I find it somewhat amusing that a significant chunk of ‘80s post-nuclear based visual entertainment (American straight-to-video flicks, Hokuto no Ken et al) derived its setting and most of the other aesthetic touches from the Mad Max movies, when the bleak surroundings of Mr Rockatansky came about not through a nuclear holocaust but through a conventional conflict over dwindling resources, followed by a gradual socio-economic breakdown. It seems that world ended not with the bang of its proteges but a (relative) whimper.
That said, the third in the trilogy seems to validate the theory of reciprocal causation, inserting nuclear desolation into its narrative; I suppose one could smirk and see it as a case of paying homage to the homage-payers, but I can’t help but think it dilutes the uniqueness of George Miller’s dystopic universe somewhat. Nevertheless, when one looks at the trilogy as a whole, this insertion reverses the line of post-nuke causality; whereas in your typical post-nuke narrative (I’m looking at your world, Kenshiro!) the social collapse follows the mushroom clouds, the Mad Max flicks depict the social disarray preceding the appearance of giant flaming mushrooms!
So, rather paradoxically, imitation births innovation for Miller and Co – kinda cool, in a fucked-up way, I suppose….
I love that there’s more history between Mad Max 2 and Thunderdome than there is behind the first two movies.
The apocalypse of Australia in Mad Max 2 isn’t that they were attacked and destroyed. I believe the official story is that their end comes from the fact that all their resources are eaten up by the war and most of their policemen were drafted, allowing the criminals to outnumber them and become the law themselves.
Mad Max 2 is worthy of much intellectualizing and analyzation. An interesting thing is the Gayboy Berserkers, ex-policemen who joined up with the Lord Humungus. This can be seen as a comment on the kind of person who doesn’t respect morality so much as authority, the kind of people who just want to be on the winning team, whatever the cost. That the world of Thunderdome is relatively civilized holds an uplifting message: civility will win in the end, because Mad Max will kill all the barbarians.
“An interesting thing is the Gayboy Berserkers, ex-policemen who joined up with the Lord Humungus. This can be seen as a comment on the kind of person who doesn’t respect morality so much as authority, the kind of people who just want to be on the winning team, whatever the cost.”
See the guys who worship legality and dismiss anarchy with the phrase: “Without restraints, there’d be murder and rape on a mass scale”? Most likely, they’d be the the fuckers behind all that shit if our ever loving administrators disappeared overnight.