Well, that’s what they say anyway.
The Mad Max series is one of my favorites of all time, and that includes the sequel The Road Warrior and to a lesser degree Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. And though the films are among my favorites, I’ve always found it interesting how ingrained in our culture the mythos of Mad Max has become. I mean, everyone knows that when the world falls apart due to nuclear war and climate change all of the people that are left will instantly transform into S&M clad gear heads with punk rock hair cuts. Right? And don’t forget the football shoulder pads. Sporting goods stores would do well to stock up on them when things start to get hairy.
All jokes aside, though, no matter how you slice it the influence of Mad Max (released in 1979) is seen in movies to this day (not to mention comics and video games). And with recent news that Miller will be continuing the series with rising star Tom Hardy (Band of Brothers, Bronson) stepping into the leather, steel shod boots of the character that Mel Gibson made famous, I think it’s a subject worth your your consideration. Below is a short list of some of the films that have borrowed (or stolen) elements from George Miller’s Mad Max series. Watch them at your own peril.
The New Warriors aka Warriors of the Wasteland (1982)
Blah, blah, blah evil and aimless band of white-clad bikers blah, blah, blah nuclear holocaust…
The world's water supply has dried up due to some sort of apocalypse.
‘Nuff said, huh?
Wheels of Fire (1985)
The Future is now. There are no rules and no place to hide from the deadly Highway Warriors who ravage the roads in machines of destruction.
Future? Check. Destruction? Check. Highway warriors in leather and spikes? Check. Muscle cars? Check.
Land of Doom (1986)
Earth has been ravaged by a nuclear war, and a feminist warrior is forced to join up with a soldier of fortune in her journey to find a rumored "paradise" as they battle gangs of rampaging bandits.
Ooh…this one has feminists in S&M gear!
Steel Dawn (1987)
In a post-apocalyptic world, a warrior (Patrick Swayze) wandering through the desert comes upon a group of settlers who are being menaced by a murderous gang that is after the water they control.
Post-Apocalyptic? How refreshing! This came out the same year as Dirty Dancing. “Nobody murders Baby in a corner” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it?
Gibson Rickenbacker (writer is a guitarists also?), played by Jean Claude Van Damme, battles a gang of murderous pirates (and his own conscience) down the devastated Atlantic Coast in an attempt to rescue a cyborg that may carry a cure for the plague that has wiped out civilization.
This late 80’s sci-fi/post-apocalyptic/martial arts film by B-movie director Albert Pyun was responsible for creating a sort of sub-genre, if you will. There have been two direct sequels, and not a few imitators. Pyun continued the cyborg theme in other direct to video releases like Nemesis and its sequels. I actually own this movie and quite like it.
What are you laughing at?
In a future where the polar ice caps have melted and most of Earth is underwater, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw "smokers," and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “But Kris, this movie isn’t like the Mad Max movies at all. They’ve traded desert for water. That’s, like, the opposite of the Mad Max movies. Right?”
At least the above movies have cool posters. This movie doesn’t even have that going for it.
Future. Action. Destruction of human race.
Check, check, and check. I haven’t seen this one, but it’s going in the queue. I’d actually forgotten all about it. Neil Marshall directed, and I have his Centurion in the instant queue now.