warrior.” Scared me as a kid and makes me jittery when I watch it today. It’s a comic book but an effective one. Watch this scene and tell me you don’t get nervous in spite of how silly it all is.


1 TheGreenMan   ~  Nov 2, 2011 1:30 pm

My friends and I were obsessed with Wez when Mad Max II came out. We were so disappointed when Vernon Wells (ha!) starred with Ahnuld in Commando. Ugh. He was terrible in that.

2 Matt Blankman   ~  Nov 2, 2011 1:41 pm

I haven't watched The Road Warrior in eons, but I really thinking it was a really good movie.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 2, 2011 1:49 pm

I already regret using this picture cause now I'm freaking myself out every time I check the site! LOL

4 Bobtaco   ~  Nov 2, 2011 2:11 pm

scary because a global collapse due to resource depletion is a likely scenario... just look around...

5 cult of basebaal   ~  Nov 2, 2011 2:33 pm

[0] The Road Warrior is a flat out fantastic movie. I watched it again recently with a friend who had never seen it before and he used the same descriptor "comic book like".

And it is a silly, pulpy thing, but it's also so amazingly vibrant and full of life and as electric as high-voltage power line.

That opening sequence you linked is fantastic, but the real-show stopper is the climactic tanker chase, arguably the finest action sequence ever filmed.

Oh and the explosion of the refining camp. Everyone should see that one on the big screen at least once in their film-going lifetimes.

6 cult of basebaal   ~  Nov 2, 2011 2:46 pm

[1] Oddly enough, the night after I watched The Road Warrior recently, I happened to watch Weird Science (with the same group of friends). I hadn't seen that in maybe 20 years, so I'd completely forgotten that freaking WEZ is in it. I don't mean the actor, I mean the freaking character. He shows up on a motorcycle with a gang and terrorizes the Gary and Wyatt at the party they're throwing. It's 100% a riff on the character from The Road Warrior, it's so very ... odd.

7 T. Hawk   ~  Nov 2, 2011 2:49 pm

I assume you're a comic fan, Mr Belth, so I am puzzled by the seemingly pejorative invocation of that great art form!

Mad Max 2 is the shit and will probably never be outdone, as far as driving stuff goes.

8 cult of basebaal   ~  Nov 2, 2011 2:55 pm

[0] Also, the stunts. Can I just say ... THE STUNTS!!!

The stunts are insane on that film.

Here's a making of video that also includes some footage of that stunt going wrong.

Which stunt is that stunt you ask?

It's the stunt that makes you say holy-shit-that-guy-really-did-just-crash-his-motorcycle-and-go-cartwheeling-through-the-air, every single time you watch the movie.

Also, the video is worth watching for this line alone (while showing the stunt gone awry) "Norris was, of course, supposed to land safely, on the most reliable and advanced cushion yet devised ... a huge mound of empty cardboard boxes."

9 cult of basebaal   ~  Nov 2, 2011 2:55 pm
10 cult of basebaal   ~  Nov 2, 2011 3:04 pm

[6] Actually, I should say, not just the actor, but the actor playing the character.

11 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 2, 2011 3:14 pm

7) Oh, I didn't mean comic book as a put down. Miller has a real skill for making situations feel real even when they are seemingly fantastic. There is a real immediacy in "The Road Warrior" that makes it even more effective than the genre normally is. I didn't like the third "Mad Max," it lost it's scary charge, and the first one is brutal, cheap, fun, and it too gives me the creeps.

12 cult of basebaal   ~  Nov 2, 2011 3:25 pm

[11] Yeah, neither did my friend. Evocative of the style (immediacy is an especially apt descriptor), rather than pejorative.

13 cult of basebaal   ~  Nov 2, 2011 3:54 pm

[1] Also, can I just say, I had NO idea that Wez and Bennett were the same actor. I mean it's only 4 years between Road Warrior and Commando and yet Wells appeared to have aged in DOG YEARS. He's just such a fat dumpling in Commando. I wonder if the producers expected they were getting the unhinged ferocity of the guy from MAD MAX 2 and found themselves wondering who the fat, shlumpy guy was who showed up at the start of filming ...

14 Just Fair   ~  Nov 2, 2011 6:22 pm

[6] "You can't even take a shower......with a beautiful woman......without wearing a bra on your head." : )
I love Mad Max. It seems to be on some random cable channel at least once every couple months. It always sucks me in.

15 vockins   ~  Nov 2, 2011 8:39 pm


16 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Nov 2, 2011 9:47 pm

[14] Without wearing your jeans.

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver