Mad Max marked the debut of Australian director George Miller and his first collaboration with Mel Gibson. Part science fiction, part road movie, “Mad Max” is a futuristic vision of a post-apocalyptic Australia where ordered society is fast disintegrating into violent chaos. In this anarchic setting, rogue gangs menacingly roam the land in search of petrol (a vital and increasingly scarce resource), spoils of looting and bloodthirsty fun. Mel Gibson stars as Max Rockatansky, a good cop made mad by the death of his wife and child and the hands of a gang of feral bikies. The film follows Max as he embarks on a personal vendetta to avenge the death of his family, armed with anger, a gun and his car - “the last of the V-8 interceptors”. “Mad Max” has a much-imitated visual and thematic style - gang members are clad in filthy rags with maimed bodies; the landscape is bleak and featureless; camps are transitory pit-stops between war zones; and machines rule their owners. “Mad Max”, with its ordinary hero and car culture narrative, fits neatly into the zeitgeist of 1970s filmmaking. A nihilistic road movie, fuelled by male angst, “Mad Max” is a thrilling, truly original film that remains a highlight of Australian film history.
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In ACMI's collection
Fantasy & Science Fiction → Science fiction films
Feature films → Feature films - Australia
VHS; Access Print (Section 1)