Taglines: Only one man can make the differance.
With supplies of petroleum nearly exhausted in the near future following a major energy crisis and a global nuclear war, ex-Main Force Patrol officer “Mad” Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) roams the now-depopulated and desolate desert in his scarred, black supercharged V-8 Pursuit Special several years after the events of the first film, scavenging for food, water, and fuel. His only companions are an Australian Cattle Dog and a rare functioning firearm – a sawn-off shotgun – for which ammunition is very scarce.
While trying to escape a group of gang members – led by a crazed motorcycle rider named Wez (Vernon Wells) – Max manages to crash two of the gang members’ vehicles and injure Wez; recognising his defeat, Wez flees. After collecting some fuel from the destroyed cars and checking a nearby Mack semi, Max inspects a nearby autogyro for fuel. Its pilot, the Gyro Captain (Bruce Spence), ambushes Max and manages to capture him briefly before being overpowered. In exchange for his own life, the pilot guides Max to a small oil refinery nearby. Max arrives to see the facility under siege by a gang of marauders riding a motley collection of cars and motorbikes. The gang leader, known as “Lord Humungus” (Kjell Nilsson), tries to convince the refinery’s defenders to surrender the facility in exchange for safe passage out of the area.
A group of defenders attempts to break out of the compound, but the marauders capture, torture, and kill all but one of them, who is rescued by Max. Max makes a deal with the mortally-wounded sole survivor: he will bring him back to the compound in exchange for a tank of fuel. The man dies shortly after they enter the facility, and the facility leader, Pappagallo (Michael Preston), reneges on the deal, saying it died when the survivor died.
His group is on the verge of killing Max when the marauders return, and Humungus repeats his offer. When the Feral Kid (Emil Minty) kills Wez’s male companion, Wez becomes enraged, urging his leader to take the compound; Humungus wrestles Wez into submission, but placates Wez by revealing he has no intention of letting any of the settlers leave. Max offers Pappagallo a different deal: he will retrieve the abandoned Mack semi-truck, which is capable of hauling the tanker trailer that the facility inhabitants use to store the fuel they refine, in exchange for freedom, his vehicle, and as much fuel as he can take with him. The group accepts, but keeps Max’s car to ensure his co-operation. Max sneaks out, locating the Gyro Captain (dragging the branch he is chained to) and conscripts him to help find the truck using his gyrocopter.
Mad Max 2 (also known as The Road Warrior and Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior) is a 1981 Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller. The film is the second installment in the Mad Max film series, with Mel Gibson reprising his role as “Mad” Max Rockatansky. The film’s tale of a community of settlers who moved to defend themselves against a roving band of marauders follows an archetypical “Western” frontier movie motif, as does Max’s role as a hardened man who rediscovers his humanity when he decides to help the settlers. Filming took place in locations around Broken Hill, in the outback of New South Wales.
Mad Max 2 was released on 24 December 1981, and received ample critical acclaim. Observers praised the visuals and Gibson’s role. Noteworthy elements of the film also include cinematographer Dean Semler’s widescreen photography of Australia’s vast desert landscapes; the sparing use of dialogue throughout the film; costume designer Norma Moriceau’s punk mohawked, leather bondage gear-wearing bikers; and its fast-paced, tightly edited and violent battle and chase scenes.
Mad Max 2
Directed by: George Miller
Starring: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston, Max Phipps, Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, Virginia Hey, William Zappa
Screenplay by: Terry Hayes, George Miller
Cinematography by: Dean Semler
Film Editing by: Michael Balson, David Stiven, Tim Wellburn
Costume Design by: Norma Moriceau
Art Direction by: Graham ‘Grace’ Walker
Music by: Brian May
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: December 24, 1981