When it was announced back in 1985 that we were getting a third installment in the Mad Max film franchise, my Father and myself were ecstatic. In the Conan the Barbarian episode of the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast I talked a bit about seeing movies in my youth – many films that some parents might have deemed to mature for my age. Although with my Father being a single parent it really did mean that if he wanted to catch a movie – I had to come along – to be fair many of these movies were caught at the local Drive-In theater and if I had questions I was free to ask and he would answer to the best of his ability. We saw The Road Warrior aka Mad Max 2 in theaters when it was released in the States on May 21st of 1982 – thankfully there was that little recap from the first feature tacked onto the beginning of the film – even then I think we had to hit the ground running to understand what was going down. I believe it was that same year that we saw Mad Max thanks to one of the Movie Channel’s free weekends – we enjoyed that film although it’s sequel was by far our favorite of the two movies. Then in 1985 while eating dinner we caught the television trailer for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome – excitingly awaiting the weekend so we could catch it at the Drive-In.
That is how we found ourselves in the extremely crowded lot of the 62 Drive-In on the night of July 10th, 1985 – as the film began I settled in to see the further adventures of Mad Max and the post-apocalyptic wasteland he was forced to live through. Almost immediately my Father began to grumble and it just got worse as the film continued – when the children and teenagers of Planet Erf were introduced… my Father had enough of the third entry in the series. To his credit he did ask if I was ready to go and after another fifteen minutes of his complaining… loudly… I said I was ready to leave. It wasn’t until home video that I was able to catch the ending of the movie and while the third picture in the Mad Max series wasn’t my favorite – I still watch it now and again. Now one of the things that my Father was fine with in the film was the performance by Tina Turner – in addition he quite enjoyed the song from the film, “We Don’t Need Another Hero“.
Did you know though that George Miller actually directed that music video for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome? It is totally true though and as a matter of fact – Timmy Cappello is featured in the video playing saxophone, you might know him better from his appearance in 1987’s The Lost Boys… totally stealing the scene while also playing saxophone.
I really do love George Miller’s body of work, for one thing he really has managed to cover all manner of genres in his time. He might only have 18 credits to his name as Director but beyond the four Mad Max films he has also delivered the segment Nightmare at 20,000 Feet from the 1983 Twilight Zone: The Movie anthology – which I might add was legitimately frightening. Miller also directed The Witches of Eastwick in ’87 and followed it with the moving Lorenzo’s Oil in 1992 before delivering Babe: Pig in the City in ’98 – just to name a few. In the near future it would appear we are getting a fifth Mad Max film which at the moment has been titled Mad Max: The Wasteland and who knows… maybe he will direct yet another music video for that film’s release?