Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Roads and the Warriors who Wander Them

Now here's the Max you were probably looking for. 1981's Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior bears little resemblance to its predecessor, more Spaghetti Western than crime film. It's a lot better, too, with a story bound by familiar patterns yet possessed of its own life, the wasteland imagery complimented very nicely by the chaos of improbably stylish survivors.

Max (Gibson again) is the only returning character of the previous film, unless the dog with him is supposed to be the same dog, which seems unlikely since he looks completely different. I wondered if the recent post-apocalyptic Australian film The Rover was partly inspired by the relative indifference Max shows towards his faithful hound in this film.

Soon he encounters a human, a guy with a gyrocopter (Bruce Spence) whose yellow long johns and bright purple scarf making him the first of the film's delightful, wild grown haute couture specimens.

Max takes him prisoner and they hide on a hill where they witness a man being forced to watch the rape of his female companion by a gang of far more flamboyant punk thugs than seen in the first film. This is the first we see of the ubiquitous football padding used as armour.

These guys painted theirs black. The guards in the small community centred around an oil drill and refinery the punks lay siege to painted theirs white, which makes things clear enough.

Recognise her? It took me a moment more because of the eyebrows than the hair but that's Virginia Hey, the talented actress who would go on to play Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan on the television series Farscape. I wish she'd had a bigger role in this movie.

But that's the closest thing I have to a complaint. The roving gangs create a real feeling of menace directed at the vulnerable community and Max, as the outsider western hero, is by no means invincible. A really nicely put together film with terrific action sequences.

Twitter Sonnet #751: Seafood of God Edition

Octopus ordained old bishops held bass.
A Friday obscenity has seized fish.
Piranhas ate meat Eucharist en masse.
Satan's sand dollar bought a flounder dish.
Tridentine bent tiger fish eat fingers.
Ah, knights, a mussel is never Muslim.
Choirs of carp kill their rival singers.
Seminaries sew seaweed in muslin.
Imperial earlobes engaged tuna.
Seahorse dioceses kiss all bubbles.
Infant turtle matins follows Luna.
Sea lion liturgies tell of troubles.
Catfish catechisms contain whiskers.
Porpoise prayers chatter squeals and whispers.

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