Japanese DVD Releases
Mad Max and Mad Max 2 (Road Warrior)
NOTE: Re-release information last updated 3-Mar-2001.
These Japanese DVD releases are notable for a several reasons. The Japanese DVD of Mad Max was the first ever release of the film to contain both the original Australian dialogue track, and the dubbed U.S. dialogue track. Since then however, MGM in the USA have released a region 1 version of Mad Max which also contains both dialogue tracks, as well as a commentary and various other extras. See the listing at Amazon for further details on that one.
The Japanese still contains a different trailer for the original Mad Max than what is on the MGM disc, and it also has trailers for the other two films. At this stage though that's all you'd really be buying it for, as the US disc has a 16:9 transfer, more extras, and is easier to get hold of.
For Mad Max 2, the Japanese disc also contains one extra not on any other DVD release, being the short (6 minute) making of documentary, "Mad Max 2 - The Chase Continues". This documentary has since been released on VHS in various other countries, but has still yet to make it to a DVD release anywhere outside Japan.
Note that the original pressings of BOTH of the Japanese discs did go out of print for a while. However, Mad Max was re-released on DVD in Japan on 23rd Feb 2001, along with a box set of all 3 films (which quickly went out of print, and is now unavailable). www.cdjapan.co.jp did have both the individual discs listed on their page, however I recently browsed through there and was unable to locate them. If anyone can find the listing on the page, please contact me.
As far as I can tell, the only difference on the re-released Mad Max is the code printing on the case. The original release was coded DL-11170, the re-release is now coded DLT-11170.
Warner Home Video in Japan published information and pictures on their web site for these re-releases. You can view their listings for the Mad Max re-release, and the Mad Max Trilogy box set. I have included the images of these below:
Covers for the re-release, and the box set
Individual covers from the box set
The Japanese discs are Region 2, so you'll need a Region 2 compatible player to view them. In the US, you might want to try Laser Exchange at www.laserexchange.com for purchasing these discs. They sold the original Japanese Mad Max for US$42, plus shipping, and I would assume are still getting the discs (someone let me now if they're not). They can get hold of any Japanese DVDs or laserdiscs, and can also help you with the equipment to play them. Their full details are:
39 Dodge St.
Beverly Ma 01915
The DVD features for the original Mad Max release are as follows (I will update this for the new discs when I get them):<
Audio 1: U.S. dialogue
|Subtitles||Subtitle 1: Japanese
Subtitle 2: English, based on U.S. dialogue
|Video Format||Widescreen only|
|Encoding||Region 2 (NTSC)|
Road Warrior A
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
|Extras||Brief production information (in Japanese)|
|Price||Y3,400 (re-release is approx Y2,100)|
Note: Some owners of the Pioneer DVL 909 player have reported audio sync problems on the original release of this disc.
Cover of the original Japanese Mad Max DVD