Archives for posts with tag: Mad Max

The first half of “Weird Science” (1985) is so good – classic teen comedy from writer/director John Hughes – you forget how badly the second half runs off the rails. Rejects from “Mad Max?” Cruise missiles? Bill Paxton as Jabba the Hutt? Granted, the ship rights itself for a semi-sensible ending that’s a cross between “Risky Business” and “Sixteen Candles” but you’re left wondering what could have been. Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith are classic high school dorks who use early computer technology to build a beautiful woman (Kelly LeBrock) for immoral purposes. She ends up teaching them a valuable lesson.

The interesting thing about “Mad Max” (1980) is that Max is only mad for a few scenes at the end of the film. Talk about a slow buildup. It’s a cheaply made, poorly acted, abysmally edited cross between a police procedural and a sci-fi flick. And don’t get me started about the sound editing. It’s full-bore, Spaghetti Western quality (who knew Australian needed to be dubbed into English?). All that adds up to the perfect B movie, which is why it was such a cult classic, why it spawned a big-budget franchise and why it made Mel Gibson a star.

OK, so Mel Gibson is a High Plains Drifter with glam-rocker hair in Australia, where the NFL sent all its shoulder pads as some kind of post-apocalyptic tax writeoff. Mel gets bushwacked a couple of times and ends up in Lord of the Flies Co-Starring Eminem, except the kids head for the O.K. Corral Co-Starring Tina Turner. Only then does The Man With No Name turn into a Road Warrior movie, complete with dwarf tossing and car chases designed by Rube Goldberg. None of “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” (1985) makes any sense, but then again, neither did the first two.