I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Mad Max

tn_madmaxMAD MAX is a unique specimen even compared to the other MAD MAX movies. Every time I revisit it if it’s been several years I think Oh yeah, I forgot it was like this. Max Rockatansky – who has a last name, you notice – is not a nameless drifter or a mythical hero yet, he’s maybe a supercop at best. At worst he’s just a dude. He can laugh and go on picnics and has a wife and kid. He does wear a cool leather jacket and sunglasses, but this seems to be the police uniform in this near future. The other patrolmen wear it too, they just don’t look as good in it.

It is not post-apocalyptic (or post-poxy-clipsic?). I guess we could say it’s antebellum. The sign is crooked at the Halls of Justice and the highways are dominated by giggling, sweaty, gibberish-ranting lunatics like The Nightrider (Vince Gil, the Australian actor, not the American country singer) and The Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne, also in FURY ROAD). They’re like DEATH WISH creeps on wheels, hateful, punkish bullies who live to scare and violate random innocents on or along the roads.

The other police can’t keep up with the cop-killing Nightrider. It’s Max, sitting patiently on the side of the road ahead, who comes in for the close. Since the Rider and his girlfriend end up in a fatal, explosive crash, the Toecutter blames Max and comes after him for revenge. So, if you thought Nightrider was a real charmer and wondered who else he was close with, Toecutter is the answer.

There’s a funny joke where Max goes home after the chase, there is some saxophone music playing and it seems like maybe he’s drinking alone and contemplating life or something. But a change of camera angle reveals that his wife Jessie (Joanne Samuel) is there and she’s the one playing the sax. (There’s sort of a new spin on that in BEYOND THUNDERDOME when Auntie Entity has a personal saxophone player to score her meetings.) It’s hard to think of this as the same Max of legend, who travels around having badass adventures and missing this life. He actually takes the family on vacation. He has friendships and stuff. He has a partner named Goose (Steve Bisley, RED HILL, THE GREAT GATSBY), the inspiration for the movie TOP GUN. Officer Rockatansky has seen some crazy shit, obviously, but I doubt he expects to ever meet a Master Blaster.

mp_madmaxI always forget that his wife lasts most of the movie. It’s not the usual normal life/tragedy/frustration/plot-and-execute-revenge type of story set up. The part where he loses everything and comes up with the premise for the movie SAW is only at the end. In my opinion it is not as well constructed of a story as the sequels. It’s all over the place.

It may be a rudimentary version of first time writer/director George Miller’s eventual mastery of the filmatic storytelling language, but it’s pretty obvious why it caught on: because holy shit these crazy Australian motherfuckers are doing car stunts that you’re not supposed to be able to do. Cars are flipping and skidding out and rolling and exploding, crashing through other vehicles, popping out the other side like a football team through a paper banner. You can’t believe these rookies with no money or local film industry figured out how to do this shit and get it on film and not kill like 50 people. Plus Miller knew how to capture high speed propulsion through editing, sped up film, low angles that make cars look cool, windshield POV shots of roads passing by, vibrating cameras, etc. It’s intense.

It also starts off with a bang because it has probly the most drama-heightening score of any low budget debut (thanks to Brian May, the George S. Clinton of Australia), and then the metallic logo zooms in with a sound effect and slams onto the screen. With lightning bolts! I wish action movies still had this kind of opening credits swagger. I guess THE EXPENDABLES movies gave it a shot. But come on, guys. We all know you’re not MAD MAX, but pretend you think you are. Have some confidence. Just strut onto the screen. Impress us.

I have to admit due to honesty that on this latest viewing MAD MAX was very enjoyable but didn’t quite live up to its legendary status in my memory. The more elaborate design, fantastical world and tight, simple storytelling of the sequels has captured my imagination so much, while also topping the insane stuntwork and crazed characters here, that it seemed like a step back to watch this one again. This time. Please forgive me, my friends. These things can happen, what’re you gonna do?

But also I kept thinking something felt wrong about it. And then I realized it’s because I was watching the real, original version of the movie, which is not what I’ve been watching all my life. I kinda forgot about this, but when the movie came out in ’79 the American distributors condescendingly had the whole movie dubbed so the accents weren’t as thick. I think it’s still Mel and most of the actors, but with the accents toned down. Radio voices sound American and some of the bad guys sound different, exaggerated. Even when the movie first came to DVD if I remember right Americans had to get a PAL import to hear the original soundtrack.

I always thought (well, knew) that that was ridiculous, but I never realized I would end up wanting to keep the bastardized version around. The redubbed voices add a heightened quality that seems fitting, and even catalyzing, for the insane world of crumbling civilization that it takes place in. I had to go back and rewatch some of the scenes in that version.

When I brought this up on the “Twitter” social media platform, Panos Cosmatos (namedrop) put it best:

 

That’s what it is. It’s not how the movie was meant to be, but it feels like it could be. In a Leone movie or even an Argento you’re used to the voices feeling a little off, a little otherworldly, and it keeps you off balance. That’s what it’s like here too. Good job accidentally adding something interesting, cynical American movie releasers.

Anyway, I am sorry for what I have said here. MAD MAX is still amazing. And in a way the fact that it’s not after an apocalypse – nobody has reached the stage of deciding “For now on I’m a guy that wears a Kabuki mask on a pole above my head” – but it’s still so bad that the roads are completely unsafe for non-crazies, makes it more frightening. It’s a classic, but it’s merely a first taste of greater things to come.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 at 7:15 am and is filed under Action, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

55 Responses to “Mad Max”

  1. Hmm, far as I know, the dubbed version is very much NOT Gibson and cohorts but completely revoiced. Also, far as I know, the previous American DVD did offer both the original Aussie soundtrack and the dubbed American revoicing. I haven’t watched it with the American soundtrack since the early 90s, I know that much (I did have the bootleg with the original soundtrack before it was ever officially offered here, ’tis true…)

  2. I still prefer this one to ROAD WARRIOR because it’s such a mean, grimy, nasty little piece of work. It’s a Bronson movie on wheels, the futuristic berserker version of DEATH WISH years before DEATH WISH III (influenced no doubt by ROAD WARRIOR) kind of became that. I like that Max isn’t just getting revenge for his family; he’s getting revenge for an entire world that’s been raped and beaten until it can’t go on any longer. There’s a certain wish fulfillment in post-apocalyptic cinema that’s not present in pre-apocalyptic MAX. We might fantasize about the freedom of a world with no rules, but no one wants to be there for the transition.

    In a way, though, I think MAX works better as a prequel and not a franchise starter. Max enters ROAD WARRIOR so fully formed, his mysterious backstory implied but never spelled out, that it’s probably the better starting point for his story. He’s a myth; MAD MAX shows the man behind it. You go back and see how he got there and how the world went from having ice cream parlors and gas stations to complete tribal warfare before Max even had a chance to grow any crow’s feet around his eyes. It feels like generations have grown up with the berserker lifestyle, but no, all these punker cannibal rapist assholes used to have families and jobs and homes. They weren’t born into this; they chose it. Unlike any and all attempts to explain how the TEXAS CHAINSAW family became the way they are, seeing a little bit of the beforetimes makes the MAX world even scarier. It can happen that fast, people. And you don’t even need any nuclear fallout, just plain old human apathy, fear, and bad decision-making.

    It’s kind of why the Americanized version of the poxyclips seen in THUNDERDOME is less cynical, more watered down, almost comforting. The bomb went off, fellas, what are you gonna do? We didn’t press any buttons ourselves, it was those clowns in office, so we accept no responsibility for the berserkeration of society. The human race are victims, not perpetrators. But there are no outside forces in MAD MAX, no cataclysmic event. Just the slow, inevitable descent into savagery that every single man, woman, and child on earth took part in, either by choice or inaction. Setting MAX right there on the cusp, with the old world held together with duct tape and chicken wire and the new world slavering just outside the door, makes the end of the world as we know it less fantastic and more human.

    We did this, the movie is saying, because we didn’t care enough not to. You can have your white knight in his suit of black armor but he can’t save all of us. If we all don’t back him up, we’ll drag him down to our level eventually. He’ll take his noble steed and ride off into the wastes alone so we can devour each other. Because that’s clearly what we want. What we’ve always wanted.

    The poxyclips is us.

  3. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    May 13th, 2015 at 8:38 am

    I always thought that the world was well on the slide in the first Max and things just got worse as the films rolled on. The terrain has changed in the second. I thought he’d moved more inland, away from his and loss, a man on the drift, living with grief and from the greener bush of the first and into the barren plains in Oz. Things have not only got worse with the fragmentation of society, but out there in the dust, things were always worse than where Max had lived with his family.

    I formed these opinions when I was about ten. I could be wrong.

  4. They are still exchanging currency for goods and services in the first one. There are courts and lawyers and hospitals and a police force with a chain of command. If it’s not pre-pockyclips, it’s at least mid-pockyclips.

  5. I agree w/ Majestyk that this ironically works best now as a Batman Begins/Nolanized prequel to Road Warrior -(this is how he got his car; this is why he has that leg brace; this is why his sleeve is cut off, etc…) It’s a shame that most audience’s idea of what this movie is, only kicks in when there’s like 20 minutes left, which kind of makes the first two acts a bit of a slog to get through. But oh well, those last 20 minutes are an undeniably classic must-see.

    Speaking of Spaghetti Westerns – I felt similarly about A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night – that movie would absolutely not have worked if the dialogue was just in English. Having it be in an otherworldly language that we rarely (if ever) hear onscreen really added to the uncomfortable, crazy atmosphere in that one.

  6. In general the real audio is better, but the dubbed version of the opening Nightrider chase is so fucking creepy with that off-kilter sound. It definitely got under my skin as a kid and that first impression might be the reason why MM remains my personal favorite, even though I’ll admit that RW is a superior film in most ways.

  7. Mr. Majestyk, with your permission, I’d like to share your post above on facebook. Probably the single best summation of what Mad Max is (and is not).

    Vern, your name drop of Panos Cosmatos is super cool. That guy knows his shit. And the dubbing comment is spot on.

    I’m going to see Fury Road tomorrow night with my best friend. It feels like Christmas. SO Excited.

  8. I’d be honored, Darryl.

  9. I first saw this film when I was twelve or thirteen, so I actually appreciated it more after revisiting it a few weeks ago. It reminded me of a traditional western in its approach, especially the fact that the pacing is a little slower than Road Warrior or Thunderdome. It was almost as if John Ford had decided to place really great high-octane destruction at the beginning and end of one of his films. I also remember being impressed by the quick cuts used when Knightrider gets it. I think we go from the car to Knightrider’s red-veined (and obviously fake) eyes to the explosion. It’s a jarring montage, and it reminds me of some experimental shorts I’ve seen. I still prefer Road Warrior, but Mad Max is still a really interesting beginning to the saga.

  10. I was a Road Warrior nut when I was little and only saw Mad Max in college. I think I would have appreciated it more if I saw it first. I could see why it never played on TV. It was kinda of boring and audiences would have been disappointed to discover that they weren’t watching the Road Warrior. I’m glad I discovered it late, cause it feels similar to today’s unnecessary prequels. Max’s background was best left to my imagination.

  11. I meant “not” happy to discover it late.
    Also, you have plenty of options when chosing images for your FURY ROAD review.
    There are a ton of cool posters out there for it.

  12. I hate to be one of those guys, but I never liked part 1 that much either. I appreciate it as the kind of more-expensive-looking-than-it-really-was low budget classic, that totally captured the Zeitgeist of its original audience, but even for me, who is able to enjoy movies that are slow, made long before 1993 or both, it drags too much, to be really enjoyable.

  13. One Guy From Andromeda

    May 13th, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Now imagine someone who regards Road Warrior as one of the best movies ever and still hasn’t seen Mad Max, because babyface Mel and seeing Max have a wife and kids always seemed super unappealing (Maybe he saw and liked the saw scene and that car crash into the trailer but not much more).
    SHOULD this hypothetical person actually watch it, or might it have the kind of effect on his enjoyment of Road Warrior that the prequels have on the enjoyment of Star Wars?

  14. Good call on the saxophone. Never made that connection before. That of course makes THUNDERDOME even more of a masterpiece!

  15. – one andromada guy

    Nope. I saw Mad Max after The Road Warrior, and it didn´t change my opinion of Road Warrior being one of the best movies ever. I did have to see Mad Max many several times before I appreciated it for what it was.

    The thing is, Road Warrior actually starts with the montage of all the best bits from Mad Max, and makes it look like an awesome car chase movie, but in the movie the car chase are pretty much done with in its first 15 minutes.

    This hypothetical person you´re referring to should definitely watch Mad Max, but be prepared for a very different type of movie.

  16. The Original Paul

    May 13th, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    So I have to confess… there are a few reasons why I never watched ROAD WARRIOR, beyond just never coming across it, and MAD MAX is one of them. I tried to watch it when I was much, much younger, probably too young to appreciate it, and I just couldn’t. It never “clicked” with me. I know it starts with a memorable car chase, that even now I still recall bits of; but somehow the “slow” comments here feel really appropriate to the other bits that I can recall. (Bear in mind here that I watched BEYOND THUNDERDOME a few years later and did – and still do – really like it.) I don’t think I ever even got to the “revenge” part. In fact, I don’t think I ever knew it was a “revenge movie” until reading Vern’s review here.

    But the review does come at a pretty good time for me, because I’ve bought the MAD MAX trilogy on DVD and haven’t watched any of it yet. MAD MAX didn’t work for me when I went into it cold. Maybe it’ll work better watching it with a bit more knowledge of what I’m going into.

  17. I watched all the “Mad Max” movies for the first time this year and starting with this movie was a real shock. I had just assumed they were all post-apocalyptic action films, so to see an actual functional (well, kind of) society in “Mad Max” was a complete surprise. Honestly, it strikes me more as 70s revenge flick. I liked it a lot but I was a little disappointed it wasn’t the film I expected.

    Then I saw “The Road Warrior” and got exactly what I wanted. It truly is one of the all-time greats of cinema.

    And I’m with Vern on “Beyond Thunderdome,” it’s actually really good and deserves far more respect than it gets.

  18. Man I can’t imagine this movie with yank accents. That’s just fucking weird. So much of the humor is just super super Australian, it would be like watching The Castle or something with americans dubbing it. Just wrong.

  19. All these people disliking this film is kind of bumming me out. I can understand that it’s the kind of film that you have to be in the right mood to appreciate, and it isn’t as good as Road Warrior, but it’s still a great slab of 70s exploitation cinema. I also love the Knightrider’s monologue as he’s going on a rampage. Tell me this doesn’t get you pumped up:

    “I am the Nightrider. I’m a fuel injected suicide machine. I am the rocker, I am the roller, I am the out-of-controller!”

  20. The Original Paul

    May 13th, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    RBatty – it wouldn’t be this site without something like this happening. I wouldn’t read too much into my own opinion though if I were you, ’cause I haven’t seen any part of MAD MAX since I was a child. That’s part of why I want to revisit these three movies (well, that and most people seem to agree that ROAD WARRIOR is awesome).

    To this day, the only film that Vern’s reviewed that I can remember every single person who’d commented on it actually liking was JOYRIDE / ROADKILL. Which seems a really, really weird choice for a movie to be singled out like that, but hey, I’m one of the people who likes it.

  21. The one thing that really weireded me out about this movie is how little of a fuck Max gives about someone after their injured? Like goose is burnt and he for all appereances is Max’s mate and Max is just like “NOPE FUCK OFF THAT’S NOT HIM ANYMORE! HE’S DEAD TO ME!” and the movie just acts like Goose is dead for the rest of the film. Then at the end his wife doesn’t even die. She’s alive in hospital and the doctors say she could survive and Max is like “NOPE FUCK IT! REVENGE TIME THEY KILLED MY FAMILY!” and the movie acts like she’s dead (And continues to act like she died then in the sequels)

    It’s really fucking off putting.

  22. When I was in college in NYC (two decades ago) there was a record store that specialized in soundtracks and showtunes. I found the LP of MAD MAX there, and still have fond memories of schlepping that record to the school library just so I could sign out a turntable and listen to it. How miserable that sounds in this post-iPod era and yet I was happy. And playing the opening title music in the clip Vern posted still takes me back to those days.

  23. So I just re-watched this one, and holy shit they never actually say that Jessie (Max Rockatansky’s wife) died, do they? I never realized that.

    Last time we see her, she’s in a hospital bed with the doctors saying she’s in stable condition (left “permanently disfigured,” according to Mad Max Wiki). Then Max rides off for vengeance and we never hear, officially, that she died even tho they make a point of saying that Sprog (Max’s son) was DOA. They leave her there in the hospital. And she’s visibly missing an arm…hm…

    Missing an arm. Could it be? Is Imperator Furiosa really…………………..?

    (They’re missing different arms, for the record – Furiosa’s missing her left, Jessie’s clearly missing her right. So I doubt there’s a connection. Still, what the fuck happened to Jessie anyway? Could she play some part in the new movie? In the original script for Road Warrior, Lord Humungous was supposed to be revealed as Goose, still alive and horribly burned and, I guess, bitter about his experience. And now the Toecutter actor is in Fury Road. Charlie Theron already played an apocalypse wife in The Road, and if she’d been holding a sax in the preview I’d be suspicious. Makes me wonder what surprises Mastermind George Miller has in store for us…)

  24. Has anybody made this analogy yet: Mad Max is like the first Friday the 13th, where you always forget it was Mrs. Voorhees and there’s no hockey mask. (Geez, even the Mad Max series got a hockey mask in there before the Fridays did!)

  25. @solong, I know what you mean. When I watched MAD MAX a couple years ago I thought for sure that Miller might someday bring Max’s disfigured wife back into the story. They never really DO tell us she’s dead, do they? A plot hole, I tell ya.

  26. There was supposed to be a scene where all the other cops were killed, and that’s why we don’t see them in the second half. In fact Miller had to drop a lot of action due to money problems.

  27. The Original Paul – I think expectations are key when watching the first Mad Max. Like you, I couldn’t get into it as a kid, and it was only when I revisited it that I really started to enjoy the film on its own terms. So if people have only seen the film once and didn’t really like it, then I would recommend giving it another shot.

  28. Yeah, I don’t think “This movie doesn’t fit my preconceived notions” is really a valid criticism. I understand it can be jarring to not get what you ordered, but to dismiss a great piece of work like MAD MAX because of that is a bit childish. True, it’s not ROAD WARRIOR. Nothing is, except ROAD WARRIOR. So you take a minute, readjust your expectations, and judge it for what it is, not what you erroneously thought it was. It’s not the movie’s fault that you were misinformed.

  29. Yeah, but expectations doesn’t change the fact that if this movie weren’t connected to The Road Warrior in any way I would still change the channel on it. That’s not misinformation, just a fact.

  30. Is it my imagination, or is this not Vern’s first review of Mad Max? I seem to recall a previous one where he talks about the bit with Max’s toddler playing with his revolver…

  31. darth: That’s fair. But a lot of people are saying that they changed their tune on it after repeat viewings, so maybe keep that in mind. I mean, I don’t think saying a George Miller action flick is an objectively pretty good fuckin’ movie that deserves a second chance once you know what you’re getting into is all that outlandish.

  32. thatguydave – I kinda thought that too, but I couldn’t find it. That would be funny if I accidentally double reviewed both of these.

  33. I enjoy very much that this is not a well-constructed story, because I can always point to this film as a rare example of a realistic-contructed story. In real life, if your partner is killed, your badass boss will probably make you go for vacation and try to grow a beard. In a well-constructed story, you would be out there avenging already.

  34. Always really liked the scene where Max goes to tell the Chief he’s actually quitting and the Chief is wearing an ascot, watering the plants, and listening to classical music, like he’s holding up civilized society singlehandedly, which in essence he is as literally one of the last cops. And this in spite of his buff, shirtless, baldness seeming custom-tailored to the uncivilized slide to come. Seems like the scene, and the Chief, contains the whole tension between civilization and atavism in that moment, which I love because it’s the definitive moment Max gives up on order.

  35. You sold me on a rewatch Majestyk. That and the shiny and chrome FURY ROAD

  36. I actually rewatched this last night with some friends who’d never seen it. I was worried about them being bored, so I kinda warned them not to expect the type of movie in the fury road trailers, and that this was really slow and uneventful. Maybe it was because I undersold it, but I thought Mad Max held up really well, especially as a movie about civilization beginning to crumble.

    There was a lot of really fun dialogue and funny weird side characters, like the old man at the rail road and the granny with a shotgun who tries to help Max’s wife.

    I’m seeing Fury Road this afternoon. I can’t wait!

  37. Aaron – what did your comrades think of it?

  38. I pulled out the original MAD MAX the day before I went to see FURY ROAD, just to kind of get in the mood for seeing it. I actually caught it on TV back in the early 80’s as a kid, and I liked it almost right away—it actually clicked with me, because there was something different about it. I soon figured out that it was a foreign, yet when I watched the actor’s mouths, it became clear after a while that they wee actually speaking English, so why the heck were they dubbed to begin with? (I found out much later.) Also, the Toecutter was simply the weirdest damn villains I’d ever seen—-I just couldn’t make head s or tails of his character, but he’s so damn crazy and interesting to watch. It’s also got these tonal,jarring sudden shifts, and if becomes whatever it is. Still had some crazy car crashes,though.

  39. Forgot to mention that MAD MAX was also he first Australian film I ever liked and got into, period. Nope, it wasn’t Picnic At Hanging Rock or My Brilliant Career, it was this crazy kind of weird Aussie that introduced me to Australian films, of all things.

  40. RRA, they liked it! It’s a good little society on the edge of collapse movie, even if it’s just a kernel of the madness that is to come.

    Road Warrior is up next, I’m excited to share it.

  41. I haven’t read all y’all’s responses but I wanted to post because I just got the MGM BD (Blu-Ray) (not the Scream/Shout one, for A/V reasons). I had never seen the whole movie. I was born in 1975 and Road Warrior was an early huge influence on me – I’m guessing HBO? Network TV? Between that and Attack Force Z and Year of Living Dangerously I grew up with Mel and was well prepared for Thunderdome, but I had little exposure to this film, except I think the end.

    I enjoyed this a lot. It doesn’t feel as low-budget as it maybe should, but it still has a rough-and-tumble feel to it and feels very real – for one thing, owing to the location shooting. I love the police station – it fact, I found it and the hospital a little unsettling, like the old world trying to hang on, but it’s clearly a lost cause. Of course the action scenes as Vern wrote about – almost 40 years on this stuff is still fucking badass. In general, interesting and creative cinematography and editing – e.g., great visual introduction of Max, worthy of Leone.

    In all honestly, I’ve been leaning more towards bottom-up film-making in general lately, so this was just what I was looking for.
    I’m going go out on a limb and say that Fury Road could have toned down its 21st century filmatism just a tad (high level of DI post-prod. tweaking, ratio of shots/second, number of close-up shots vs medium or group shots, etc.).

  42. And? To those complaining that Mad Max is slow… you simply don’t know how to watch movies. There, I said it, I can’t unsay it.

  43. I recently watched the Canadian The-Internet-was-sure-that-it-will-be-a-huge-cult-sensation-but-it’s-already-forgotten post-apocalypse movie homage TURBO KID and wanna give a caaaaaaaaaaareful recommendation. It won’t blow you through the back of your home theatre with awesomness, but this isn’t some glorified YouTube or Adult Swim crap like KUNG FURY. It is surprisingly straight faced and only tries to be funny during the gory scenes (with success IMO!) and most of all, it’s obviously made by people who love the genre with all its cliches and flaws and tried to make something, that can work as a real movie, instead of some asshole, who tries to punish us with a purposely bad flick, because he hates everything and can only jerk off if Reddit users upvote his “Lol, look how shitty that movie is” memes.

    The downside: It’s kinda slow and homage or not, it’s a little hard to get excited over such a movie, when during the same year, FURY ROAD brought the genre into the 21st century with the power of an atomic blast! Around the midpoint I actually wished that it would have been more of a comedy. BLACK DYNAMITE showed us that you can make a hilarious parody, that is still respectful to the genre.

    It’s really not a bad movie. It’s well made, has a surprising amount of heart and obviously wasn’t made with the intention of creating an instant cult classic, but it’s not good enough to actually make it one. (Although only time will tell.)

  44. I barely made it twenty minutes into the move.

  45. Yeah, I won’t deny that I might be a bit easy on TURBO KID, simply because it’s a loving tribute instead of a snarky “so bad it’s good” crapfest and also looks like a well made modern day movie instead of trying to go for purposely shitty FX and maybe some fake VHS look or other gimmicks to convince us that it’s some “lost 80s classic” or shit like that, but I think it’s a sympathetic little movie, that does more things right than not and I won’t apologize for not paulandmajestyiking it.

  46. Hey, I liked TURBO KID. I was prepared to dismiss it but it won me over. The lead actress gave a funny, committed, and sympathetic performance that held the whole thing together. I also liked that the premise of the film gave an in-story reason for everything to be all 80s. Plus it’s probably Michael Ironside’s best role in a decade, which I’ll admit says more about the movie industry squandering its resources than about this particular movie.

    I think my reputation for curmudgeonliness is overstated. I like a ton of stuff, but my hate stands out more, especially when I hate something everybody else likes. I think I’m just better at hating than I am at liking. I’m not proud of it but the evidence is damning.

    Hell, I even thought KUNG FURY was fun for what it was (i.e., not a real movie). It’s basically a less-inspired AXE COP but it entertained me for 30 minutes.

    I could even find some good things to say about WOLF COP. WOLF COP!

  47. We sure do have a whole lot of these ‘This is gonna be the next big thing guys!’ wannabe-cult movies. I mean Vern and others talked about it with the whole these are small movies playing at festivals and the critics/journalists enjoy them and want us to see them (and help the filmmakers out) and then they come out and they are usually ‘okay’ at best most of the time it seems. It’s why I ultimately skipped VVitch in theaters (though my schedule did not help) and keep pushing off seeing these Turbo Kid type of movies. I was one of the ones who did not care for Kung Fury and Wolf Cop and only saw them after everyone raved about how amazing they were. I know hype is not the fault of the movie or marketing (it is me for giving into the hype or at least being curious). Hell recently there was that stupid video where guys basically turned The Shining into a Tim & Eric Show sketch and everyone seemed to rave about it (it was awful and I think if anyone who liked every learned of Tim & Eric they would die of excitement and happiness).

    But if you guys recommend Turbo Kid I can give it a shot, Mr. M was so right about Sledge Hammer! after all.

    One non-small film (non-Edgar Wright) example of this Internet over-hype craze I guess would be Pacific Rim. Remember when that was going to be the next Star Wars?

  48. Crushinator Jones

    April 26th, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Pacific Rim was never supposed to be the next Star Wars. That’s crazy talk. And I like that movie, a lot.

  49. In conclusion: “The internet” is very easy to impress.
    (And in all fairness, the whole “Pacific Rim is the new Star Wars” was even among the critics who loved it not a popular opinion. I think it was only Harry Knowles who said it and he might be the inventor of internet hyperbole.)

  50. It was Devin who tweeted that Pacific Rim was going to be the new Star Wars.

  51. Crushinator Jones

    April 26th, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    And that’s why I don’t read that goofus.

  52. I looked it up. He said it was “a potential new STAR WARS,” based on what he’d seen before it was finished. There is nothing wrong with that. I have said WAY goofier shit. Thanks for not blackballing me.

  53. Then I apologize for my memory fudging the facts, could’ve sworn that’s what he tweeted. I had just admitted shame about bringing him up in the Batman v Superman thread so I was hesitant to bring that comment up actually. I do not remember you saying way goofier shit but I will believe you (and his expectations). I admit that if said director kept personally calling me and inviting me to his house so I could play with his toys, I too would probably be a bit hyperbolic. So yeah derailed/distracted another thread by doing what I said I would no longer do if I started commenting again. Sorry about that!

    Jones: I ceased reading him as well in an effort to reduce the amount of negativity I (purposely) read.


    To stay on topic, my first viewing of Mad Max was of the old American dub and was not a good experience for me. I didn’t appreciate this movie until the DVD came out without the original audio. Also I was older and appreciated the movies slow deliberate burn way more.

  54. Crushinator Jones

    April 27th, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Well that’s much more reasonable.

    Also Vern since you actually write about what’s on the screen and not the made-up version in your head I’ll never blackball you.

  55. FWIW, MAD MAX is mentioned as one of the titles featured in the new service from Turner Classic Movies and The Criterion Collection, FilmStruck.

    http://filmstruck.com/

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