The third and final part of my Mad Max list is here. Now it’s time to examine Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) which was released 6 years after the original Mad Max and 30 years before Mad Max: Fury Road. As usual there will be spoilers for potentially every Mad Max movie in this list. Also, for the past two lists I haven’t done a swell job of telling you when I found something as opposed to when I heard something beforehand online and then added it to the list, but not this time. I’ll make sure to let you know what were my findings and what were not. It would take more effort than its worth to trace back to an original source, but I do want to be straight up with you. So here goes the list…
1. Packing Heat, Lots of Heat
When Max firsts enters Bartertown, in Beyond Thunderdome, he is asked to surrender his weapons, and boy does he surrender a lot of weapons. This parallels when Max first takes The Birthers and Furiosa hostage, in Fury Road, and finds a arsenal’s worth of guns hidden in the cab. This homage was found by someone else before me.
2. But Still Something’s Hidden
In Beyond Thunderdome, when Max goes through his “audition” in Aunty Entity’s home, he reveals that he still has a weapon hidden, a knife hidden in a flyswatter. This is similar to how Furiosa keeps a knife hidden in the gear shift of the War Rig. This homage was found by someone else before me.
3. Choking Up
Again in Max’s “audition,” he gets caught by a dogcatcher’s “control pole” (a nice way of putting it.) During the climatic chase scene in Fury Road, Furiosa gets choked by the same weapon.
4. LET THEM UP!
In Fury Road, Immortan Joe lives high above his hungry and thirsty believers, and it takes a man-powered elevator to get up to his home. In Beyond Thunderdome, Aunty Entity lives high above the people of Bartertown, and it takes a man-power elevator to get up to her home. Of course this kind of symbolism is nothing new, an aristocrat physically being above the common folk.
5. A Blind Love of Music
Aunty Entity has a talented blind Saxophonist named Ton Ton, and Immortan Joe has the blind guitar-playing/wielding Doof Warrior. I think we can agree which is more hardcore: Ton Ton, obviously. Thank you to reddit’s /u/PowellPeralta for bringing this to my attention.
In Bartertown, The Collector handles the economy, but he also bears an interesting resemblance to The People Eater, in Fury Road, who’s job is to “count the cost” for Immortan Joe.
In Beyond Thunderdome, a man gets branded with “Pig Killer” after (you guessed it) killing a pig. Pig Killer’s job is to act as human machinery, in a way, shoveling the waste of Pigs to fuel Bartertown. In Fury Road, after being captured by the War Boys, Max is tattooed and used a human “blood bag.”
8. Green Thumb or…
The name of Bartertown’s mechanic is Blackfinger. In Fury Road, Max asks Nux if he is a “Blackfinger” when asking if he can fix the War Rig. This homage was found by someone else before me.
In Beyond Thunderdome, Max has rigged his truck to explode if handled by the wrong hands. And in Fury Road, Furiosa has a special code to prevent the War Rig from being driven by anyone but her. This is also similar to Max’s rigged gas tank in The Road Warrior. This homage was found by someone else before me.
10. Gonna Need a Bath
While this is more of a similarity and less of an homage, Max ends up passed out buried in sand in both Beyond Thunderdome and Fury Road.
11. A Signal
Just as Savannah, in Beyond Thunderdome, uses a tribal call to signal the tribe of children, The Valkyrie, in Fury Road, uses a tribal call to signal The Many Mothers.
12. A Little Off The Top
When we start Beyond Thunderdome, Max has grown out quite a mane of hair. When he gets rescued by the tribe of children, Savannah gives him a haircut without his consent (he’s unconscious.) In Fury Road, Max is even hairier at the start, and when he gets captured is given a haircut and shave without his consent. Both films even show a child taking away the scraps of hair.
The scoop on the front of the War Rig, in Fury Road, bears a resemblance to the cow catcher (yes, that’s its name) on the front of the train in Beyond Thunderdome, and both serve a similar purpose in deflecting objects, though the scoop on the War Rig has a dual purpose.
14. All Grown Up
It seems to me, and many others, that the design of the War Boys, in Fury Road, is a direct homage to Scrooloose, in Beyond Thunderdome. This homage was found by someone else before me.
For those interested: Cameron’s Ratings of The Mad Max Films
Mad Max: 6/10
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior: 8/10
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome: 6/10
Mad Max: Fury Road: 9/10