Mad Max 2

a.k.a. The Road Warrior

George Miller : The Improvements of the Second Film
Terry Hayes : Nuclear War
George Miller : Dog | The Feral Child | The Gang's Look | Onscreen Violence

The Mad Max 2 entry in the Internet Movie Database

George Miller on THE ROAD WARRIOR

The Improvements of the Second Film

"That came from my experience and having improved as a writer, understanding dramatic conflict a little better. Also, returning to that mythological core, a part of the hero saga is the phase of the dispirited hero. It is that phase which is addres sed in Mad Max II. Because of his personal tragedy, Max has become a burned-out closet human being. He's a person who doesn't believe in acknowledging the human part of himself. He feels that the only road to spiritual survival is through a comp lete lack of emotion. Then, with a great deal of reluctance, he becomes the savior of the new order. He saves others, so that there can be a regrowth.

"We started off with a basic story, even though in the film, we weren't really speculating about what the future would be like. If I had to do a documentary on what I thought the future would look like, I don't think it would be the Mad Max films. But that look enabled us to have a sort of hyperbole, a stylized simple story which had to be set in such a world.

"Every element in Mad Max II was worked out from the present, and from the premise that, suddenly, there would be no energy. No electricity. So, people would rush down to their supermarkets and take whatever was left in the refrigerators. They would find other people already there. There would be fights. We would have no gas for our vehicles. Very quickly, things would reach a Darwinian stage where human beings would have to survive as best they could. Some would, undoubtedly, choose a brutal lifestyle, consuming whatever was left, since no more goods would be manufactured. But there would be pockets of people who would try to make a new beginning."


Nuclear War

"There's no mention of anything like [nuclear war] in Mad Max I. There was basically just that title rolling up at the bottom, saying 'A Few Years in the Future.' I don't think there was any thinking at that stage that there had been a nuclear disaster. George's theory was that it was a progression of the world today into anarchy. But interestingly enough, when we came to do Mad Max II, we found that Mad Max I wasn't out of sympathy with there having been a nuclear disaster after all. Working backwards, you could quite easily assume that there had been a limited exchange of nuclear weaponry in the Northern Hemisphere. What happened in Australia was a breakdown of social order. People started to grab everything and became crazy, because of what they knew was coming."

George Miller


"Max wants nothing to do with humans. He survives day to day because he has the skill to survive, but he wouldn't have any companions. In fact, he wouldn't even have the dog as a companion, but he would need it to sleep safely. Most bushmen in Aus tralia have dogs just like that. If Max had a dog, we thought all that he would have to do, would be to give it a bit of food, and then he could use it as an alarm system."

The Feral Child

"People certainly would not be having many children at this stage, because a pregnant woman is less likely to survive. Even sex, in a tough world, is something that would be mostly recreational. Some people probably wouldn't even want sex since they would be too worried about surviving on a day-to-day basis. There would, however, be some children who would somehow manage to survive, children with a special something that keeps them going. These children would be brought up like wild animals, because no one would have the time, energy or desire to care for them."

The Gang's Look (e.g. Wez)

"We didn't start off by deciding to have a little bit of punk and a little bit of S & M leather gear. It was more in the nature of seeing the character as if he, himself, had decided to become a warrior. He would, therefore need a bike for mobi lity, and also because it uses less fuel than a car. He would need to be protected, so he would need weaponry. If he can get a gun, he can't find bullets, so he would fashion a kind of crossbow which he would wear on his arm. That way, it's also easier to fire when he's riding a bike. He would need to look fearsome, because then, he wouldn't need to fight people. He would just scare them off. So, he dresses up in the plumage to have a warrior look."

Onscreen Violence

"That's a very tough subject. I really think it's one of those things like love and death. It's such a comprehensive problem that you just can't deal with it by words or intellectual thoughts. If handled correctly, screen violence can be a way of dealing with aggression and other primitive emotions. It's one way of confronting those things which we normally wouldn't confront in our daily lives. At some stage in their lives, everyone must deal with the notion of death. The sooner it's done, the more mature you are. Some people never face it, and they have great problems.

"I don't think that you'll find very many 'ketchup' shots in Mad Max II or see anything in great detail. It's kept mostly out of frame, and therefore, becomes much more powerful. You get the ambiance of violence, the feeling that you're in a dark world, and it makes you want to sit on the edge of your seat a bit more.

"Part of the usefulness of the mythological approach is that of its ability to take us down into a dark wasteland to confront the dark side of our soul and to, hopefully, be able to come out on the other side."
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