Sunday, January 29, 2012
Of the first two films in the four part series [a fourth film comes out in 2012 but it will not have Gibson as "Max," I'm not too sure of that myself], my favorite by a landslide is the second, dubbed The Road Warrior in America. I saw The Road Warrior before I saw Mad Max, and I bet that's pretty common in this country. In 1981, when the film came out, I was 12 and my father took me to see it at the Allred in Pryor, Oklahoma. From the first moment the action began to unfold, I was completely and utterly transfixed by the high-octane cars, the over-the-top mohawked and leather clad [with sun-burnt buttocks naked and exposed to extreme desert conditions] villains, the dark sense of humor, the violence, the nudity and pretty much everything about it. I loved this movie and watched it every couple of years throughout the 1980s. It's still one of my all-time favorite movies.
As I mentioned in the intro, Mel Gibson showed up between the two films for a thirty minute Q and A and lots of topics were covered. He's working with Randall Wallace [Braveheart screenwriter] on a new epic of violence connected to vikings called Berserker [when Gibson mentioned the title, there was rapturous moaning and applause in the audience]. He talked a lot about George Miller and said if the next Mad Max film was the same as the script he saw six years ago, it's going to be great [as I said earlier, I have my doubts]. He was asked about his troubled last few years and how he dealt with it. His response, and I'm paraphrasing here: "I'd wake up day after day and still be here, so after one morning just said to myself about getting back out there, 'what the f*ck.'" The crowd loved it. When Gibson was introduced and when he exited, roughly 70% of the crowd gave him a standing ovation, so he clearly still has his fans even after all the antics for the past few years. For the record, I clapped for him, but I did not stand up.
An added bonus to this event was the presence of a bunch of hard-core Mad Max fans, dressed in costume, wielding props and with appropriate haircuts. There was even a version of "The Interceptor" in the courtyard. Evidently, there is a yearly three-day event in the California desert that celebrates the post-apocalyptic vision of the film. Add Wasteland Weekend to the mix of oddball subcultures out there where people get together and geek out on their particular obsession. I love The Road Warrior and all, but I doubt I'll be heading out to the dessert, donning leather, a*s cheek baring chaps and getting into make believe fire fights and car chases with other fine people. Want to see some of the Wasteland Weekend? Check out the video below.
***If you are reading this post via e-mail, the imbedded video in this post might not work with your particular e-mail account. Click on the post title and you will be taken directly to CineRobot to view the video.***
Posted by Joshua Blevins Peck at 6:53 AM