Films, like many other art forms should influence people, ideally for the better but, sometimes a few of us pick up on the strangest aspects of the oddest movies..
While I’m still forbidden to own an “organ donor machine” I do love motorbikes and stupidly over-powered muscle cars, strangely I’ve never been bothered with owning a vehicle but I’m often found on the back of a bike or helping tuning up a car or two, mechanics seem to run in the family. One day I will buy one and ride it despite both my parents threatening to put me in hospital quicker than any bike accident would.
The love of bikes and fast cars is evident throughout the film, the many “stuntmen” were really just bike enthusiasts and these crazy lost souls really pushed the boundaries of the fast chase scenes, their dedication and love for living on the edge added a touch of the genuine energy in the movie which I’ve never seen in any other film, it’s not something you can buy or install into a cast before filming, you gotta go to the source.
Little known fact is that Toecutter is a worshipper of Kali, he has a few tributes and effigies of her on his helmet (oh la la) and on his machete. These tiny symbols are a key to his strange philosophies on life and death. Now without sounding like a tribute act she’s one of my favourite goddesses and while I’m not a member of the Tuggey cult of Kali I do study and adapt the philosophies based around her into my own life but I’m not quite at the end of the world biker gang cult stage yet but it’s on my bucket list.
This was possibly one of the first apocalypse movies that I have a vivid memory of, I do vaguely remember watching a Boy and His Dog with my mother as a child but the perception of doomsday scenario didn’t really stick in my feeble mind. While the original Mad Max isn’t in the full swing of a social collapse but just on the verge of everything going to shit, for some reason this was more apocalyptic for me, with my eternal love of the movie it will possibly always be one of my favourites but it did spark a pretty strong interest in post apocalyptic movies and since I have jumped into the genre but nothing quite equals this dawning of the beginning of the end quite like Max does.
Having been surrounded by bikers most of my life yeah the same parents who refused me a motorbike also hung around bikers.. go figure.. I have a very different view of the average biker group, obviously there are gangs and cliques which live up to the stereotype but for the most part they aren’t all douchebags but Max did really opened my eyes to the other darker side of those leather clad speed freaks which I later learnt was a popular generalisation.
I was also besotted with Max’s loner style, and how he just got on with stuff once pushed too far, there seems to be an inner max who’s a silent killer but his family were keeping him grounded, normal and functioning. Once those anchors were lost (SPOILER ALERT), his job, best friend, family all gone, Max morphs into a hellish lone ranger and becomes the scariest muvafucker in the film.
I fell in love with this movie way before I really had much concept of cinema and costs and budgets etc, I really was that young and naive at the time, I just picked up videos and watched them.. a habit i haven’t really dropped yet.. but learning how much of the movie was friends helping out and cobbled together on a shoestring, it really frustrates me when some movies which is a fraction of the entertainment cost 10 times more. This is one of the films which is a true testament that a well written story and dedication is worth more than money when you’re making a film.
…and there’s this song.. which I like to sing on looooooooooong road trips..