George Miller’s Mad Max Fury Road isn’t just a film, it’s a wild explosive ride that has awakened the era of late 1970’s-80’s nostalgia. Sure, this has been coming for a while with the seemingly endless sequels and prequels to films such as Alien, Predator and Terminator and the callbacks to this era of dystopian futures, technology gone mad and monsters from the edge of a nightmarish dimension.
However, Fury Road offers no reference point, little to no backstory and very little actual dialog. It’s a world of violence reduced to a car chase along a desolate landscape. As MST3K creator Joel Hodgson pointed out, it’s a weird remake of Hanna Barbera’s Wacky Races.
Miller has stated that the home video release of Fury Road will feature a black and white version (which he insists is essential) and I applaud this approach.
One fan has taken this approach to enhancing the retro look and feel of Mad Max a step further with a trailer for Fury Road that pays homage to the seminal film.
And it’s wonderful.
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I recently watched Mad Max on blu-ray for the first time in decades. My memory was that the plot revolved around oil and gangs vying for survival at any cost (no doubt my memory was mismatched with Road Warrior and Beyond Thunder Dome). But Mad Max isn’t concerned with these things. In the first film of this epic, we are witnesses to a world dissolving into chaos, ruled by violence and set on destruction with our ‘hero’ Max caught in the eye of the storm. This makes Mad Max a much grimmer and more upsetting film than I recalled. The innovative action sequences and weird characters are few and far between. It’s Hell on Earth. And in the 80’s, this vision of the future was all too familiar.
I wonder what it means that such a vision is in vogue again.
Can’t we just get beyond Thunder Dome?