The Road Warrior

The Mad Max franchise was the brainchild of George Miller and Byron Kennedy: Kennedy produced and Miller directed, and that combination got them out of film school and into the big time. In the wake of the success of MAD MAX, the pressure was on, and they rose to it with one of the best sequels ever made. Now that they had the budget to go deep into the outback to destroy a LOT of cars and blow up a LOT of shit, they let the world they’d created descend past the apocalypse, and delivered a pared-down tale of epic archetype and savage action.   This time the American market didn’t dub out the Australian voices and Miller/Kennedy took it all the way.   Suddenly Mel Gibson was famous worldwide, and no one in my elementary school had ever seen anything like it.

Tragically, that was the high point.  While scouting out locations for the next movie, Byron Kennedy was killed in a helicopter crash at the age of 33.  A distraught Miller abandoned work on BEYOND THUNDERDOME; though he eventually allowed himself to be talked into shooting the fight scenes, the visionary partnership that had fueled one of the great sci-fi franchises was over.  But what they accomplished lives on:

5 Responses to “The Road Warrior”

  1. markwilliams Says:

    “fuel injected suicide machine!”

    Long Live the Knight Rider!

  2. David J. Williams » Blog Archive » Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome Says:

    […] « The Road Warrior […]

  3. Erik Huntoon Says:

    I recall being 5 or 6 years old when The Road Warrior came out. I was living in a tiny town in Colorado that had a 2 screen movie theater. I clearly recall that I wanted to see Six Pack with Kenny Roger’s and was upset when my parents walked me into the other theater with this Road Warrior movie. Well lets just say 30 years later I still haven’t seen Six Pack and I own The Road Warrior and have watched it a dozen times or more. Truly one of the great movies during that era where the apocalypse was just around the corner.

  4. David Williams Says:

    That’s great. Yeah, I remember everyone in the third grade talking about it for weeks on end.

  5. Six Pack Says:

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