Bluray Review: MAD MAX

SCREAM-FACTORY-LOGOEasily one of the most influential films of all time, George Miller’s 1979 post-apocalyptic classic, MAD MAX, hits shelves today is a Collector’s Edition Bluray, and like a lot of Scream Factory’s output, it’s a sight to be seen. Whether you’re putting on your leather boots and outfits in anticipation of the greatly anticipated MAD MAX: FURY ROAD hitting theaters later this month, or are a first time viewer looking to be blown away, this release is a collector’s dream, and quite easily a must own Bluray.


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THE FILM:

The story of a futuristic wasteland, full of anarchistic bikers, off the wall nicknames, and quite easily the most leather-clad police force of all time, MAD MAX tells the tale of well,..Max (Mel Gibson in his film debut), a young police officer patrolling the streets for crazy gangs by day and coming home to his wife and baby at night. A man of few words (which getting even fewer as the film and series goes on), Max is a quiet force to be reckoned with, and when he and his partner cross paths with a gang of bikers led by quite possibly one of the best on-screen villains of all time, Hugh Keays-Byrne’s Toe-Cutter character, things go from bad to worse, and the film kicks into an accelerated tone, something that has carried over into every subsequent film in the series (and looks like is in full blown craziness in the upcoming FURY ROAD). The scary performance of Keays-Byrne is one of the most memorable around, and it’s impossible to take your eyes off of the guy, he’s absolutely bat-shit insane. That, going head to head with Gibson’s Max character is one of the best combinations of characters around.

There are so many things about MAD MAX that make it not only a classic, but one of the greatest films of its kind, and also of all time. It’s the template for so many movies that followed in its confident footsteps, and the combination of so many memorable performances by literally EVERY actor involved in the film, and the outside of the box and sometimes crazy as hell direction of George Miller, makes the film absolutely enjoyable and a must own in ANY format.

With that being said, Scream’s Factory’s new release of the film is THE definitive release, with a brand new transfer that makes the less than impressive previous Bluray from WB look even worse, the film looks absolutely wonderful, with just the right balance between the film look and a nice, cleaned up picture. The sound is top notch as well, with the film’s insanity leaping out of your television, and into your ears.

To say the film was an influential one would be an understatement, with its look, attitude and approach being the staple of most post-apocalypse films that followed, and even became somewhat of a punk rock fashion, the film just breathes originality and it impossible to NOT be floored and absolutely mesmerized by.


 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The term “Collector’s Edition” rings true, with SF’s treatment of the film and its supplemental material. Sure, there are a couple of carry-overs from the previous bluray (a couple of short docs and a commentary with David Eggby and some of the special effects artists), but the REAL stand-out of the disc is the doc that accompanies the special features. A lengthy doc comprised of brand new interviews with everybody from Director of Photography David Eggby (a reason enough to pick this one up), Joanne Samuel (who played Max’s wife) and the man himself, Mel Gibson. It’s a miracle that SF scored Gibson, the man doesn’t talk about the film very often, and given recent troubles, it’s an addition that makes you shake your head in disbelief. Filled to the absolute brim with Gibson’s stories of getting the part, the look of the film and some of the most humorous and sometimes scary stories around, it’s a wonderful doc, one that you HAVE to see if you’re a fan of the film, and hell, even if you’re not.

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