Author Topic: The Road Warrior (1981)  (Read 4636 times)

Offline Antares

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The Road Warrior (1981)
« on: May 12, 2010, 04:08:22 PM »
The Road Warrior





Year: 1981
Film Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures, Kennedy Miller Entertainment
Genre: Action, Science-Fiction, Adventure
Length: 95 Min.

Director
George Miller (1945)

Writing
Terry Hayes (1951)...Written By
George Miller (1945)...Written By
Brian Hannant (1940)...Written By

Producer
Byron Kennedy (1952)

Cinematographer
Dean Semler (1943)

Music
Brian May (1934)...Composer

Stars
Mel Gibson (1956) as Max
Bruce Spence (1945) as The Gyro Captain
Michael Preston (1938) as Pappagallo
Max Phipps (1939) as The Toadie
Vernon Wells (1945) as Wez
Kjell Nilsson (1949) as The Humungus
Emil Minty (1972) as The Feral Kid
Virginia Hey (1952) as Warrior Woman

Review
       Thanks to the advent of Cable television and pay movie channels like HBO, obscure films from around the world would be given an audience that most movies of previous years could never attain. As the quantity of channels increased, so too did the demand for quality programming to fill the schedules of these new networks. At the time, the Big three networks had a strangle hold on the American viewing public, and also on the second run broadcasts of the hit movies of the time. But the Walls of Jericho would soon start to crumble, as HBO, Showtime and Cinemax would offer Americans something that CBS, NBC and ABC could only dream of; Uncut and un-censored films. American television audiences would follow the dangling carrot of nudity, profanity and non-commercial interruptions, which had been removed for their welfare and well being, to the new promised land of pay-per-view programming.
   
       One obscure Australian film would set the path for many other foreign and independent films to follow, as repeated telecasts on these pay services would launch it into cult status and make a star out of Mel Gibson. The Road Warrior was the sequel to a small successful film in Australia called Mad Max, about a cop in the Australian outback whose family is murdered by a roving band of belligerent bikers, and whom he subsequently seeks revenge upon. While Mad Max has attained its own cult following, the story is a little stiff and uneven, making it most noteworthy for being the inspiration for its successful offspring. By changing the setting to an apocalyptic wasteland sometime in the near future, and turning Max into a nomadic mercenary whose only interest is self-preservation, a new benchmark would be achieved in action films that all future films in that genre would try to emulate.
   
       As the world has sunk into the abyss of post-nuclear annihilation, the few remaining survivors must struggle to exist on a day-to-day basis. Rogues and renegades run roughshod over the endless landscape pillaging, raping and murdering anyone who dare confront them. They venture the highways in an endless search to find the one commodity that preserves their outlaw existence. Petrol is the oxygen that breathes life into the battlewagons of these barbarians and they will stop at nothing to attain this precious lifeblood. Which brings us to one of the last operational oil refineries in the outback. The inhabitants are continually under siege from a band of outlaws who are hell-bent on acquiring the installation. Temporarily safe behind their makeshift barricades, they send off volunteers on motorcycles to find a vehicle powerful enough to help them escape to a city on the coast of Australia that has survived and has been rebuilt under law and order.
   
       It is here that we meet Max (Mel Gibson), who witnesses the murders of two of the volunteers, and brings back the bodies in hope of bartering for some fuel. At first he is rebuked, but when he mentions that he came upon an abandoned oil truck a few days earlier, they strike a deal with the stranger. In return for all the gas he can carry, Max will head out into the wasteland and return with the vehicle. The struggle of the group to beat back the attacks by the outlaws, and Max’s own adventure with them on his way back to the refinery, fuel the frenzied pace of the story until the climactic showdown at the end of the film. Max’s heroism will cast him in a new light to the group of refugees who will reach out to him for leadership and guidance on their dangerous journey. In the end, Max will live by the bargain made with the pilgrims and will set off alone, back into the desolate world that is his home.
   
       In the many years since this films release, many usurpers for the title of best action film have been made, with a good percentage of these being pale comparisons. While I’m not a big fan of the action film genre, I do from time to time, enjoy watching a movie that is believable at its core and thrilling in its exploits. I can only think of a handful of appreciable films in this genre that can meet that requirement. Aliens, The Terminator I & II and Die Hard all fit this profile and for that reason are considered the true class of this genre. If you’ve been spoon fed on the pabulum of mediocre movies by Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer and are tired of the repetitive nature of their films, rent or buy The Road Warrior and see how a great action film is made.


Review Criterion
5 Stars - The pinnacle of film perfection and excellence.
4 ½ Stars - Not quite an immortal film, yet a masterpiece in its own right.
4 Stars - Historically important film, considered a classic.
3 ½ Stars - An entertaining film that’s fun or engaging to watch.
3 Stars – A good film that’s worth a Netflix venture.
2 ½ Stars - Borderline viewable.
2 Stars – A bad film that may have a moment of interest.
1 ½ Stars – Insipid, trite and sophomoric, and that's its good points.
1 Star – A film so vacuous, it will suck 2 hours from the remainder of your life.
½ Star - A gangrenous and festering pustule in the chronicles of celluloid.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 06:33:45 PM by Antares »

Offline Achim

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Re: The Road Warrior (1981)
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2010, 04:18:02 PM »
This is one of my favorite films and I don't watch it nearly often enough :laugh:

Najemikon

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Re: The Road Warrior (1981)
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2010, 08:48:15 PM »
Same here. Mind you, I'm not sure I'd consider it better than the first, as I find that has more humour and I find the setting of a country on the verge of collapse very believable and fascinating.

Actually, Antares, have you seen the restored version of Mad Max? I understand that it was originally dubbed and screwed around with when it was distributed to the US and that was the version I was always aware of. The remastered DVD though was a huge improvement. Actually hearing Mel Gibson's voice coming out of Mel Gibson's mouth was a novelty! :laugh:

Offline Antares

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Re: The Road Warrior (1981)
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2010, 10:09:42 PM »
Actually, Antares, have you seen the restored version of Mad Max? I understand that it was originally dubbed and screwed around with when it was distributed to the US and that was the version I was always aware of. The remastered DVD though was a huge improvement. Actually hearing Mel Gibson's voice coming out of Mel Gibson's mouth was a novelty! :laugh:

I'm pretty sure the version I first saw was the poorly dubbed one. I remember thinking to myself, what a horrible job they did with the vocal track. I'll have to try and find the new DVD. Thanks for that info!

Najemikon

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Re: The Road Warrior (1981)
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2010, 12:05:25 AM »
My Mad Max review popped up on the home page and it reminded me I included a link to the first ten minutes on YouTube. I thought it worth reposting because I think you can tell how much better the dialogue is.

And it's frigging cool anyway.  :P


Offline Antares

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Re: The Road Warrior (1981)
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2010, 12:30:13 AM »
After watching that, it definitely was the old dubbed version I saw. Now I want to see it again, that was much better than I remember it.

The best thing about that scene was the fact that there's no CGI involved, only pure driving skills.  :thumbup:

KinkyCyborg

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Re: The Road Warrior (1981)
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 12:36:33 AM »
My Mad Max review popped up on the home page and it reminded me I included a link to the first ten minutes on YouTube.

I've been waiting to see one of my reviews make a random appearance on the homepage as well and I was beginning to think that maybe users cannot see their own reviews... until I saw your comment. Does a user have to be a board member for a specified amount of time before  their reviews are included in the random selection pool?  Just wondering...  :headscratch:

KC

Offline Antares

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Re: The Road Warrior (1981)
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2010, 01:00:09 AM »
My Mad Max review popped up on the home page and it reminded me I included a link to the first ten minutes on YouTube.

I've been waiting to see one of my reviews make a random appearance on the homepage as well and I was beginning to think that maybe users cannot see their own reviews... until I saw your comment. Does a user have to be a board member for a specified amount of time before  their reviews are included in the random selection pool?  Just wondering...  :headscratch:

KC

It'll happen, don't worry. There are so many reviews on this forum, it takes time and the lucky refresh to get one sometime.

KinkyCyborg

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Re: The Road Warrior (1981)
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2010, 01:52:27 AM »
Thanks. :)  I think it's a neat feature. Seeing some of the titles pop up reminds me of old favorites and in a few cases of movies that I forgot about altogether that I'd now like to get on dvd. My wish list has expanded greatly since I came here.  :popcorn:

Najemikon

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Re: The Road Warrior (1981)
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2010, 02:01:13 AM »
After watching that, it definitely was the old dubbed version I saw. Now I want to see it again, that was much better than I remember it.

The best thing about that scene was the fact that there's no CGI involved, only pure driving skills.  :thumbup:

You might appreciate the thread I posted Mad Max in. My first marathon was a short one based on cars (inspired by Death Proof, but don't hold that against me!) :laugh:: http://www.dvdcollectorsonline.com/index.php/topic,2762.0.html edit:just remembered you dug it up yourself ages ago. :slaphead:

I've been waiting to see one of my reviews make a random appearance on the homepage as well and I was beginning to think that maybe users cannot see their own reviews... until I saw your comment. Does a user have to be a board member for a specified amount of time before  their reviews are included in the random selection pool?  Just wondering...  :headscratch:

KC

It'll happen, don't worry. There are so many reviews on this forum, it takes time and the lucky refresh to get one sometime.

You're posting at a high rate too, KC, :thumbup: so they'll come along. If Karsten is reading this, maybe he'll confirm what the criteria is, or if it is just completely random... :whistle:
« Last Edit: June 20, 2010, 02:15:02 AM by Jon »

RossRoy

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Re: The Road Warrior (1981)
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2010, 02:02:05 AM »
My wish list has expanded greatly since I came here.  :popcorn:

All part of the master plan  :devil:

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: The Road Warrior (1981)
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2010, 02:49:40 AM »
I don't think I've ever seen this one. 

I'm not sure how many, but I have bought more DVDs..and Blu-rays now because of reviews here.  My Hitchcock collection grew a lot when that marathon was started...and will probably grow more eventually because of it.  I've added more to my wish list at Amazon anyway.

Offline Antares

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Re: The Road Warrior (1981)
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2010, 04:01:33 AM »
I don't think I've ever seen this one. 

I'm not sure how many, but I have bought more DVDs..and Blu-rays now because of reviews here.  My Hitchcock collection grew a lot when that marathon was started...and will probably grow more eventually because of it.  I've added more to my wish list at Amazon anyway.

I assume your talking about the film reviewed? You owe it to yourself to see it, it was the grand-daddy of action films. And as far as I'm concerned, still one of the best.

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: The Road Warrior (1981)
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2010, 04:48:26 AM »
I was talking about Road Warrior

Offline Achim

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Re: The Road Warrior (1981)
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2010, 06:07:37 AM »
I was talking about Road Warrior
I read it that Antares was as well :hmmmm:

...and I will agree with him. It is certainly a great action flick that many have tried to copy but no one ever quite reached it. The story is just strong enough to link the action set pieces together, yet the characters are carved out well enough to make you care.