I only saw this film as The Road Warrior (1982) when it was released in the US, but the Mad Max 2 title has since been added to the film in North America to re-establish it’s place in the series. This one is a lot like Evil Dead 2 in execution, where the 1st film in both of those series, Evil Dead and Mad Max were both very low budget films done independently of any studio. When those films were released and both were hits, the Directors, Sam Raimi for Evil Dead and George Miller for Mad Max were inundated with offers from Hollywood but both decided to do “sequels” of their films instead. What they are really, are just the proper films the directors would have made the first time around if they had the proper budgets to work with originally. Both Evil Dead 2 and The Road Warrior are highly superior films to their originals.
I also want to add that it was this film and not the original film that caused a huge fervor and drew a whole slew of copycats of apocalyptic road pictures that has come after it. The first one is good, don’t get me wrong, but I really think it’s this movie, specifically the last 20 minutes, that caused the cult status that it has attained. It is arguably, the best road battle that has ever been put to film. It is utterly fantastic. That’s why it gets the nod for Best Movie Stunt for 1982.
More than 80 vehicles were involved in the production. According to cinematographer Dean Semler, the camera rig used to get medium close ups of Max driving required him and an ac (assistant camera) to stand on a small platform mounted to the driver’s side of the car. They found out during one sequence that they miscalculated the lift, because whenever they went up or down a hill the platform would actually scrape the ground, sending out a shower of sparks. (Initially alarming all involved, they just shrugged and kept shooting without cutting.) Most of the final action sequences (including Pappagallo’s death by trident machete, Wez’s final attempt to kill the Feral Kid, then the collision between Max’s truck and Humungus’ hot rod) were filmed on 24 July 1981. The collision caused more damage to the truck than expected, so the truck’s turnover (scheduled for the same day) had to be postponed. The truck was repaired, then crashed the following day.
The Road Warrior was directed by George Miller for Kennedy-Miller Productions.
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Things to look up (go to IMDB page):
- George Miller
- The Road Warrior
- Kennedy-Miller Productions
History of film companies as defined by Wikipedia: Kennedy Miller Mitchell (before 2009 known as Kennedy Miller) is an Australian film, TV and games production house in Potts Point, Sydney, that has been producing television and film since 1978. It is responsible for some of Australia’s most well known and successful films, including the three Mad Max films, the two Babe films, and the two Happy Feet films.
Kennedy Miller Mitchell is one of Australia’s oldest existing film production companies, and the internationally most successful.
Many of the films are directed by the co-founder, George Miller, though he sometimes takes an organisational role and prefers to use someone else to direct, as with Babe, which was directed by Chris Noonan.
The company’s main current project is the fourth Mad Max film, titled Mad Max, Fury Road. After being “in development hell for 25 years”, according to Miller, the film went into pre-production in 2009.