For this week’s “Things That Bring Back Memories” post, I am going to pick something in the topic of “MOVIES” and go with “Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome“. This movie was released in 1985 and was the third in the “Mad Max” series.
Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome kind of had a weird story to it, but I myself loved the vehicles! So many weird looks and getting to see Tina Turner become a movie star, was amazing, too. Also, going to Glamis a lot when I was younger, seeing the desert and all of the dust made me want to head out on the ATC’s and enjoy the terrain with the rest of the characters!
If, for some reason, you are of an age that makes it difficult to remember this great movie, here’s a preview of what it was about:
Did you ever watch this movie when you were younger? or have you seen it on TV later in life? You have probably seen the previews of the new one coming out, it should be even more exciting and digitally enhanced than ever! Let me know what you thought of it, and if you have any memories of it in your life!
More Info on the Movie:
When his vehicle and all his possessions are looted by the eccentric pilot Jerediah and his son Jerediah Jr. The Road Warrior known as Max Rockatansky arrives in the desert town “Bartertown” ruled by the evil Aunt Entity, where people living in the post-apocalyptic Australian outback go to trade for food, water, weapons and supplies. After being forced to fight Master Blaster, a tiny man and his masked muscle-man in “Thunderdome” a gladiator like arena, when being caught up in a power struggle for control for Bartertown. Max is banished into the desert wasteland, where he is rescued by a tribe of children, who thinks Max is a pilot named Captain Walker, who is the chosen one who will take the children to the promised land “Tomorrow Morrow Land”, and learns the children are survivors of a plane crash and Captain Walker was their leader. Agreeing to help the children in their search for “Tomorrow Morrow Land”, Max and the children set off across the desert wastelands and returns to Bartertown, where Max has score to settle with Aunt Entity.
Fifteen years after defeating the Lord Humungus, Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) crosses the Australian desert in a camel-drawn wagon when he is attacked by a pilot named Jedediah (Bruce Spence), and his son in a Transavia PL-12 Airtruk, stealing his wagon and belongings. Continuing on foot, Max follows their trail to the seedy community of Bartertown. Max is at first refused entry as he has nothing to trade but, after witnessing Max’s quick reflexes and courage, the gatekeeper reconsiders. Max is brought before the founder and ruler of Bartertown, the ruthless Aunty Entity (Tina Turner). She offers to resupply his vehicle and equipment if he completes a task for her, and after surviving the “audition” where her guards attack him, decides he’s up to it.
Aunty explains that Bartertown depends on a crude methane refinery powered by pig feces. The refinery is run by a dwarf called Master (Angelo Rossitto), and his giant bodyguard Blaster (Paul Larsson). “Master Blaster” holds an uneasy truce with Aunty for control of Bartertown; however, Master has begun to challenge Aunty’s leadership. Aunty instructs Max to provoke a confrontation with Blaster in Thunderdome, a gladiatorial arena where conflicts are resolved by a duel to the death. Max enters the refinery to size up Master Blaster; befriending Pig Killer (Robert Grubb), a convict sentenced to work for slaughtering a pig to feed his family. Max finds his stolen vehicle in Master Blaster’s possession, and helps disarm his booby-trapped engine to converse with him. He discovers that Blaster is exceptionally strong, but extremely sensitive to high-pitched noises (the alarm on his booby trap bomb, as well as a high-pitched whistle Max carries).
Max faces Blaster and uses his weakness to gain the upper hand. He refuses to kill him after discovering he is developmentally disabled and has the functional mentality of a child, telling Aunty it wasn’t part of their deal, revealing her plot. Master is furious, and vows to shut down the refinery, and by extension Bartertown. An enraged Aunty has Blaster executed, and orders Max be punished for breaking the law, by breaking a deal. His punishment is spun upon “The Wheel”, and results in him being exiled, to the wasteland. He is bound, masked and sent on a horse in a random direction out of town.
As his horse perishes in the harsh desert climate, Max frees himself and presses on. In Bartertown, the refinery begins to break down and Master is forced to fix it if he wants to avoid being fed to the pigs. Near death, Max is found by a desert dweller named Savannah Nix (Helen Buday), who hauls him back to her home, a primitive community of children and teenagers living in an oasis. The children, survivors of a crashed Qantas Boeing 747, were left by their parents who went to find civilization. They believe Max to be the Flight Captain, returned to fix the plane and fly them to civilization. Max denies being the captain and insists that they remain in the relative safety of the oasis, knowing that the only “civilization” within reach is Bartertown.
Some of the children, led by Savannah, decide to leave anyway, determined to find the prophesied “Tomorrow-morrow Land”. Max stops them by force, but another tribe member known as Scrooloos (Rod Zuanic), sets them free during the night, and goes off with them. Their leader Slake M’Thirst (Tom Jennings), asks Max to go after them, and he agrees, taking a few of the children to help. They find Savannah’s group in danger but are unable to save one of the children from a sand pit. With no supplies left they are forced to head for Bartertown.
They sneak in and with Pig Killer’s help free Master and escape in a train-truck, the center of the town’s generator, causing explosions heavily damaging Bartertown. Aunty leads the inhabitants in pursuit, catching up to the train. Max’s group manages to slow them down while Scrooloos hijacks one of the pursuing vehicles (which turns out to be Max’s from the start of the film). The group comes across Jedediah and his son, and Max coerces Jedediah into helping his group escape with their plane. Max uses his vehicle to clear a path through Aunty’s men, allowing the plane to take off and escape, leaving him at Aunty’s mercy. Aunty spares his life, having come to respect him, and departs.
Jedidiah flies the children (presumably under Max’s orders) to the coast, where they discover the decimated ruins of Sydney. Years later, the children have established a small society of themselves and other lost wanderers, and are now living in the ruins. Savannah, now leader of the group, recites a nightly story of their journey and the man who saved them, while Max, still alive in the desert, wanders on to places unknown.
The music that went with the film is one that is remembered from either those that just loved her music, or watched this movie – do you remember this (I remember it from before I watched the movie, and thought that she just had some crazy wardrobe) 🙂 :
Some of the Characters:
Mel Gibson (Mad Max Rockatansky) was born on January 3, 1956, in Peekskill, New York, USA as the sixth of eleven children to parents Hutton Gibson, a railroad brakeman, and Anne Patricia (Reilly) Gibson (who died in December of 1990). His mother was Irish, and his father had Irish-Australian ancestry. Though born in the US, Mel and his family moved to New South Wales, Australia. After high school, Mel studied at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, performing at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts alongside future film thespians Judy Davis and Geoffrey Rush. After college, Mel had a few stints on stage and starred in a few TV shows. Eventually, he was chosen to star in Mad Max (1979) and in a movie called Tim (1979), co-starring Piper Laurie. The small budgeted movie Mad Max (1979) made him known worldwide, while Tim (1979) garnered him an award for Best Actor from the Australian Film Institute (equivalent to the Oscar). Later, he went on to star in Gallipoli (1981), which earned him a second award for Best Actor from the AFI. In 1980, he married Robyn Moore and had seven children. In 1984, Mel made his American debut in The Bounty (1984), which co-starred Anthony Hopkins. Then in 1987, Mel starred in what would become his signature series, Lethal Weapon (1987), in which he played “Martin Riggs”. In 1990, he took on the interesting starring role in Hamlet (1990), which garnered him some critical praise. He also made the more endearing Forever Young (1992) and the somewhat disturbing The Man Without a Face (1993). 1995 brought his most famous role as “Sir William Wallace” in Braveheart (1995), for which he won two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. From there, he made such box office hits as The Patriot (2000), Ransom (1996), and Payback (1999). Today, Mel remains an international superstar mogul, continuously topping the Hollywood power lists as well as the Most Beautiful and Sexiest lists.
Tina Turner (Aunty Entity) After almost fifty years in the music business, Tina Turner has become one of the most commercially-successful international female rock stars to date. Her sultry, powerful voice, her incredible legs, her time-tested beauty and her unforgettable story all contribute to her legendary status. Born to a sharecropping family in the segregated South, Anna Mae Bullock and her elder sister were abandoned by their sparring parents early on. After her grandmother’s death, she eventually moved to St. Louis, Missouri to reunite with her mother. This opened up a whole new world of R&B nightclubs to the precocious 16-year-old. Called up to sing on-stage with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm in 1956, she displayed a natural talent for performing which the band leader was keen to develop. Soon, Anna Mae’s aspirations of a nursing career were forgotten and she began to hang around with the group. When the singer booked to record “A Fool in Love” failed to turn up for the session, Ike drafted in Anna Mae to provide the vocal with the intention of removing it later. However, once he heard her spine-tingling performance of the song, he soon changed his plans. He changed her name to Tina Turner and when the record became a hit, Tina became a permanent fixture in Ike’s band and his quest for international stardom. One thing led to another: they were married in Mexico between the births of Tina’s two sons – the first a result of an earlier relationship with a musician, the second with Ike. Before too long the Ike and Tina Turner Revue was tearing up large and small R&B and soul venues throughout the early and mid-1960s. The hits were relatively few, but the unsurpassed energy and excitement generated by the live stage show (read: Tina) made the Revue a solid touring act, along with the likes of James Brown and Ray Charles. Their greatest attempt to “cross over” came in 1966 with the historic recording of the Phil Spector production, “River Deep, Mountain High”. While it was a commercial flop in the United States, it was a monster hit in Europe – and the start of Tina’s European superstar status, which never faded during her long stint of relative obscurity in America in the late 1970s. The Revue entered that decade as a top touring and recording act, with Tina becoming more and more recognized as the star power behind the group’s international success. Ike, while having been justly described as an excellent musician, a shrewd businessman and the initial “brains” behind the Revue, was also described (by Tina and others) as a violent, drug-addicted wife-beater who was not above frequently knocking Tina (and other women) around both publicly and privately. Despite hits such as “Proud Mary” and Tina’s self-penned “Nutbush City Limits”, further mainstream success eluded the group and Ike blamed Tina. After years of misery and a failed suicide attempt, Tina finally had enough in July 1976, when she fled the marriage (and the Revue) with the now-famous 36 cents and a Mobil gasoline credit card. The European release of her cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” in 1983 was a major turning point in Tina’s career. The record hit #6 in the British chart and Capitol Records were soon demanding a full album. “Private Dancer” was hurriedly produced in England in two weeks flat. The rest is rock and roll history. The next single – “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” – became Tina’s first #1 single the following year and the album hung around the Top 10 for months, spawning two further hits. At the 1985 Grammy Awards, her astonishing comeback was recognized with nominations in the rock, R&B and pop categories and rewarded with four trophies. Since that time, the successes have just kept coming: a starring role in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985); duets with Bryan Adams, David Bowie, Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger amongst others; several sell-out world tours; a string of hit albums and awards; a bestselling autobiography, “I, Tina”; and the blockbuster biopic What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993) chronicling her life.
Bruce Spence (Jedediah the Pilot) was born on September 17, 1945 in Auckland, North Island, New Zealand. He is an actor, known for Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) and Finding Nemo (2003). He has been married to Jenny since September 16, 1973. They have two children.
George Spartels (Blackfinger) grew up in Melbourne with his mother of Irish/English decent and three brothers. His Greek father left when he was a young boy. His younger brother Michael is a director for Carlton Football Club. He married actress Elizabeth Alexander and now lives in Sydney. He became a household name after hosting children’s show Playschool for almost two decades.
Did You Know?
Originally, the film was supposed to be about a group of children living without parents in the wild. They were trying to decide what adult character would find them, when someone thought of Max. After that suggestion, it became a “Mad Max” film.
The sandstorm at the end of the film was real, and a camera plane actually did fly into it for some shots. The storm in its entirety hit the crew in the desert, forcing them to ride it out in their cars and wherever they could find cover.
The music video for Tupac Shakur’s 1996 hit “California Love” was shot at the Thunderdome set and features vehicles and clothes inspired by the Mad Max series.
Max’s eyes are different; the pupil in his left eye is permanently dilated. This is a nod to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981): When his car is forced off the road by Wez and Max crashes, he suffers a severe injury to, among other body parts, his left eye. The disparity is easier to see in close-ups, and VERY easy to see in HD versions of the film. In the regular version, it’s most prominent when Max first looks down on the Thunderdome.
Aunty Entity’s (Tina Turner) steel mail dress weighed more than 121 pounds.
Max’s name is only spoken once in the movie. Just after he meets Master Blaster in underworld. Master says “Me Master” and introduces himself, then Max says “Me Max” and does the same.
It is a popular misbelief that the vehicle Max is seen driving at the beginning and end of the film is based on a Ford F150 pick-up truck. However a modified early to mid 70’s model Australian Ford Fairlane ZF-ZG was used as the base vehicle. Although the exterior of the car has been heavily modified, the vehicle is identified through the remaining pieces of the cars interior. These include a curved dashboard and ignition switch along with steering column positioning (common style of Australian Ford model’s between the years 1971 to 1976,) Along with the a ZG seat trim and steering wheel. This can be confirmed through close-ups of the interior during the final chase sequence. The ZG Fairlane shares a very similar body style, chassis and engine (351, 5.8 liter V8 Cleveland) to Max’s original yellow Interceptor used in “Mad Max”. Making all three of the main vehicles used by Max in each film a similar variation of each other (Australian Model Ford V8, mid 70’s Sedan,Coupe).
Two scenes were cut from the film to bring down the running time. One where he dreams of his murdered wife and son, wakes up and cries. He realises he’s become just as bad as the animals he used to hunt down as a cop. The other is Max takes a dying Gekko to the top of a sand dune at night, sees the lights of Bartertown and tells him they’ve reached Tomorrow-Morrow Land. A few seconds of this scene are included in the music video for Turner’s “We Don’t Need Another Hero”.
During Max and the children’s attempt to rescue Master, they sneak into the underground in order to free him from the pigpen. At one point, as the escape is put into play, Ironbar arrives and hits Max in the face with a shovel. The problem is that in order to establish the shot and weapon used, the shovel stops abruptly in front of the camera as Max falls backwards, where, unfortunately, the rubber that forms the shovel’s fake blade continues to jiggle from the motion.
During the runway discussion at the end of the film, Jedediah the pilot tells Max that Aunty’s approaching motorized bandits are closing the space needed for them to take off. Max decides to drive a vehicle through the motorcade to clear space so they can take off. After this discussion, Max only collides with one vehicle and the aircraft is able to make it. This proves if they had taken off right away instead of having the discussion, there would have indeed been enough runway.
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