Recently, a movie came out that was a breath of fresh air for me: Mad Max: Fury Road. If you haven’t seen this movie, do yourself a favor and do it. I have seen it four times in theaters since its release, and each time I take something new from it. It is easily the best film of the year so far. This is all rather surprising, considering we are so used to seeing reboots (Fury Road isn’t technically a reboot, more of a mythology, but whatever) that falter and fail to be worth anything, much less reach the quality of the originals. A number of things contributed to the triumph of this film, but what I really enjoyed was the clever use of homages from the originals. So in the next week or so I am going to publish lists that examine the homages from each of the three original Mad Max Films and Fury Road. So to begin, here are the homages from Mad Max (1979). SPOILERS!
1. “I’M DRIVING!”
At the beginning of Mad Max two cops argue over who gets to drive a pursuit vehicle, with the driver saying he was assigned to be driver. At the beginning of Fury Road, Nux and Slit have an argument over who gets to drive a pursuit vehicle, with Nux saying he was assigned to be driver.
2. “HE SAW ME!”
The Nightrider, who stole the pursuit vehicle, screams “Do you see me Toecutter?!”, Toecutter being the gang leader, and main antagonist. In Fury Road, Nux gets very excited when Immortan Joe sees him, exclaiming, “He looked right at me!” Also, Toecuter and Immortan Joe were both played by the same actor, Hugh Keays-Byrne.
3. Car Acrobatics
4. Bug Eyed
In Mad Max, during the explosion of the Nightrider’s stolen Pursuit Vehicle, you see a pair of bugged out eyeballs, not unlike those in Mad Max: Fury Road during one of Max’s nightmares. This also shows up again when Toecutter meets his demise at the hands of a big rig.
5. Crows and Woes
In Mad Max, there is an appearance of crows right after Toecutter’s gang viciously attacks the couple in their car. Crows appear in the devastated Greenplace in Fury Road. Crows, being scavenger birds, have long been associated with death and decay.
6. Upside Down
In Mad Max, when Johnny the Boy crashes the truck Goose is driving, we see a close up shot of Goose, upside down in the driver’s seat after the crash. This shot is similar to the one we see at the beginning of Fury Road when Max’s car gets flipped by the War Boys.
7. Sweet Dreams
8. Old Ladies With Guns
When Toecutter’s gang boards the gas truck to siphon gas, one of the gang members uses a pole vault to get onto the truck. Evoking a similar image of the Polecats in Mad Max: Fury Road.
10. Kick off your Boots
At the end of Mad Max, Max finds Johnny the Boy stealing the boots off of a corpse. Exchanges of boots are a reoccurring action in Fury Road, and Max himself steals the boots off a corpse.
Homages between Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Mad Max: Fury Road Coming Soon