Is 'The Road Warrior' a Notable Australian Cinematic Achievement?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by S. P. Honeybunch, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo, The Door Into Mike Love Thread Starter

    California, USA
    Just watched this 1981 film on blu-ray and enjoyed it. It's a struggle between the peaceful and the tyrannical in a rugged desert land. Is this a notable Australian cinematic achievement due to the use of a feral boy character, the level of creative design of vehicles and costumes, and filming work involved with the action sequences?
    Knox Harrington, hi_watt and Johnny66 like this.
  2. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    I think of it among my senior year trilogy of great sci-fi films, also including THE THING and BLADE RUNNER. And decidedly not including the cloying and sentimental E.T.

    The film in Blu-ray is a revelation. Although often depicting action and violence, many of the shots are downright beautiful and carefully composed.
  3. socorro

    socorro Forum Resident

    Visually arresting (the physical setting, costumes, vehicles, faces), interesting premise, more adrenaline than any movie I've seen, Mel Gibson when he was still Australian and a good actor.

    I'd call it notable.
  4. Linus

    Linus Forum Resident

    Melb. Australia
    I saw this at the drive-in. It was an unannounced preview before the film hit the theaters. After the movie two of the cars from the movie drove around the aisles of the drive in, (heavily modified Ford XB coupes for all the petrolheads out there).
    It was groundbreaking at the time. Most who saw it were gobsmacked. The action/driving scenes and the cinematography were world class. The only other Australian film that came marginally close was The Cars That Ate Paris from a few years earlier and it pales in comparison to Mad Max, (as Road Warrior was known down here).
    Have seen it many times since, the only criticism I’d make is that the atmospheric music used throughout has dated very badly. Having said that the music is what it is and should not be tampered with. Thank god George Lucas had nothing to do with this movie!
  5. SgtPepper1983

    SgtPepper1983 Forum Resident

    Berlin, Germany
    Yes, it's a classic. And George Miller one of the most interesting directors out there!
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  6. hi_watt

    hi_watt The Road Warrior

    San Diego, CA
    I love it. I'd marry this film if I could. Yes, it is an Australian Cinematic Achievement and treasure.
  7. Kassonica

    Kassonica Forum Resident

    It’s called mad max 2 down here, I went to the premier in Sydney back in the day.

    Still stands up and it helped put Australian movies on the world wide map, specially in the states.
  8. townsend

    townsend Senior Member

    Ridgway, CO
    The story line is post apocalyptic -- witness the black and white footage at the beginning of mass upheaval, riots, war, suffering, etc. The society which emerges after the castrophe(s?) is broken, fragmentary, and dystopian. I watched the blu-ray recently (an excellent transfer), and, sad to say, it almost seemed prophetic, to the extent that I think today's world is more cruel than when the movie came out (1981). In the present world, countries (rather than tribes, as in the movie), are fighting over precious resources, such as oil (and its byproducts).

    I saw it in 1981 after Siskel and Ebert (the original version of their show) recommended it (I was living and studying at University of Chicago at the time). It was an awesome movie, just incredible. I am pretty sure I went back about a week later and saw it again.
  9. bopdd

    bopdd Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    It's not just a notable Australian cinematic achievement, it's arguably the most notable Australian cinematic achievement for any number of reasons.
  10. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Vintage Dust

    Fort Worth TX
    It's one of those movies I seem to appreciate a little more and more as time marches on. One of the earmarks of a great film is the ability to remain relevant and stimulating years later (it's hard to conceive it's been around for almost 40 years). The cinematography and production is absolutely astounding.....It holds it's own with some of the best films from that era.

    Some of my favorite action movies from the late 70's and early 80's....
    The Thing (1982)
    Nighthawks (1981)
    Alien (1979)
    Blade Runner (1982)
    Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
    Escape From New York (1981)
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Star Trek The Motion Picture (1979)
    And of course....The Road Warrior (1981)
  11. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Senior Member

    It is a spectacular and engaging movie. Its a cinematic equivalent of a great album like Whos' Next.
  12. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Senior Member

    Yep. Stone cold sci-if classic full of imagination and bravura filmmaking. Who ever heard the words “post-apocalyptic” much before “The Road Warrior?”
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  13. Raylinds

    Raylinds Resident Lake Surfer

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  14. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Southern US
    I would have to say yes..ahem ... YES
    Karnak likes this.
  15. Gordon Crisp

    Gordon Crisp Forum Resident

    Portland, Oregon
    They're not considered "high" forms of culture, but The Road Warrior and its success was a big influence on video games and professional wrestling in the 80's and 90's.
    Knox Harrington likes this.
  16. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

    I thought it was great the first time I seen it, and my brother and I watched it a lot in the old days of VHS rentals... I own it on DVD and still watch it occasionally... Great film...
    altaeria likes this.
  17. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    I am not sure if you are aware of the context:

    Australian New Wave - Wikipedia

    A big burst of creativity.

    I love Mad Max II (and I put it ahead of Fury Road). It was a cult classic in the UK, huge on the VHS rental scene.

    Of all the films to emerge from the scene I would rate Picnic At Hanging Rock number 1 and Mad Max II a close second (of the ones I have seen).
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  18. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    And music videos . . . Yeesh, every music video director must have watched BLADE RUNNER and ROAD WARRIOR a hundred times.
  19. blutiga

    blutiga Forum Resident

    Have you seen "Stone'?
  20. Spitfire

    Spitfire Senior Member

    Pacific Northwest
    Is this the first time you've seen it?
  21. seed_drill

    seed_drill Senior Member

    Tryon, NC, USA
    I had a college buddy that had a porno spoof called The Load Warrior. I'll spare you the details, save that in this post apocalyptic dystopia it was most men, rather than most women (like in the Handmaid's Tale), who had been rendered sterile.
  22. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Senior Member

    BTW it came out at a time where home video was just taking off, along with cable and HBO showing the movie over and over again
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  23. HiredGoon

    HiredGoon Forum Resident

    "Mad Max 2" (aka "The Road Warrior" for most of the world) is certainly a notable Strayan cinematic achievement.

    I remember seeing it on release in the cinema and it was unlike any other Strayan film I'd seen, in terms of action, themes, and direction.

    The jarring thing for me is that the original 'Mad Max" is dour, small scale, and not that different (cinematically) from other late 1970s new wave Aussie movies. "Mad Max 2" ramps everything up to 11 with a post-apocalyptic John Wayne action extravaganza with lulz and hamminess.

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  24. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo, The Door Into Mike Love Thread Starter

    California, USA
  25. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Senior Member

    Max Mad (The original Film) also had a bring problem in the United States: They dubbed the film because the distributor felt the American audience wouldn't be able to understand the Australian english accent......and when watching came off as one of those cheap karate film knockoffs.
    When it finally came out on dvd, they finally had the Australian audio track.

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