Its Part Two Time! On Friday I posted my first list of homages between Mad Max (1979) and Mad Max: Fury Road. I was pleasantly surprised by the response I got, and I’d like to thank /r/Movies for directing a lot of traffic my way. This list is focused on Mad Max 2, otherwise known as The Road Warrior, otherwise known as Mad Mad 2: The Road Warrior. In the USA, Mad Max 2 was released as The Road Warrior, because the American general audience was not familiar with the original Mad Max. I hope this list will be enlightening for some, but I have a disclaimer. Most of the homages from The Road Warrior in Fury Road have been analyzed to death, so I am sorry if this list doesn’t give you new information. I worked extra hard to find things that others haven’t found. But enough pre-apologizing… [AS ALWAYS SPOILERS!]
1. Exposition, thy name is Opening Sequence
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior opens with a montage of stock footage with narration about the downfall of civilization, much like the opening of Fury Road.
2. Carry that Weight
Just as Max carries the passed out Nux in Fury Road, he also carries the injured Nathan up to the Refinery Compound in The Road Warrior.
3. Medals! We don’t need no stinking Medals!
What use are military honors when the world is an apocalyptic wasteland? In The Road Warrior, Curmudgeon seems to think that they are worth something, despite being under the command of Pappagallo. Immortan Joe’s medals, on the other hand, seem to have given him some sense of respect, as he sports them on his body armor.
4. A Familiar Skull
“When Max is tied to the front of one Immortan Joe’s vehicles, there is a skull with a pilot’s skull cap and goggles on a spike above him. This is a reference to the Gyro Captain, who appeared in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985).” From IMDb Trivia
5. And A Familiar Tune
In Mad Max 2, Max finds a music box that plays Happy Birthday in the wreckage of a truck. In Fury Road, one of the Birthers has a similar music box.
6. It’s A Trap!
In Mad Max 2, Max takes several precautions with his automobile: Booby trapping the gas tank and hiding a knife. This is similar to the precautions that Furiosa puts on the War Rig: A special code in order to turn on the engine and a large amount of concealed weapons.
7. Empty Threats, Emptier Guns
When Max finds the shotgun shell on the corpse near the Gyro Captain’s trap, in The Road Warrior, he shows that his shotgun had been empty. The Gyro Captain remarks “empty… all this time” as Max had been threatening him with it for days. When Max first threatens the Birthers and Furiosa, in Fury Road, he uses an unloaded shotgun. Furiosa isn’t as kind as the Gyro Captain when she finds this out.
The similarities between The Road Warrior‘s Lord Humongous and Fury Road‘s Immortan Joe don’t stop at their use of microphones. Both characters use mercy to mask their true intentions. Humongous pretends to want to allow the Refinery Crew to leave without being harmed, and Joe pretends to be a merciful God-king giving his people water. Speaking of masking (segues ey?), both characters are the only Mad Max villains who cover their faces with masks.
9. “You wanna get…”
Max’s iconic line from The Road Warrior, “You wanna get out of here, you talk to me”, is matched in badassery by Furiosa’s line, “You wanna get through this, do as I say.” While you could say that this is just synchronicity, I think this was an intentional way for George Miller to show that the plot was going to be driven (literally) forward by Furiosa in this film, as opposed to how Max drives forward the plot in The Road Warrior.
10. Brace Yourselves
After his leg injury in Mad Max (1979) Max sports a leg brace in The Road Warrior, which he still has in Fury Road.
11. Clawing Your Way…
Not only does Furiosa’s mechanical arm remind me of Bearclaw’s claw in The Road Warrior, but in Fury Road you can see where Max stitched up his jacket after Bearclaw’s attack.
12. Truck Flip
It has already been noted by others that the War Rig in Fury Road seems to flip over, in the climatic scene, in a similar way to the Rig in The Road Warrior.
13. Front Row Seat
In The Road Warrior, as Max attempts to charge through Lord Humongous’ gang, he takes aim with his trusty sawed-off shotgun, only for it to misfire. In Fury Road, Max’s sawed-off shotgun misfires when he tries to use it to shoot through Nux’s arm.
15. Poles at it again
George Miller must have a thing for poles, because once again they make an appearance in The Road Warrior, when Wez retreats from the Refinery Camp. As noted in Part One, Toecutter’s gang used a pole vault to get onto the gas tanker, and in Fury Road we witness the breathtaking Polecats.
16. Somewhere over the Rainbow
Homages Between Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Mad Max: Fury Road Coming Soon