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Mad Max

Australia 1979
produced by
Byron Kennedy for Kennedy Miller Productions, Crossroads, Mad Max Films
directed by George Miller
starring Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley, Tim Burns, Roger Ward, Lisa Aldenhoven, David Bracks, Bertrand Cadart, David Cameron, Robina Chaffey, Stephen Clark, Mathew Constantine, Jerry Day, Reg Evans, Howard Eynon, Max Fairchild, John Farndale, Peter Felmingham, Sheila Florance, Nic Gazzana, Hunter Gibb, Vincent Gil, Andrew Gilmore, Jonathan Hardy, Brendan Heath, Paul Johnstone, Nick Lathouris, John Ley, Steve Millichamp, Phil Motherwell, George Novak, Geoff Parry, Lulu Pinkus, Neil Thompson, Billy Tisdall, Gil Tucker, Kim Sullivan, John Arnold, Tom Broadbridge, Peter Culpan, Peter Ford, Clive Hearne, Telford Jackson, Christine Kaman, Joan Letch, Kerry Miller, Janine Ogden, Di Trelour, Vernon Weaver, Paul Young, Brendan Young
story by George Miller, Byron Kennedy, screenplay by James McCausland, George Miller, music by Brian May, stunt coordination by Grant Page, special effects by Chris Murray

Mad Max

review by
Mike Haberfelner

In a world that seems to be obsessed with tuned vehicles of all sorts, be it cars or motorbikes, it's up to the highway patrol to keep things in check and stop speeders and marauders - but they're often outgunned by the outlaws, and it takes men with an overflow of courage to keep things in check, men like Max (Mel Gibson), the toughest of the tough, who even manages to drive notorious psycho speed junkie the Nightrider (Vincent Gil) into a deadly crash, after a protracted chase that crashed several police cars. Thing is, the Nightrider has been part of Toecutter's (Hugh Keays-Byrne) biker gang, and they come to avenge him, wrecking everything in their way in the process. And in one such wrecks, they forget Johnny the Boy (Tim Burns), whom Max and his partner Goose (Steve Bisley) apprehend. It should be their key witness against Toecutter, but they have to let him go, upon which Goose physically attacks Johnny and has to be restrained. Johnny doesn't take lightly to this, and he sabotages Goose's bike, and when that doesn't even bruise Goose, he sees to it that the tow truck Goose uses to bring his bike back to the repair shop has a terrible accident, then burns the wreck with Goose inside, almost killing him.

Seeing his partner all burned and on the brink of dying, Max quits his job with the force and take a long and peaceful trip with his wife Jessie (Joanne Samuel) and son in order to forget everything that happens. But Toecutter and gang eventually track him down, attack Max and family, and in the chase that ensues, they kill the boy and gravely injur Jessie. So Max dons his uniform once more, grabs a sawed-off shotgun, steals a supercharged pursuit car from the patrol's garage, and goes after the gang, driving them into lethal accidents one by one - and even being shot in the leg and his one arm being run over by a car won't stop him ...


Mad Max is of course macho cinema in its purest form, it's about cars and motorbikes and weapons, about speed and explosions, about being tough, with a story that borders the archaic and an imagery with even homo-erotic undercurrents. But thanks to director George Miller, it's also a rather awesome movie, as he isn't glossing over things, he shows the dirt, the bump and grind of the world he has created, the ugliness, the blood. He doesn't make Max a hero but a broken man, the stunts are not only greatly staged but also brutal, and the injuries inflicted upon the characters are almost palpable. On top of that, one also can't but love the B-movie spirit of this movie that really cuts down plot elements to their bare bones, even refuses to give elaborate background info to what's happening but concentrates on the basic story and lots of action.

A deserved classic for sure!


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD