Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) Mel Goes Mad As Max One Last Time

Your friendly furry host, Mikey, at Wolfman’s Cult Film, is here to take us through a selection of apocalyptic films. To help give a little heads up for possible incoming scenario’s. We can hopefully learn from our battling brave action heroes and somewhat be slightly prepared for what horrors might becometh! So lets don our tin foil hats and hold hands together under the dinning room table. Mikey’s prophesying movie mayhem is about to start…

This review is for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Is The Devastation Set Today Or In The Future?
As with many of these disaster movies, they are set somewhat in the near-future. Just to keep us on our toes. As far as I know the date is not really stated. Now that’s when you need super fan’s. It’s been estimated that Mad Max (1979) is set around 1984. Mad Max 2 (1981) is three years later in 1987 with a longer time jump to around the year 2005 for Thunderdome.

Method Of Earth’s Destruction?
I’m more than probably wrong, please enlighten me, but is it ever said why the Mad Max films are post-apocalyptic? I always assumed it was after a nuclear war. However, it could be climate disaster that brought on the wastelands and devastation. Whatever happen caused widespread civil breakdown, water shortages and lack of oil reserves. On re-watching Thunderdome, my understanding is, that it’s implied that nuclear war happened sometime after Mad Max 2. Adding even more, all out disorder, reigning across the lands.

Apocalyptic Doomsdays Rating out of 100%?
I’ve always wondered if the chaos of Mad Max Land was just contained to Australia? I’d imagined the rest of the world was dealing with their own problems but the barren, lawless, mayhem of the dystopian Ozzie outback was unique to them? So, I’ll say for Australia, I’d give a Doomsdays Rating of 85+%

Man Alone? Who’s Our Hero?
Mel Gibson returns as our wandering anti-social hero Mad Max for the third and last time. Max prefers to do his surviving alone, if only people would stay out of his way! He does have a brave and helpful little capuchin monkey as a companion this time round.

Does Hero Go Doolally?
Like I said last week, good old Charlton is a great example of a hero who has the gift of the gab with himself. Well, step forward Mel Gibson. No stranger to lonesome conversations. Be funny to see a battle between themselves. See who can out crazy the other. Saying that, Mel in his next film, straight after Thunderdome, would be Lethal Weapon (1987). Yep, OK! Riggs would win out right in the looney bin department.

Warrior Queen or Damsel In Distress
The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, with her big belting voice and bone crushing power thighs dons a blond wig and fleshes out some stylish medieval chain mail. Singer Tina Turner, is surprisingly excellent as Aunty Entity the ruthless leader of Bartertown. “I built this town. Up to my armpits with blood and shit!“. She controls the people of the town with her small army that unleashes order with her very own, Thunderdome fighting arena. Any disagreement is battled out, hand to hand, to the death. “Remember where you are… This is Thunderdome, and death is listening, and will take the first man that screams.

Innocent Cannon Fodder?
In a hidden oasis of water and vegetation a small tribe of primitive children have made a home. Survivors from a crashed Boeing 747 had managed to create a little civilisation. With basic language and disillusioned stories of a City Utopia waiting for them to find. Whoever left the group would disappear, never to be seen again. If only the prophesied pilot Captain Walker would return to show them the way? In steps a very confused Max. Can he save this future group of humans from becoming Bartertown’s and the relentless landscapes, cannon fodder?

Tagline – A lone warrior searching for his destiny…a tribe of lost children waiting for a hero…in a world battling to survive, they face a woman determined to rule. Hold out for Mad Max. This is his greatest adventure.

Flesh Eating Zombies? Malicious Cyberpunks? Murderous Mutants, Angry Aliens Or A Overlord Megalomaniac?
The post-apocalyptic dystopian outfit of choice always seems to revert to across between, bondage and gimp suits, crossed with medieval, kinda steampunk. Muscle bound ladies and gents covered in sweat and oil grunt and shout in all kind of aggressive ways. In a land where everything has already been taken or destroyed, you have to make do with what you can. If you’re lucky to find something flamboyant or odd, well stick it on and make a fancy costume. The left over population are either half-mad, half-dying and 100 percent, all out crazy.

My Favourite Scene?
I’m gonna go for the final chase set piece. It’s wonderfully, maddingly, ridiculously chaotic and wild. Max and the feral apocalypse kids, a monkey, a dwarf, and his friend Pig Killer! (Robert Grubb) are all hurtling across the desert in a train. Followed by Bartertown’s screaming armies of death upon mangled steampunk mechanised vehicles of carnage chasing them down from all angles. This chase would become the forerunner to be utilised for pretty much for the whole film of Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) in all it outrageous gloriousness.

Do The Heroes Get A Chance To Repopulate The Barren World?
It’s kind of implied that Savannah Nix (Helen Buday) and Slake (Tom Jennings) the two alpha’s of the lost tribe have started the repopulating process. If Utopia is found I’m sure the humanity will be saved? Maybe don’t watch Fury Road LOL…

Best Film Death Scenes?
The character Ironbar (Angry Anderson) is Aunty Entity’s mini righthand man. He makes up his size with a kabuki mask tied to his back above his head. He’s a total psychopath and blows imaginary smoke from his crossbow when he kills someone. He “dies” around 7 times in hilarious ways and manages to flip the bird on his final demise??

Any Random Comical Scenes?
Master Blaster is a fantastically weird creation. Blaster (Paul Larsson) the bottom half, is all hulking tower of muscle and strength hidden behind an iron clad helmet. Strapped to his back sits, Master (Angelo Rossitto) the tiny brains of the unit. He runs the underworld shit-filled powerplant of armies of pigs that power Bartertown. Master Blaster keeps Aunty Entity under control. When he’s not happy, he threats to turn off the power.

What Are Humankind’s Survival Changes?
There’s two more Mad Max films in the pipeline I believe. Furiosa (2024?) the origin story of Charlize Theron’s character in Fury Road. Also Mad Max: The Wasteland (????) returning with Tom Hardy back in the madness. We will have to see what becomes of humankind’s future.

Lessons For Us To Learn From This Film?
Well, make everything solar-powered. Stockpile as much fuel and water as you can. And invest in a pig farm for all their wonderful porky poo poo producing methane.

Director, Writer, Producer.
George Miller is the directing wonder of the Mad Max franchise. He brings that unique style to his films that are wonderfully pure Miller. Sadly his good friend and producer of the Mad Max films, Byron Kennedy died in a helicopter crash, aged just 33. He’d been scouting for locations for Thunderdome when the disaster occurred in 1983. The two had created the Mad Max world together. With a heavy heart and grief George would carrying on with the project and enlisted the help of co-director and friend, George Ogilvie.

Soundtrack Composer?
The first two Max soundtracks were composed by Brian May, not that big mopped Queen one. For Thunderdome the music score was composed by Maurice Jarre. It also featured two of Tina Turner’s tracks. “One of the Living” and the chart busting “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)“. Both music videos would use footage from the film and have Miss Tina strutting her stuff and belting out the songs dressed like, Aunty Entity.

Any Film Facts?
In contrast, if you didn’t know, George Millers wicked concept brain brings so much mayhem and brutal barbaric and comical mayhem. However, George can switch to super (if not madly twisted) sweet too. He directed the singing and dancing baby penguin Happy Feet (2006) and the pure ludicrous sequel to Babe (1995) the acid trip of Babe: Pig In The City (1998)…

For production film facts check this TV special on The Making Of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. It’s a fun watch.

Haha This Made Me Smile…
Imagine my surprise when I went to look who Angry Anderson was. Haha! I never knew. Not only is his character brilliant in the film but he’s the lead singer from Australian rock band Rose Tattoo. What gave me a massive smile was seeing this video of him singing this love ballad “Suddenly” Then reading it was used on the long running soap opera, Neighbours for the wedding music for Scott (Jason Donovan) and Charlene (Kylie Minogue) in 1987. So funny especially after how hysterically murderously crazy he is as Ironbar.

IMDB Rating 6.2/10

Wolfman’s Overall Film Fun Rating 7/10
I adored all the Mad Max series. All three would become multiple video store rentals and instantly recorded on VHS as soon as they were shown on TV. The first film was so original and fresh that it created so many copycat ideas. Mad Max 2 Road Warrior did that rare-ish feat of bettering it’s source material. Then Thunderdome upped the ante in visuals and manic scope. It’s probably on par with the first one but it’s wildly entertaining. It was a special day when my late great friend Andy, aka Spreaders, and I were sat in the cinema excitingly watching Mad Max: Fury Road together. Buzzing like children on crack candies throughout the whole movie. It would be the penultimate movie we watched together and the whole Mad Max franchise brings back so many memories.

Thanks for having a read. Hope it was fun?

Big love.

Mikey Da Wolf


8 thoughts on “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) Mel Goes Mad As Max One Last Time

  1. My oh my, it’s been years and years since I’ve last seen this one…I loved Mad Max and The Road Warrior, and I remember having high hopes for this one when it was first released, then being a tad disappointed when I saw it…I think because it seemed too ‘Americanized’ and slick to me. But thankfully Mel Gibson held it all together, and was able to make it an entertaining watch for me.

    And I had no idea there were possibly two more Mad Max films coming out…oddly for me, I did like Fury Road, so it’ll be interesting to see how I feel about these two new ones.

    And yes, ‘wonderful porky poo poo’…coming soon to a lawn-and-garden store near you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Todd you are very right with the more ‘Americanized’ and slick comment. It certainly was back then. I remember having the same sort of thoughts… There’s a lot going on and like you say, Mel holds it all together. I’ve found the more I’ve watched it over the years the more I’ve liked it. With last weeks re-watch for the review I found myself enjoying it even more than ever. Esp with noticing the mad-cap end chase being so revamped and pimped up for the amazing fun Fury Road. I know right! That was a shocker that no-one saw coming, for it to fit in with the old aesthetic of Mad Max and update it’s lunacy in HD.

      “”And yes, ‘wonderful porky poo poo’…coming soon to a lawn-and-garden store near you.”” LOL Haha 🙂


  2. Hi, Mikey!
    That’s crazy about Ironbar being in a band and singing a love ballad !!
    No, he’s Ironbar, he doesn’t sing, and he most certainly doesn’t get involved with love, lol !!
    I, too, though Tina did surprisingly well in this movie. I remember being very pleased that she didn’t suck as an actress and actually pulled it off. I do remember being VERY annoyed by the chanting, rhyming kids. Oh my god, shaddup!! lol They irked me to no end. And seemed contrived. But that’s okay, I guess. It was a fun romp in a weird world.
    How could it be so long ago, Mikey? It seems like yesterday. Okay, maybe…17, 20 years ago. NOT OVER 30 YEARS AGO.
    And I could have sword I saw this in a theater with my husband, too, but I’m obviously wrong, ’cause I didn’t know him in 1985 yet! lol
    So who did I see this with….??? 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Stacey!
      I know RIGHT!!! 37 years ago! Jeepers creepers that hits hard doesn’t it. OUCH!
      hehe it’s so funny seeing Ironbar singing sweetly after all the psychotic crazy he performs in the film.
      Oh yes me too on the annoying children of the corn kids. Think a few would get “accidentally” lost (kicked) down a sinkhole in the sand.
      I wonder if those “white trouser pants**” got another outing to the cinema to watch medieval Tina on the big screen with the mystery person you saw it with. 🙂

      ** 99.5% sure it was your trouser story but if not! HAHA you have no idea what I’m referencing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my god, what a great memory you have!!! lol !!! Yes, the white ’70s pants, going to see Star Trek the Motion Picture in 1979. Pretty sure I was NOT wearing white pants for Mad Max, but I have absolutely no memory of where I saw it or if I was alone. Oh, well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s it! It all become clear now 🙂 the Star Trek The Motion Picture post.
      Off/on topic, kind of. Have you or your sci-fi loving hubby watched Picard? S1 was pretty good, I enjoyed the slow pace. Heard S2 was pretty bad. So I bypassed that. The stories don’t connect. However, S3 is really amazing. A real Next Generation, pure ST joy. The old crew dealing with age whilst taking on the big bad fret with gusto, of sorts. Lots of little digs and jokes. What’s really nice is they wrap it up perfectly.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, we dove into Picard! I liked some aspects of it. Like, yeah, the slow pace was fine with me too. And some of the characters. Admittedly, though, Patrick Stewart seems SO frail and elderly, it was a little depressing. S3 with the old crew and the inside jokes, etc., was pretty entertaining. It reminded me of my favorite Star Trek movie, Undiscovered Country, where they were all having the same discussions about aging and trying to change solidifying points of view, etc. So, yes, pleasant and fun, but I definitely think I enjoyed it more than “no one can reach my standards” hubby, lol!


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