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Oh what a day, what a lovely day!

May 13, 2015

C.M Mad Max FURY ROAD

There’s no going back!

FRIDAY, MAY 15TH

8pm meet at Bar Matchless, 557 Manhattan ave, bklyn 11222

9pm Kickstands! ride to WILLIAMSBURG CINEMA, 217 Grand Street, Bklyn 11211 (park, concessions, seating)

9:45pm FILM

BUY YOUR TICKET HERE FOR THE FRIDAY 5/15 9:45PM SHOW

I was a cop searching for a righteous course.

An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There’s Max, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa, a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland. – IMDB

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I live, I die. I LIVE AGAIN!

Cars? yea it’s got cars: Read “Every Killer Car in Mad Max: Fury RoadExplained” – Bloomberg Business

See you at the flicks!

Corinna

Stories Of Bike: Discovery

May 11, 2015

C.M Stories Of Bike 5.14

Cine Meccanica is thrilled to present the NY Premier (before it’s released to the world online) of the newest episode of Stories Of Bike by Cam Elkins. This episode features Kristen Reed and her Triumph. Below is her story from The Miss-Fires website. This screening will be hosted by Northeast Sportscar in Brooklyn. 

See you at the flicks!

Corinna

STORIES OF BIKE

I’ve heard that either life happens to you or you happen to life. I often find myself bouncing between a healthy mix of the two. I thrive on new experiences yet love the surprise of things outside my control. I timidly joined the Miss-Fires crew earlier this year without knowing a single member, and I often reflect on and appreciate the special friendships I have made and the countless days of fun we have had together since. I continue to be amazed at how my life has taken a turn for the better.

Through this lovely group of ladies, I was informed of an opportunity to be part of a special project undertaken by the talented Cam Elkins, a filmmaker based in Sydney, Australia. He was coming to New York for the showing of two of his films in the Motorcycle Film Festival and wanted to shoot an episode for his web-based series, Stories of Bike, while in New York. I admittedly knew nothing about Cam’s project at the time, but the idea sounded like fun so I spontaneously put together an application and sent him some photos. To my surprise, he contacted me a few days later to say I’d been selected.

Photo by Hayley Reed

Wasn’t there someone with a more compelling story than mine? Wasn’t there a rider who’s father’s dying wish was that his son carry on the tradition to ride like they had spent their lives doing together? At first I was excited. Then nerves set in. I never thought of myself as a natural in front of cameras, and I doubted my ability to provide an interesting experience for Cam and his viewers. But there was no turning back so I disregarded my concerns, went with the flow and followed his lead. Then I called my best friend, Jill, who owns a salon and spa in Oklahoma to get her to fly to New York for moral support and beauty assistance.

Cam arrived a week later and wanted to have an informal dinner together before shooting began in order to get acquainted with each other so I took him to a local favorite in Wlliamsburg, where I live. He greeted me with a friendly hug, and I immediately found him incredibly easy to talk to. His down-to-earth vibe comforted me and peaked my interest in his life. Reversing the roles a bit, I inquired extensively about his life and experience with photography. At that point, I had finally watched one of his episodes, thinking I should probably educate myself on my upcoming adventure, and I found the show to be incredibly professional so was surprised to learn he had been working solo for a year and a half. This guy’s ambition and creativity impressed the hell out of me. The rest of the evening was absent of any awkward silences and full of laughs and story sharing. Any remaining nerves were completely shattered, and all I could anticipate was the fun that laid ahead.

Two days later, shooting began. A local cinematographer, Brian Stansfield, had contacted Cam to offer support to his project, and Cam agreed after recognizing some benefits. It would be the first time Cam collaborated with someone on Stories of Bike. Brian and Cam showed up at my apartment with loads of equipment at dusk after a rainy day, just when the clouds were beginning to clear. We b-lined it to my rooftop where the orange sun seeped through a cloud clearance over Manhattan creating a fiery halo over the city with multiple rainbows above. The timing could not have been more perfect for cityscape footage for the show.

Photo by Cam Elkins

Photo by Jill Johnson

Once the sun settled on the other side of New Jersey, we retreated back inside where setup began for the interview portion. They converted my living room into a temporary studio complete with professional lights, cameras and makeup. I sat with a camera in my face for three hours while getting drilled about my relationship with my Bonneville and how it has transformed my life in New York City.

Cam and Brian

To some questions, my answers came easily. To others, I found myself struggling to articulate sentiments that coincided with Cam’s vision of my story. Notwithstanding the speed bumps that littered the interview, my answer to Cam’s final question came out emotively and without hesitation. He showed his approval with a big smile and a thumb’s up. Once the camera stopped recording, he shouted a loud “Yeah!!”, which gave me a strong feeling of relief and accomplishment, and I stood up to give him an enthusiastic high five. Then I wiped off my makeup and we went for tacos.

The next phase of shooting was the “b-roll” (the alternate footage intercut with the interview, for those who need to google it like I did). We rented a minivan that Jill drove around with Cam and Brian shooting from the back with the trunk wide open.

Brian and his partner

Photo by Jill Johnson

Pausing for a photo op

I followed them around Williamsburg on a sunny and lively Saturday morning while pedestrians watched with curiosity. Then I had to head to band rehearsal, which Cam wanted to get footage of, so we swung by Susan’s place (the singer/songwriter of the band). The two of us straddled the bike with our guitars slung over our backs, followed the minivan and headed to our rehearsal space in Bushwick.

The next day, Cam suggested I get some friends to ride with me at theDistinguished Gentleman’s Ride so I recruited some Triumph-riding girls to join me in dressing dapper for the occasion.

Photo by Cam Elkins

Photo by Cam Elkins

After getting some cool footage again riding behind the minivan on the way over to the meeting point in the West Village, we pulled up to join about 100 bikes just before departure time. I immediately noticed that we and a couple of other Miss-Fires who met us there were the only girls riding bikes. I spotted two other dapper girls daringly adorned in short dresses riding on the backs of others, but our gang definitely skewed the gender ratio.

Adriana in the front!

Photo by Cam Elkins

We had a blast riding through the city streets garbed as we were. The highlight for me, surprisingly, was the route through Times Square where almost everyone stopped to watch and take pictures of remarkably well-dressed people overtaking the tourist haven on vintage-style bikes. I couldn’t help but take advantage of the attention to show off a little and do some tricks on my bike, such as standing up on the pegs (my bravery only goes so far). Unfortunately, Cam and Brian only got footage during the meeting points, so this scene will have to live on in the memories of those present and in this blog post. They did however, get the best shot of the group photo we took at Washington Square Park.

Photo by Brian Stansfield

Cam had to depart New York a couple of days later and we didn’t get the chance to finish shooting, so I’ll be meeting with Brian soon to wrap that up. I’ll definitely be missing Cam’s presence though. We spent the days shooting so focused on the experience that we often forgot to feed ourselves. My mind was completely consumed by the fun I was having and the project we were working on. Between the work we did in making the episode, the time spent at the Motorcycle Film Festival and evening dinners and rides, the experience surpassed all my wildest expectations all because of the great new friend I had made. After seeing some still shots of the footage and hearing Cam’s excitement over it, I think the final product will be incredible. Stay tuned!

Photo by Brian Stansfield

By Kristen Reed

He Rules The Road!

May 4, 2015

C.M Mad Max 5.10Cine Meccanica is mixing it up this spring. new venues, same old shenanigans!

Join us at Northeast Sportscar in Brooklyn this Sunday, May 10th 5-8pm for a screening of the original Mad Max (1979), in anticipation of the newest film ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ which opens in select theaters on May 15th.

Huge thanks to our wonderful sponsors!

JUPITER’S MOTORCYCLES, MOTORGRRLBEANER BAR. Community support is the best!

Plus raffles, give aways, and authentic Aussie eat’s. See you at the flicks!

Corinna

I am the Nightrider. I’m a fuel injected suicide machine. I am the rocker, I am the roller, I am the out-of-controller!

In a dystopian future Australia, law & order has begun to break down. Berserk motorcycle gang member, Crawford “Nightrider” Montizano, has escaped police custody and is attempting to outrun the Main Force Patrol (MFP) in a stolen Pursuit Special (Holden Monaro). Though he manages to elude his initial pursuers, the MFP’s top pursuit man, Max Rockatansky, then engages the less-skilled Nightrider in a high-speed chase, resulting in the death of Nightrider in a fiery crash.

Whacked right out of his skull man! He ain’t never comin’ back!

Nightrider’s motorcycle gang, led by Toecutter and Bubba Zanetti, is running roughshod over a town, vandalizing property, stealing fuel and terrorizing the populace. Max and officer Jim “Goose” Rains arrest Toecutter’s young protege, Johnny “the Boy” Boyle, when Johnny, too high to ride, stays behind after the gang rapes a young couple. When no witnesses appear for his trial, the courts throw the case out and Johnny is released. An angry Goose attacks Johnny and must be held back; both men shout threats of revenge. After Toecutter drags Johnny away, MFP Captain Fred “Fifi” McPhee tells his officers to do whatever it takes to apprehend the gangs, “so long as the paperwork’s clean.”

The blasphemer. I don’t have to work with the blasphemer

A short time later, Johnny sabotages Goose’s motorcycle; it locks up at high speed, throwing Goose from the bike. Goose is unharmed, though his bike is badly damaged; he borrows a ute to haul his bike back. However, Johnny and Toecutter’s gang are waiting in ambush. Johnny throws a brake drum at Goose’s windshield, which shatters and causes Goose to crash the ute; Toecutter then instructs Johnny to throw a match into the gasoline leaking from Goose’s wrecked ute, while Goose is trapped inside. Johnny refuses; Toecutter first cajoles, then verbally and physically abuses him. Johnny eventually throws the lit match into the wreckage, which erupts in flames.

Like the sign says, speed’s just a question of money. How fast you wanna go?

Goose is severely burned. After seeing his charred body in the hospital, Max becomes disillusioned with the Police Force. Worried of what may happen if he continues working for the MFP – and that he is beginning to enjoy the insanity – Max announces to Fifi that he is resigning from the MFP. Fifi convinces him to take a holiday first before making his final decision.

They say people don’t believe in heroes anymore. Well, damn them! You and me, Max, we’re gonna give ‘em back their heroes!

While at the coast, Max’s wife, Jessie and their infant son run into Toecutter’s gang, who attempt to rape her. She flees, but the gang later finds them again at the remote farm where she and Max are staying. The gang runs over Jessie and their son as they try to escape, leaving their crushed bodies in the middle of the road. Max arrives too late to save them.

He knows who I am. I am the Nightrider! I am the chosen one. The mighty hand of vengeance, sent down to strike the unroadworthy! I’m hotter than a rollin’ dice. Step right up, germ, and watch the kid lay down the rubber road, ride to freedom!

Filled with rage, Max dons his police leathers and takes a supercharged black Pursuit Special (Ford Falcon XB GT 351) to pursue the gang. After torturing a mechanic for information, Max methodically hunts down the gang members: he forces several of them off a bridge at high speed, shoots Bubba at point blank range with his shotgun, and forces Toecutter into the path of a semi-trailer truck. During the struggle, Bubba runs over Max’s arm and shoots him in the knee, which Max braces with a makeshift splint. Max finally finds Johnny, who is taking the boots off a car crash victim. He handcuffs Johnny’s ankle to the wrecked vehicle and sets a crude time-delay fuse. Throwing Johnny a hacksaw, Max leaves him the choice of sawing through either the handcuffs (which will take ten minutes) or his ankle (which will take five minutes). As an emotionless Max drives away, the vehicle explodes.

– This week’s review courtesy of wikipedia

Watch the trailer

And…ACTION!

January 9, 2015

Cine Meccanica may be on holiday, but The Motorcycle Film Festival isn’t.

It’s a great honor to be able to pay homage to the vehicular flicks of the past here, while bringing to the public, today’s two wheeled films over at the MFF. So, dig out the cameras, gas up the bikes, spread the word to any filmmakers who’ve been itching to tell a new tale, or remake a a motorized cult classic, then get them on in before the deadline this May. follow the MFF on instagram @motofilmfest and our Facebook page for updates.

See you at the flicks!

Corinna Mantlo

proud co-founder of The Motorcycle Film Festival

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SUBMISSIONS FOR THE 3RD ANNUAL MOTORCYCLE FILM FESTIVAL ARE NOW OPEN!

The Motorcycle Film Festival is an idea whose time has come: we are in the midst of the biggest creative boom centered on motorcycles since the 1970s. Every motorcycle customizer has an in-house filmmaker, and every hip moto-event from Biarritz to Melbourne has built-in paparazzi; we can re-live the antics of fellow bikers on YouTube, or gasp at masterworks from talented videographers, who often unwittingly work side by side. The massive, youthful rise of moto-mania has excited big motorcycle factories to collaborate with rising garage artists, and has inspired professional filmmakers that now is the time to produce that long-dreamt two-wheel feature film.

Submissions are open to any and all films in which motorcycles or motorcycling is an intrinsic element. Meaning, please ONLY submit films that are about or prominently feature motorcycles. Just because there’s a sweet chopper in the background of the opening credits doesn’t mean it’s a “Motorcycle Movie.”

All films submitted will be watched by a panel of judges and considered for ‘Official Selection’ to be screened at the 2014 festival. Submission in no way guarantees screening.

Submit your film via FILM FREEWAY using the BUTTON below. Film Freeway does not add any convenience fees to the filmmaker, and it allows us to best accept and manage film submissions.

Awards & Prizes

Best Of Festival
Feature Documentary
Feature Narrative
Short Documentary
Short Narrative
Short Experimental
Peoples Choice

Exact prizes to be determined before the festival based on this years judging panel. All of last year’s category winners received a custom trophy. In addition the “Best Of Festival” winner received $2000 and a loaner motorcycle (courtesy of Honda) to make the this year’s festival trailer. This years prizes will meet or exceed last year’s.

Rules & Terms: The 3rd Motorcycle Film Festival will take place in New York in September 2015.
After the New York event, the MFF will tour the lineup to other cities around the world, screening official selections and winning films from the 3rd MFF.

Submission Deadlines:
Submissions will be accepted starting January 5th 2015.
Regular deadline is May 1 2015
Late deadline is June 1 2015
Early entry is encouraged but in no way guarantees acceptance.

All films must be in English or subtitled in English.

By submitting to the Motorcycle Film Festival, submitter authorizes the Motorcycle Film Festival (MFF) to exhibit your film, or segments of your film at any and all MFF events. Submitter authorizes the MFF to use segments or stills from submitted films for use in in print and digital promotional materials. Submission does not guarantee ‘official selection’ or screening at the festival. All entries will be kept by the Motorcycle Film Festival and stored in our archives in perpetuity.

If your submission is chosen, you will be asked to provide a screening quality file of the film. Please be prepared to send a file meeting these specs:
– .MOV file format
– 1920×1080 resolution

If you are unable to provide a file with these specs, please contact us as we may be unable to screen your film.

Please email motorcyclefilmfestival@gmail.com with all questions and concerns.

We can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on!

– The MFF Staff

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…Dyin’ time’s here.

December 13, 2014

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Wednesday, December 17th

Films starts at 8pm

Lady Jay’s

633 Grand St (bet Leonard & Manhattan), Bklyn, NY 11211

Free popcorn, Juke Box Meccanica, $2 Bingo for Prizes. PRIZES!

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Welcome, to another edition of Thunderdome!

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is a Golden Globe-nominated1985 film, the third installment in the action movie Mad Maxfranchise, succeeding The Road Warrior. The film was directed byGeorge Miller and George Ogilvie, and stars Mel Gibson and Tina Turner. The original music score was composed by Maurice Jarre.

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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.

Driving a camel-powered truck across the desert, Max (Mel Gibson) is attacked by the airborne bandit Jedediah (Bruce Spence), who manages to steal both his belongings and his vehicle. Max walks and finally stumbles upon the only nearby human outpost in the wasteland that remains—the seedy community of Bartertown, founded and nominally run by the ruthless Aunty Entity (Tina Turner).

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Max is back…and Tina’s got him!

In Bartertown, electricity, vehicles, functioning technology—all almost unheard of in this post-apocalyptic world—are made possible by a crude methane refinery, fueled by pig faeces, using a weathered semi tractor as the electricity generator. The refinery is located under Bartertown and is operated by the smart, diminutiveMaster (Angelo Rossitto), who is harnessed to his enormously strong, but dim-witted bodyguard known as Blaster (Paul Larsson). Together, “Master Blaster” hold an uneasy power-truce with Entity for control of Bartertown; however, Master is beginning to exploit his position with energy “embargoes,” challenging Auntie’s leadership. She is furious with him but cannot challenge him publicly, as Master is the only one with the technical know-how to operate the machinery that powers Bartertown. The controlled chaos of Bartertown is maintained by a set of inflexible laws, including one that states that no deal can be broken, for any reason. The punishment for breaking this law is equally inflexible and invoked with the simple phrase, “bust a deal, face the wheel.”

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Remember: no matter where you go, there you are.

Entity recognizes Max as a resourceful (if disposable) fighter, and strikes a deal with him to provoke a duel with and kill Blaster in the “Thunderdome,” a gladiatorial-esque arena where conflicts are resolved, turning what is arguably a political assassination into a lawful act. Max goes to the Underworld, where he befriends a convict who was imprisoned for killing a pig in order to feed his children, and thus nicknamed Pig Killer (Robert Grubb). The rules of matches in the Thunderdome, as chanted by onlookers crowding the arena, are simple and singular—”two men enter, one man leaves.” After a stunningly long and difficult match, Max defeats Blaster, but refuses to kill him when he discovers that Blaster is a man with the mind of a child. An enraged Auntie has Blaster executed and invokes their single law since Max broke his deal with her. The wheel, which serves as a judge and jury, turns out to be a large, spinning metal disc (similar to a Wheel of Fortune) with an arrow pointing to one of several consequences. Possible consequences include Death, Hard Labour, Acquittal, Gulag, Aunty’s Choice, Spin Again, Forfeit Goods, Underworld, Amputation, and Life Imprisonment. When spun for Max, it lands on “Gulag.” He is cast out of Bartertown and exiled to the desert wastes.

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Two men enter. One man leaves.

The story radically shifts gears at this point. Some time later, Max, near death due to exposure to the hostile conditions, is saved by a group of children led by Savannah Nix (Helen Buday). The children, hardened to the desert environment, are survivors (or the children of survivors) of a nearby QANTAS Boeing 747 plane crash, and have formed a sort of tribal community in the sheltered desert Oasis in which they live. Clinging to their hopes of rescue, they keep their fading memories of the past civilization alive in the form of ritualistic spoken “tells” which hinge on the return of a messianic “Captain Walker” who will repair their shattered aircraft and return them to civilization. The “tell” explains that Flight Captain G.L. Walker at one point took most of the surviving adults to seek help, promising they would be back to rescue the rest, but never returned. Max’s appearance and physical resemblance to Walker make the children believe that he has indeed returned to take them to “Tomorrow-morrow Land,” or back to civilization as it once was. After nursing him back to health, they are shocked to hear Max’s account of the dystopic state of the world and become angry at his insistence that they all remain living in the relative safety of the oasis, knowing that the only “civilization” within reach is Bartertown.

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Hold out for Mad Max. This is his greatest adventure.

Some of the children decide to leave anyway, determined to find “Tomorrow-morrow land,” the mythic place they believe their parents left them to find. Max goes after them.

The third act begins as Max catches up with them at the outskirts of Bartertown. They sneak in, intent on finding Master. Without Blaster to protect him, the dwarfish Master is little more than Auntie’s slave. Max and the children free him (with the assistance of Pig Killer, who is also freed), but alert the guards, and a frenetic chase ensues, resulting in Bartertown’s methane factory becoming damaged and causing explosions, ending at the hideout of Jedediah. Max coerces him to help them escape in Jedediah’s Transavia PL-12 Airtruk, but there is not enough room for them all. Max stays behind, heroically clearing a path through the pursuing vehicles so the plane has enough runway to take off. Having earned her respect with his bravery, Aunty spares Max’s life.

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Listen all! This is the truth of it. Fighting leads to killing, and killing gets to warring. And that was damn near the death of us all. Look at us now! Busted up, and everyone talking about hard rain! But we’ve learned, by the dust of them all… Bartertown learned. Now, when men get to fighting, it happens here! And it finishes here! Two men enter; one man leaves.

The story shifts to many years later, when the much older children are seen in the ruins of a destroyed Sydney(then “Tomorrow-Morrow Land”), lit up by thousands of fires and lights. Savannah, the leader of the children, recites a nightly “tell” of their journey.

This movie provides additional back story to the original Mad Max and Mad Max 2, showing a nuclear war following the energy crisis referenced in the beginning of Mad Max 2.

– movie write up courtesy of MadMax.Wikia.Com

 

 

CM dec 2014

Talking motorcycle movies today at IMS NY

December 13, 2014

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I’ll be yacking about 2 wheeled cinema with MFF Judge and filmmaker Peter Starr this TODAY at 1pm on the Progressive International Motorcycle Show NYC MAIN STAGE with The Motorcycle Film Festival Judge and Film Director Peter Starr. Starr Directed the Cine Meccanica classic, Take It To The Limit (1980) among other influential films.

Get the details here: Www.motorcyclefilmfestival.com And see you at IMS!

Corinna

What would you do for a tank of juice?

December 8, 2014

Mad Max 2: Road Warrior (1981)

Wednesday, December 10th

Films starts at 8pm

Lady Jay’s

633 Grand St (bet Leonard & Manhattan), Bklyn, NY 11211

Free popcorn, Juke Box Meccanica, $2 Bingo for Prizes. PRIZES!

This weeks review brought to you by Man Boy In The Promised Land!

Corinna

It was the best of times. It was the end of times.

Ah, how does one review a 30 year old pelicula that nearly everyone has seen already? Lil’ Marlo did it right with an in depth expose on Verhoeven’s Robocop but where does the Road Warrior fit in today’s scheme of things? Mad Max in the Age of the American Meltdown? A Portrait of the Humongous as a Young Man? One wonders what the post-apocalyptic scene will look like cum December 22 and what grotesque shapes the children of man will evolve into in the not so distant future. We may in fact be there already, albeit doing it with a lot less style than Humongous and company did. What would you do for a tank of juice? What are you doing right now for one?

We were first introduced to Señor Rockatanksky in Mad Max, the original and first installment in the Mad Max franchise of peliculas. “In the roar of an [superbike] engine, he lost everything,” explains a disembodied voice who we later learn comes from the Feral Boy, all grown up now and recanting the past from an even more distant future. Various stock footage clips of war and destruction narrate the fall of man and give an explanation as to what the world has now become and clue us in as to why all these maniacs are running amok in the Australian outback. It’s all about the gas baby, the sweet juice and the lifeblood of the wastelands; as it was then, as it is now, and as it will be in due time. Indeed, our first glimpse of the warrior Max is spied through the windshield of his supercharged apocalypticar, the last of the V8 interceptors and the car Max drives into oblivion at the end of the first Mad Max, a wink and a nod to the original. And although there are more than a few references to the original, The Road Warrior stands alone and as one of the greatest post-apocalyptic westerns ever made, if not the greatest. For a moment, such was the brilliance of his performance as the Toecutter, that one wishes Hugh Keyes-Byrne could have been resurrected in just some sort of guise to continue to wreak havoc in the outback but it’s all for naught as only Max returns and instead we are treated to the maelstrom of funky weirdness, unforgettable in its own right, that is Humongous and his dogs.

First and forement is the Humongous, the Lord Humongous and warrior of the wastelands. Despite hiding his war-scarred face behind a hockey mask, Señor Humongous manages to deliver a perfectly believable performance as the leader of a pack of gas and flesh hungry mad dogs roaming the post-apocalytic Australian desert. The Humongous is both well-spoken and charming, seemingly a man of some class and education who, before the end, might have supervised a Best Buy or been a police captain. One gets the feeling that both he and Max are not all that different and that only by chance did their ends take such different means. “We all lost someone we loved,” whispers the Humongous into the ear of his rabid lieutenant Wez, “…but we do it my way.” And one wonders why Stallone wasn’t taking notes here when he wrote Brian Thompson’s character into Cobra, who manages to lead a cult of seemingly hundreds of people to their death with little more than grunts and snarls and anti-cop rhetoric. All hail the Humongous! A thoughtful arch-villian indeed.

Ah, and what about Wez? Played by Vernon Wells in perhaps his greatest role, Wez nearly steals the show from both Max and Humongous with but only a few lines and lots of menacing grunts and grins. But it’s never too much nor overdone and it’s all just right as Wez seems to rule his own little corner of the wastelands, blasting through the desert on a KZ900 superbike in assless chaps and mohawk, blond twink in tow. Of all the silverscreen supervillains that have come and gone over the last thiry years, you know, the ones who utter little but grunt often(see Zeus in No Holds Barred or the aforementioned Brian Thompson in Cobra), none of them can hold a candle to the illustrious Wez.

Humongous and Wez and all the dogs of war are all but bent on and obsessed over a great big fat tank of gas firmly ensconced behind the makeshift walls of a wasteland fort peopled by civilized folks all done up in white bedouin garb. Max has got designs on the tank too, but for only so much gas as he can carry and the whole movie revolves around that tank and the interplay between the thick-lipped Papagallo’s desert bedouin(the good guys) and the Humongous and his savages(the bad guys). This is all spied through the company of Max, who seems to care not either way and just wants his gas, always preferring to do his own thing alone, always. If Max wasn’t Max he’d be the man with no name, drifting through the deserts of America as in countless westerns, always alone. Indeed, the Road Warrior is a western, a classic one at that and one always seems to know where they’ll end up come the rolling of the credits. Although, it must be said that The Road Warrior is a true original and that while The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly may have had Tuco and Angel Eyes it never had Lord Humongous and Wez in bondage gear on superbikes and it never had flamethrowers.

George Miller, who also directed the first Mad Max as well as Babe: Pig in the City, sets a frenetic pace throughout and The Road Warrior is constantly awash in action packed scenes of violence, suspence, and despair. Little thought or time is given to the dimension of romance in the wastelands and indeed you will find none of it. At first glance there appears to be some chemistry between Max and the crimp-haired warrior woman but this leads to nothing at all and is quickly erased and the only real developed nod to humanity is left to fall on the shoulders of the Gyro captain, in a great performance by Bruce Spence, who with some comic relief pursues both Max as a friend and the quail-haired girl as a potential mate. In the end it is revealed that he goes on to succeed Papagallo, leader of the bedouins, and make the great charge toward the Promised Land.

Vehicles: What ARE those wonderful cars!? Humongous and crew, the Papagallo team, and even Max and the Gyro captain all rock amazing post-apocalyptic vehicles of choice. Max can be seen piloting the V8 Interceptor which, like him, is one of the last of its kind. In reality, the Interceptor police special (Max was a cop in the first film) is based off of a Ford XB Falcon, highly modified of course, and a ride that was only produced in Australia during the mid seventies. Our friend the Gyro captain, the man who came from the sky, beats air in some sort of jury-rigged VW powered autogyro, which adds a different element to the film as no one really seems to know what to make of that thing buzzing about. In the opening scene Wez, astride a custom KZ superbike, lustily pulls an arrow out of his bicep and then pulls off an endless wheelie into the outback with the Golden Youth riding bitch. The custom work on all the cars and bikes is awesome and intricate indeed and one often dreams about constructing their own post apocalyptic vehicle as an insurance and safeguard for the future (see Bellflower).

The Road Warrior culminates in an epic chase in which Max and the bedouins attempt to break through the Humongous Gate with that fat tank of gas pulled behind a Mack Truck driven by the warrior Max. Death and violence reign supreme in an orgiastic feast of blood and metal and mayhem. Wez and Humongous fuse together for a brief moment and then are blown into a million pieces as Max and the Mack splatter their guts all over the desert floor in an atomic collision. And of course we knew all along that Max was going to triumph over the dogs and yet we are left with the same mellifluous vibe at the end as we were at the beginning. Max is again alone, free to roam and the bedouins go off to do whatever it was they were doing before but somewhere else. Was Max’s humanity restored? What kind of parallels can we draw between The Road Warrior and a gas hungry society headed towards a major meltdown? In the end, maybe it matters not and maybe it’s better to just kick back with a plastic cup of trago, enjoy the spectacle, and get your things in order before the end of days, lest you be left like Max, the warrior Max, to wander the wastelands alone, with sand spilling through your hands.

What would you do for a tank of juice?

– Richard Staab

Man Boy In The Promised Land

 

CM dec 2014

 

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