Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome is Beyond Bizarre

Mad Max: Beyond ThunderdomeI’ve been thinking about writing a post-apocalyptic fiction novel for National Novel Writing Month, so a couple nights ago I sat down and watched Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Now I chose that movie not because it’s the best example of a post-apocalyptic movie I could think of (there’d be many others, from Mad Max: Road Warrior which I would have picked if I hadn’t watched it a few months ago, to Children of Men to I Am Legend, which is more horror but does a nice job with the setting), but because I haven’t seen it in a while and it has a good mix of post-apocalyptic fun.

Plus: Jokes about pig poop.

While interesting for some of the post-apocalyptic ideas I’m looking at, this movie is otherwise bizarre. It works for me up until the Thunderdome fight ends and Max is banished. Then it goes into bizarr-o movie land. It’s kind of a mishmash of a third Mad Max movie, with some Lord of the Flies and some recycled Road Warrior thrown in (Hey, why not?: All the other Mad Max movies had great chase scenes and they must have had funky cars left over from Road Warrior). What’s especially weird is that the pilot in Beyond Thunderdome is played by the same guy as the pilot in Road Warrior, Bruce Spence, yet they seem to be different characters.

I love that Roger Ebert called it “not only the best of the three Mad Max movies, but one of the best films of 1985.” A year that included Back to the Future (also, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure).

While it does star Tina Turner as a diabolical despot, I just can’t rate it that high. Mel Gibson spends more time wandering through the desert than the hobbits spent walking around Middle Earth. On the plus side, nobody survives a nuclear blast by hiding in a refrigerator, so bonus points (Yeah, I finally saw Indy 4 this week. Ouch).

One thought on “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome is Beyond Bizarre”

  1. The Mad Max movies are very odd. Maybe because they’re Australian. “Mad Max” isn’t very fun-but is it “pre-apocalyptic”? “Road Warrior” makes way more sense than “Thunderdome”-but I still can’t figure out what the deal is with Lord Humongous’ followers.
    Were you aware that “I Am Legend” was made before as “The Omega Man”, starring Charlton Heston?
    Other postapacalyptic movies: Waterworld, The Matrix (ignore the shitty sequels), Twelve Monkeys, 28 Days Later, The Running Man, Freejack (starring Mick Jagger!), The Day After, Silent Running, Logan’s Run, The Postman, Delicatessen,

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