Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Australia, 1979. Kennedy Miller Productions, Crossroads, Mad Max Films. Screenplay by James McClausland, George Miller. Cinematography by David Eggby. Produced by Byron Kennedy. Music by Brian May. Production Design by Jon Dowding. Costume Design by Clare Griffin. Film Editing by Cliff Hayes, Tony Paterson.
Mel Gibson‘s incredibly successful film career got launched with the release of this grungy little Australian action film, whose low budget and penny paperback plotl add not only to its charm but its entertainment value as well. It takes place in a post-nuclear future, with an angry cop (Gibson) out to get revenge on the motorcycle gang that murdered his wife and child. Most of the movie is spent racing down the road in the outback desert as Gibson chases after the baddies in an effort to wipe them all out for good. George Miller, who would go on to make an even better sequel with The Road Warrior a few years later, directs with energy and invention, using clever editing to tell a fast-paced, fascinating story. The low budget is betrayed by the bad sound, and most American prints use a dubbed dialogue track because the Australian accents are so hard to understand (including Gibson, whose voice in this film has never been heard by most North American viewers).