Mad Max 2 Original Truck Driver

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Re: Mad Max 2 Original Truck Driver

Postby MWFV8 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:18 am

Here's a previous thread on the subject;
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10537

There's another one somewhere too.
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Re: Mad Max 2 Original Truck Driver

Postby MWFV8 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:23 am

Mack Truck Corpse Thread;
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8917

Significance of the Music Box in Road Warrior Thread;
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9916&p=93962#p93962
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Re: Mad Max 2 Original Truck Driver

Postby Gwen J Blair » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:14 am

Who do you think the man was? My guess is that he was a travelling merchant trying to get by selling junk and furniture to survivors. My hypothesis is that he encountered marauders, they chased him, and eventually he ran out of fuel. Seeing he was pretty much dead he played the music box as it was only thing he had to try and forget about the archers waiting to shoot him in the neck
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Re: Mad Max 2 Original Truck Driver

Postby Gwen J Blair » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:18 am

My guess is that he was a travelling merchant trying to get by selling junk and furniture to survivors.
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Re: Mad Max 2 Original Truck Driver

Postby HUMVEE Driver » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:38 pm

I'd say he was attacked and hit with the arrow(s), then he made it to his truck and managed to escape. Then he drove until he ran out of gas, shut the truck down, and played the music box as his life slipped away. Before he died, he may have hung up the tarp and painted "The vermin have inherited the earth" over his vehicle. Kind of a sad warning to others, maybe. I can't remember where he was hit, but if you are shot in the stomach, it may be a mortal injury but it will still take a few hours for you to die. George Miller, being a medical doctor, who know that. That's enough time to hang and paint the tarp.

He had to have shut the truck down after he ran out of gas, or else the batteries would be dead and Max would have no way of starting it. Also, the tires (on the Mack) were all intact. Max had no way of repairing them if they were shot out.

If he was attacked while driving and stopped because he was killed, why wouldn't the attackers drag him out and loot his body?

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Re: Mad Max 2 Original Truck Driver

Postby MWFV8 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:13 am

I've been comparing the screenplay to the movie, and it's interesting.

Firstly, we have to assume the screenplay, particularly a shooting script, is the blueprint for the movie. It's the ideal. However once things go into production there are going to be changes, some better and some potentially worse. The biggest danger is doing something which breaks the logic, and I believe that's sort of what's happened here.

The bigrig is described as having most of the tyres punctured with arrows, pillaged with the back doors thrown open, furniture and other debris abandoned in the road, the tank empty, and containing a bloated putrefying corpse with two crossbolts in its neck and a toy hurdy-gurdy in its hand.

Now most of this makes it intact into the production. However clearly most of the tyres aren't punctured, certainly not on the prime mover, and we now have this message scrawled on a hung tarp. The text of which is taken from the original opening screenplay monologue; "At last, the vermin had inherited the earth."

It seems to me that the message was added for dramatic effect. Perhaps a decision made at the storyboarding stage as it's so nicely setup in the shot of Max facing off with Wez. Regardless of how it could have got there and why, its main purpose is to have impact with the audience, and it does this well. In fact (as I explained in detail in another post) this whole scene and setup tells the audience a remarkable amount about the world we're entering. In terms of the message's logic in that world, it's clearly a warning. Perhaps left by a dying driver with a crossbow bolt in his neck (unlikely), perhaps left by the Mauraders after their pillaging (more likely).

In this scene we are also shown Max's attachment to the hurdy-gurdy, we need no more justification for it being clutched in the truck driver's hands than this. It means a great deal to Max because he's still got a hint of humanity within him, it tells us the Truck Driver was the same. If we work on the basis the Marauders looted him prior to this, (I don't see why they'd need to drag him from the cab to do so) then we know they wouldn't care for it, they've lost their humanity, it means nothing to them.

The wrecks passed before reaching the tanker are also mentioned in the screenplay. But nothing to suggest they were in a convoy. If we do pursue the hypothesis that the truck and wrecks were convoying then it does bring in a contrasting foreshadowing of the ending. We could be effectively seeing the remains of a failed escape and Max taking something from his failed counterpart. Most likely a remarkable coincidence, perhaps deliberate, maybe the subconscious writing of an author who'd already visualised the ending.

Reading the screenplay opening, the explanation for the truck being left by the Mauraders offers two suggestions; the punctured tyres making it immobile, and the tank being empty. Given the exact details of the Marauders vehicles and capability in the eyes of the writer at this stage, the former could be a possibility. The Mauraders simply not having spares to replace them with. The latter most likely being a result of the pillaging, the Mauraders have taken the fuel, which makes sense if they can't move the truck. Even if they can't use diesel, they may be able to in the future and regardless they don't others to have it. Plus, as discussed, the thought of Max having to return with spare wheels/tyres and the tools to replace them is absurd. And reading the screenplay where the Mechanic complains to Pappagallo on the state of the Truck, he makes no mention of needing any new tires.

In the movie, as mentioned, it's clear the prime mover's tyres are all intact. And the fuel tank still has its cap on, suggesting no pillaging. Maybe setting up the truck on location with lots of punctured tyres was too much work (unlikely), maybe someone forgot to take the fuel cap off (highly unlikely). The way the movie presents the scene it suggests the truck has run out of fuel while on the move.

But then something interesting. In the screenplay, when Max returns to the truck with fuel, he has to work on the engine to get it started. He has the Gyro Captain sit turning it over while he works on it. This suggests that the actual reason for the truck being abandoned is it won't run even with fuel in it and that Max has the ability to fix it. Is it reasonable to suggest Max has mechanic's skills beyond that of the Marauders, perhaps so, especially at the writing stage.

Of course this scene is changed completely in the movie. We see Max turning the truck over until it starts (air starter so no battery concerns). To be honest, I can't work out why the scene was changed. It explains a lot away. A mechanical failure giving good reason to why the truck is left abandoned regardless of the fuel being pillaged. The only reason I can think for changing it is pure simplification for the audience. We're shown a truck with no fuel, we're shown trapped compound dwellers needing a truck, we get Max travelling to it with fuel. Maybe the production team felt showing Max having to work on the engine just overcomplicated matters. Maybe that's why we're clearly shown the empty fuel tank earlier with the cap still left on.

Something else I considered was the fact the body is putrified and bloated, suggesting some time had passed since the truck drivers death. Given that the Gyro Captain tells Max the Mauraders recently showed up in the area it would suggest they didn't kill the truck driver. However that conversation with Max isn't in the screenplay at all.

So it seems the truck defies logic a little, mostly due to production changes between writing and shooting. The movie presents a truck that's seemingly run out of fuel and the driver with a crossbow bolt in the neck. The screenplay presents a truck that has an empty tank, most of the tyres punctured, seemingly broken down, and the driver with two crossbow bolts in the neck. So in terms of the movie it's reasonable to speculate the truck ran out of fuel before the driver was killed. Which in a way echoes the whole theme of the story itself, in the Mad Max world you need enough gas to outrun the enemy.

Perhaps that truck driver was chased until his tank ran dry. Maybe it was a situation like the opening chase with Max. Just a few Mauraders unable to board the truck and only able to fire crossbows. Maybe as the truck was chocking on the last of its fumes that driver could do nothing but clutch onto the one piece of humanity they had left before he rolled to a silent halt, accepted death and had that bolt put through his neck. Maybe then the Marauders took what they could and left it as a warning message to anyone coming into their territory.

And of course that's the biggest piece of illogic, there is simply no way the Mauraders would have left the truck in any capacity to simply fuel up and drive away. Especially knowing there's a nearby compound looking for that very last piece of the puzzle. But then we wouldn't have much of a movie.
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Re: Mad Max 2 Original Truck Driver

Postby Shadow94 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:26 am

Wow. These are amazing theories.

I have a new question for you then related to this exact topic:

I don't think he was wounded in the stomach. However, the question is:

Why was he mortally wounded with two crossbow bolts to the neck when no windows are damaged? This suggests to me either:

1. Oversight.

2. He was hit outside of the truck.

3. The marauders opened the door, shot him, and then closed the door for some reason. I think, though, that when Max checks his shotgun before confronting the marauders when he first retrieves the truck, that we can see windshield damage level with his neck. Could just be rock damage.
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Re: Mad Max 2 Original Truck Driver

Postby Taipan » Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:21 am

After MWFV8's post I'm starting to think the truck was already running low when it was chased by the marauders (much like Max, right?). It got shot a couple of times on the move but and once the tanks were empty the driver pulled over, grabbed the music box and waited for his demise. This would make sense because the driver didn't seem to be a violent guy, just a regular joe trying to escape the cities and out into the wastelands. He didn't have any weapons, just a semi full of furniture and household items. The vermin caught up, opened the door and shot him in the neck as he was holding onto the music box. There was no fuel to take so they didn't check the tanks. They went for the trailer, trashed it, painted a warning and left.
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Re: Mad Max 2 Original Truck Driver

Postby Shadow94 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:16 am

Taipan wrote:After MWFV8's post I'm starting to think the truck was already running low when it was chased by the marauders (much like Max, right?). It got shot a couple of times on the move but and once the tanks were empty the driver pulled over, grabbed the music box and waited for his demise. This would make sense because the driver didn't seem to be a violent guy, just a regular joe trying to escape the cities and out into the wastelands. He didn't have any weapons, just a semi full of furniture and household items. The vermin caught up, opened the door and shot him in the neck as he was holding onto the music box. There was no fuel to take so they didn't check the tanks. They went for the trailer, trashed it, painted a warning and left.


I'm guessing he was heading to the compound to refuel, because there couldn't be very many diesel stations out there. Maybe he was trading these goods for fuel to keep going. Maybe he had some sort of contract with the compound to drive goods for them in exchange for fuel.
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Re: Mad Max 2 Original Truck Driver

Postby Shadow94 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:18 am

I used to have a production photo of the dummy that was used to represent the rotting driver. Does anyone still have that pic?
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